“Now everybody asking, what we want for dis birthday? Whether we going out to dinner or just to the park and play?”
Philip St Hill.
The Office of the Barbados Consul General in New York has just released a special book of memories of the island’s first 50 years of Independence. Celebrate Barbados is the title.
The Golden Jubilee commemorative journal portrays more than a linear perspective of individual, cultural, social, and political happen stances in New York during the period 1996–2016 in general, and last year’s celebration in particular. It also highlights the impact and growth of education and culture in Barbados and offers differing points of view of an independent Barbados.
In the foreword of the 156-page full color keepsake, Professor Pedro Welch, historian and retired Deputy Principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, in part explains: “One of the identifying marks of nationhood is the growing self-confidence of a people, especially when it comes to the matter of asserting the right to a place in the global community.
He added: “In that context, it might be noted, that such assertion is signaled by something epic, sometimes in music and song, sometimes in the spoken word, sometimes in the written word. Additionally, the assertion of national identity might be portrayed in cultural expressions such as dancing, painting and other artistic expressions. “
Clearly, the brief history of Barbados-born U.S. Congresswoman Shirley Chishlom who was the black woman to run for to run for the US presidency and the tribute to Robin Rihanna Fenty, renowned international music and fashion icon, both demonstrate our global achievement.
However, retired educator Jennifer Sealy and historian Trevor Marshall, in a contribution entitled Dance in Barbados – 21st century and beyond, went further and peeked into the future. “Barbados is in need of its own revolution in dance both at the level of its teaching as a legitimate art form, also in exploring the depth and breadth of the legacy which it has inherited from the various groups which have inhabited our island, particularly Africans.”
On the other hand, Selwyn Cambridge, a marketing brand and digital specialist, in a contribution on Social Media and the Diaspora, argues that social media should be used to connect. Barbadians at home with those abroad.
“Barbados just celebrated its 50th anniversary of Independence and the rich history, diverse stories, and historic events (that helped) bring us to 50 years of independence, is content made for social media, and each and every person in the Diaspora has a piece of that story to share. If you don’t know how to use the platforms, then believe me your children and grand children are fully versed in their use.”
Some of the other articles and contributors include:
· Reflections on Barbadian Immigration to the United States – Professor Calvin Holder
· Errol Walton Barrow and the education of the masses – Dr David Brown, principal of Queen’s College.
· Taisha Carrington and the 50th Anniversary of Independence Monument.
· A brief history and the way forward for popular music in Barbados – Nicholas Brancker.
· Theatre in Barbados; Towards a National Theatre – Cicely Spencer Cross
· The Tent Poles of Kerwin Devonish – Lisa Jones
· Young Bajan Excellence – Toni Thorne
· Sir Conrad Hunte: A Life beyond Cricket – Dr Donna Hunte Cox
· Recover Lost Family History – Sandra Taitt Eaddy
· Actual Innocence – Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix
The Journal also contains messages from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, ministers of Government, Officers of Government in New York and Washington, New York political representatives; profiles of the 2016 Unsung Heroes awardees; History and Quotable Quotes of Errol Walton Barrow; and picture collages featuring the work of photographers Clyde Jones and Winston Wharton.
The Journal was launched to coincide with the recent premiere of the documentary Big City Dreams at the St Francis College in Brooklyn.