Thoughts on Bastille Day

July 15th, 2018

In Jamaica, many parties and evening receptions are held outside, with stark shadows and artificial lighting. The annual celebration of Bastille Day (or Quatorze Juillet) on July 14 at the French Embassy is no different. The guests stand stiffly, almost in rows, while speeches are made, their faces turned slightly upwards. Then they begin to […]

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Fathers Are Humans, Too

June 17th, 2018

In Jamaica, there is a tendency towards idealizing specific family roles. On Mother’s Day, we are smothered with roses and pious texts, and reggae singers croon their undying love for their “Mama.” On Father’s Day, it is much less intense. For our own cultural reasons, there is less emphasis on the father, who is often […]

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Not in Kansas Any More

May 30th, 2018

A friend of mine, who lives in much colder climes in Europe, recently expressed anxiety over a brochure that arrived on his doorstep, on how to prepare for crises: an act of terrorism, a natural disaster, a cyber-attack – perhaps, even, a military invasion of some sort. “This is a frightening reality check,” my friend […]

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(Harry and) Meghan: What’s the Fascination?

May 20th, 2018

I spent this morning on my favorite social media platform (Twitter) catching up on the feedback to the #RoyalWedding (alternative hashtag: #HarryandMeghan with a tiny icon of two intertwined wedding rings). As expected, some of it was purely gushing. Others wished the newlyweds well – even if grudgingly so. Some sourly declared their lack of […]

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On “Calling BS” – Shouldn’t We Do It More Often?

May 16th, 2018

Just after the terrible school shootings in Parkland, Florida earlier this year, a young woman named Emma González made a passionate speech, in which she challenged the gun lobby and lawmakers. She described the attitudes and expressions of apathy and inaction by politicians, and their justification of gun ownership and violence, repeatedly punctuating her comments […]

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Why Are Public Displays of National Symbolism Still Important?

February 23rd, 2018

Why do our hearts flutter when we see the Jamaican flag raised? Why do we smile approvingly after a stirring rendition of Jamaica, Land We Love? Why are these rituals still so important? This blog post was actually inspired by another blog post, written by a very special U.S.-based Twitter friend. He wrote on the heels […]

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