Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Kelly's World | My generation is lucky

Published:Monday | August 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Officially, today marks Jamaica's 55th year of independence, although August 6 was yesterday (why don't we just celebrate on the Sunday and done? Hmm).

Now, I was going to write a column about whether some of us are really free in all senses and definitions of the word.

But the more I went down that road, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that was only going to lead to a 'dark' column. A holiday, people want a little upliftment and comedy if possible. Nuh so?

So I'll take it from this angle. Sometimes we wonder 'what if' we were born in a different time and age. Usually, it's because we feel we would have been better off in another time.

I know I've certainly felt that way at times. Like, I think I would have been a groovy cat back in the '70s. Imagine me inna Afro and bell bottom!

But as it relates to the whole Emancipendence period, the days of slavery are ones I would not have survived.

I don't deal well with being rushed, hassled, bothered, antagonised and all those other verbs.

So with a 'massa' telling me what to do, where to go, where and what to eat, who I can and can't talk to, and all that jazz, simply would not have worked for me.

I would have lashed out, and that, as you can imagine, even without a knowledge of history, would not have boded well for me.

On the other hand, I might have been so submissive I would sell out my fellow slaves for a likkle smalls from the boss.

And that would be a fate even worse than death, quite frankly.

I've often wondered (though admittedly not as much as I used to) how our ancestors slept at night, or if they did at all.

 

IDLE CHATTER

 

I try to imagine how they looked up at that burning sun as they worked in the fields and try to think what their prayers might have sounded like as they asked for divine intervention.

And then I wonder what feelings ran through them as that first 'August Mawnin' came about.

I borrow from the late, great comedian Richard Pryor, who, in one of his routines talked about African-American men who used to brag about what they would have done if they had faced the Nazis.

Pryor said "Man you wouldn't have done #&*@!" And I totally agree.

Similarly, anyone who tells me they would have beat up massa or that they never would have been captured at all, I know a jus' chattings.

I think it's impossible to say what you would have done, especially in such God-awful circumstances.

All dem who say nuh man couldn't mek dem do 'x' and 'y' woulda cower in fear so fast afta di fuss piece a di whip reach dem.

I tell you, me and my generation might grumble about many things, but I know we are fortunate and blessed to have been born in this time.

It's why the Emancipendence period should always, and I mean always, be respected. We cannot and should not forget our history. Bless.

- Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com