Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Emprezz to the core

Published:Monday | February 27, 2017 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

"Look at us still in slavery even though we are not physically chained. We are in slavery economically, we are mentally in slavery, it is sad, very sad. I dare anyone to tell me that it is too black; I dare anyone to tell me that it does not fit," Television personality, business woman, mother, wife, Emprezz Golding told Flair.

She continued by admitting that the clichÈ, birds of a feather flock together in highlighting that when we see ourselves as equal to other races, that is when we can casually interact.

"When we are equal to each other, we can sit down and laugh. I have friends from every race and every culture and we (she and her husband) fit in. Never had I had to change who I am, or not talk about the things that I like to think about my African identity," Golding said.

With this being the case, she stated that it is ourselves and not always the other races that have to be programmed to accept and appreciate our greatness because other races do love us. We need to tell our story and she places a great emphasis on the we. She quoted the female president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Valeria Dixon in saying that if we are not careful, we will hear that the group UB40 started reggae music. It is important that we preserve our history.

This is one of the reasons that she created Ackee Walk, a puppet show with black characters, because we may need to over emphasise ourselves because we have been ignored for so long.




Why is her history so important?

Golding holds her history dear to her heart because she sees it as key to who she is - her compass, story, and strength. She notes that it drives her creativity in projects and mission to empower her race.

She has a personal love for the stories for those before us, kings and queens as she calls them, as well as our music, rhythm inventions, and hairstyles from the different tribes of Africa. Our jewellery, dance, and physique are also parts of our culture that she sees as unique.

Golding always had a sense of self-love but she was not always necessarily 'afrocentric'. Born and raised to H. Earle Mulling and Joy, in Jamaica being black was natural but her roots and history were never things that she researched. It was when she moved to Australia with her parents that her childhood rebellious spirit worked in her favour.

Living in a predominantly white country during her teenage years, she was teased about her colour of her skin. There were times that she felt like the odd one out, especially having subtle and overt racial jokes made against her. However, instead of crawling into a shell and hating the skin that she was in, Golding wanted to learn more about it. Indulge in its history.

"Putting up with the subtle and overt racial jokes made me search for my historical racial greatness and now I stand firm in my culture and identity, understanding my greatness. I had to soul search and identify with others like me and that was the beginning of the true consciousness of the greatness of my race," she told Flair.

She admits that she is still learning and has the perfect guide in her husband, Steven.

"He is the Negro, a philosopher, a real Garveyite, carrying the teachings of Marcus Garvey and I say he is my knowledge bank where I can withdraw and what better teacher can I ask for?" she asked.

Pregnant with her second child, she admits that it is important for her children to know about their history. For children, in general, she thinks that there is a need to have more black superheroes and images in popular media culture.

While this is so, she notes that her son will be presented with a balanced global history of all races and cultures. She will ensure that he will be exposed to more than what schools and media teach.

With conviction, she stated, "Knowledge of history is knowledge of self, giving strength to develop self greater than you ever imagined possible. It is the ancestor's spirit that will drive us."