An inspired Caribbean man
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Shoulder to shoulder with C.L.R. James and Frank Worrell, in terms of their contribution to West Indian identity, must stand Rex Nettleford. I express a personal view when I say everyone else is, to me, 'a mocking pretender'.
For my part (just another Trini), Caribbean people cannot thank Mr Nettleford enough for his clarity of purpose and his courage to plant the West Indian flag on the world's stage.
"The world is what I say it is," said the German philosopher Scho-penhauer. Rex Nettleford may as well have uttered the phrase. His life and his works were a testimony to one who has the courage to think his own thoughts and to realise them in works to which he attached his own signature. And in that thought and in those works were the memory of the whole Caribbean experience: its clash of cultures, the fortitude and catalytic dynamism of Africa's transplanted sons and daughters, the longing and the groping toward a collective voice, and the champagne edge of the Caribbean people who, inevitably, bubble to the top when uncapped. Through the eyes of Nettleford, it was, and will continue to be, a glorious thing.
I simply cannot overstate how much I admired him, my inspired Caribbean brother, my elder, my exemplar.
Rest in peace, Rex Nettleford.
Please allow me to express my sympathy and gratitude to the Jamaican people who will feel his loss even more. Blessings.
I am, etc.,