Wed | Mar 21, 2018

Young, gifted and black

Published:Friday | December 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM


This letter congratulates Miss Jamaica Universe, Davina Bennett for her runner-up position in the Miss Universe beauty pageant recently held in Las Vegas.

I must equally applaud her for her deep sense of pride and reservoir of self-confidence exuded in her representation. I am sure that all Jamaicans share the victory, but as a Black Jamaican, I, too, share the special and extraordinary delight, the cheerfulness and contentment expressed by the community of Mitchell Town as they saluted the 'crowning' of their Black Princess.

It is a pleasure to see that some things that certain elements in the Jamaican society frowned against have suddenly turned into important cultural assets: her audacious assertion of that stamp of identity; and the pride of sharing with the world a language long forsaken by many in the society. Her victorious achievement reminds me of a Jamaican saying, "wey nuh ded, no dash it wey".

She paraded herself with such swagger, with such audacity, buoyancy, boldness, and self-assurance, unmatched by any other. Davina showed us what it is to be victorious 'swimming upstream' unlike embracing the choice to follow the flow.

This is indeed the character of a trailblazer and transformative leader: she stood up for what she believed in and let the chips fall where they may. The moment has gone, but I hope the lessons will be observed.

As I watched the event, I thought about Nina Simone and Young gifted and black; and that Una Marson, one of the finest female thinkers and activists of our times is looking down, from wherever she is, smiling and probably shouting with joy and laughter, "Say it loud, you are black and proud". Not just to Davina, but to the majority of Jamaicans.

Louis E.A. Moyston, PhD.