Thu | Jan 20, 2022

Carolyn Cooper | Time fi fire Missis Queen

Published:Sunday | March 21, 2021 | 12:28 AM

CHAKA-CHAKA SPELLING

Long time now fi wi politician dem a seh Queen a England not suppose fi bi di head a Jamaica. A pure chat dem a chat. Look from when wi claims seh wi ‘independent’ an Missis Queen still a rule wi! Wa mek wi a heng on pon her frock tail? Shi an di whole a fi her generation dem no cyah if wi live or wi dead. Wi better study wi history.

Jamaica people did a suffer after Emancipation. Wi nuh get nuh land, money, nutten fi mek life. Dem did plan fi work out wi soul case same way pon di plantation dem fi lickle or nutten. Di plantation owner dem get nuff-nuff money fi mek up fi wa dem lose offa wi. An wi no get nutten at all, at all. Ongle bad name seh wi wukless an wi no waan work. Work fi nutten an wi ‘emancipate’?

Nuff pressure drop pon wi inna 1865. Nuh rain nuh fall an dutty tough. By di way, ‘dutty’ a no ‘broken English’ from ‘dirty’. A one good-good word from Ghana. A di Twi language; ‘dutty’ mean ‘ground’. Life so hard, some strong-heart smaddy inna St Ann decide dem mind fi write letter to Queen Victoria an beg her fi gi dem land fi work. Shi deh a England an own nuff-nuff land a Jamaica. Di land sit down deh nah do nutten. Dem all tell her seh dem woulda send food fi her weh dem grow.

ONE WICKED-WICKED LETTER

Queen Victoria send back one wicked-wicked letter. A nuh she write it. A Henry Taylor. Im did work inna di West Indian Department inna di Colonial Office. A same so smaddy inna Queen Elizabeth office write di fool-fool answer to Oprah Winfrey interview wid Meghan an Harry. It nuh matter if a nuh di queen dem directly write wa Buckingham Palace put out. Dem a defend white power same way from generation to generation.

Queen Victoria letter seh dat “the prosperity of the Labouring Classes, as well as of all other Classes, depends, in Jamaica, and in other countries, upon their working for Wages, not uncertainly, or capriciously, but steadily and continuously, at times when their labor is wanted, and for so long as it is wanted; and that if they would use their industry, and thereby render the Plantations productive, they would enable the Planters to pay them higher Wages ... .” A who tell wi seh wi coulda work fi wiself?

Queen Victoria letter mek Jamaica people blood boil. An dem rebel. A she response fi di Morant Bay autoclaps. Soldier kill off more than 400 freedom fighter. Nobody nah go dead sake a wa Buckingham Palace write bout Meghan an Harry interview. But some a di country dem weh Queen Elizabeth a rule a go shake her off. Dem no want her an her governor general fi control dem. A high time Jamaica fire di Queen.

PRAPA-PRAPA SPELIN

Lang taim nou fi wi palitishan dem a se Kwiin a Ingglan nat sopuoz fi bi di ed a Jamieka. A pyuur chat dem a chat. Luk fram wen wi kliems se wi ‘independent’ an Misiz Kwiin stil a ruul wi! Wa mek wi a eng aan pan ar frack tiel? Shi an di uol a fi ar jinarieshan dem no kya if wi liv ar wi ded. Wi beta stodi wi ischri.

Jamieka piipl did a sofa aafta Imansipieshan. Wi no get no lan, moni, notn fi mek laif. Dem did plan fi wok out wi suol kies siem wie pan di plantieshan dem fi likl ar notn. Di plantieshan uona dem get nof-nof moni fi mek op fi wa dem luuz aafa wi. An wi no get notn at aal, at aal. Ongl bad niem se wi woklis an wi no waan wok. Wok fi notn an wi ‘imansipiet’?

Nof presha jrap pan wi ina 1865. No rien no faal an doti tof. Bai di wie, ‘doti’ a no ‘broken English’ fram ‘dirty’. A wan gud-gud word fram Ghana. A di Twi langgwij; ‘doti’ miin ‘grong’. Laif so aad, som chrang-aat smadi ina St Ann disaid dem main fi rait leta tu Kwiin Victoria an beg ar fi gi dem lan fi wok. Shi de a Ingglan an uon nof-nof lan a Jamieka. Di lan sidong de naa du notn. Dem aal tel ar se dem wuda sen fuud fi ar we dem gruo.

WAN WIKID-WIKID LETA

Kwiin Victoria sen bak wan wikid-wikid leta. A no shii rait it. A Henry Taylor. Im did wok ina di West Indian Department ina di Colonial Office. A siem so smadi ina Kwiin Elizabeth afis rait di fuul-fuul ansa tu Oprah Winfrey intavyuu wid Meghan an Harry. It no mata if a no di kwiin dem darekli rait wa Buckingham Palace put out. Dem a difen wait powa siem wie fram jinarieshan tu jinarieshan.

Kwiin Victoria leta se dat “the prosperity of the Labouring Classes, as well as of all other Classes, depends, in Jamaica, and in other countries, upon their working for Wages, not uncertainly, or capriciously, but steadily and continuously, at times when their labour is wanted, and for so long as it is wanted; and that if they would use their industry, and thereby render the Plantations productive, they would enable the Planters to pay them higher Wages ....” A uu tel wi se wi kuda wok fi wiself?

Kwiin Victoria leta mek Jamieika piipl blod bwail. An dem ribel. A shii rispans fi di Morant Bay aataklaps. Solja kil aaf muor dan 400 friidom faita. Nobadi naa go ded siek a wa Buckingham Palace rait bout Meghan an Harry intavyuu. Bot som a di konchri dem Kwiin Elizabeth a ruul a go shiek ar aaf. Dem no waant ar an ar govana jineral fi kanchruol dem. A hai taim Jamieka faiya di Kwiin.

For an English translation, visit carolynjoycooper . wordpress .com

- Carolyn Cooper, PhD, is a specialist on culture and development. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and karokupa@gmail.com.