Paul Bogle and historical memory

In his June 7, 2012 article 'Wrong picture of Paul Bogle?', columnist Devon Dick mentions that he was sent "a February 2012 issue of BET magazine in which the identical picture and pose most Jamaicans identify with National Hero Paul Bogle was ascribed to Thomas L. Jennings".

Bob Marley Reggae Superhero; Lady Saw Dancehall Queen

Bob Nesta Marley is by far the most famous figure Jamaican music has ever produced. Mention Jamaica, and foreigners who scarcely know in which hemisphere the country is located will cry in recognition, 'Bob Marley!' Millions of people the world over know of reggae only because of him, and have never heard of another Jamaican musician. It's a truly unique fame, covering all corners of the Earth, surpassing in universality the adulation accorded to other rock martyrs like Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

Miss Lou: Mother of Jamaican Culture

Louise 'Miss Lou' Bennett is undisputedly the most universally loved personality this nation has ever produced or likely will ever produce, engendering unabashed feelings of pride and affection in Jamaicans of all ages, colours, classes and creeds. For more than 50 years, she tirelessly championed Jamaican folk customs on stage, radio and television. Yet apart from being our most celebrated entertainer, Miss Lou is also the most popular poet in this island's history, outselling all others put together. Her impact on the national psyche was perhaps even more important than her artistic legacy, for she almost single-handedly gave Jamaicans pride in their cultural heritage.

A Cultural Transformation?

We may not be as prosperous or educated or as peaceful as we would like to be, but the recent 'Emancipendence' celebrations once again made all who watched proud to be Jamaican. Many hopes and wishes rose with the black, green and gold flag on August 6, 1962, but who could have dreamed then that this tiny, newborn island would, in 2010, be a world cultural power?

A Collapse into Chaos? The Dancehallisation of Jamaica'

'I am a human being, so nothing human is strange to me' wrote the Roman poet Terence. Obsessive homophobia aside, this pretty much sums up dancehall. And no artiste better conveys its raw uncensored immediacy than Marion 'Lady Saw' Hall, the most important female artiste and most celebrated slackness performer in Jamaica's music history.

Miss Lou, Your Culture Lives On

"Is like mi grandmother dead!" That was the reaction of a friend to the passing of Louise Bennett-Coverley. And it's probably how most Jamaicans feel. Rex Nettleford and Barbara Gloudon are no doubt right that Miss Lou would not wish us to mourn and we should be celebrating her life and legacy. But, when someone who has brought so much joy to so many leaves us, well it's hard not to shed a tear.

Scientific Dncehall

What do dancehall deejay Elephant Man and Nature ­ the world's leading scientific magazine ­ have in common? The answer is Robert Trivers, the world famous biologist who was cited in a special issue of Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest thinkers and scientists of the 20th century. Dr. Trivers has lived on and off in Jamaica since 1967, and once described himself as "Jamaican in my soul or spirit". Recently, he and six other colleagues had a cover story published in Nature called 'Dance reveals symmetry, especially in young men'. It was based on a study done in Jamaica which used Elephant Man's Let Dem Bawl as the base music.

Oh, for a Jamaica Music Day!

THE BOB Marley peace day is a great idea. But it's a pity that the focus is only on Bob, because with all this big Marley hoopla you would think is him alone make reggae and guys like Jimmy and Toots and Peter Tosh and Dennis Brown never existed. Personally, I prefer Tosh to Marley any day. And you ever notice how all you ever hear on the radio is Marley's Island stuff? They hardly play tunes like Small Axe or Nice Time or Trenchtown Rock, which personally I feel is his best song. Is pure Redemption Song and Three Little Birds and One Love.

Death in the Dancehall

"That a the new style weh the whole place a do
Rock Bogle dance from music sweet you
Bogle a run the place night and day
So just rock Bogle dance from your tune a play"


'GOD IS dead', wrote Friedrich Nietzsche in 1882. Sigmund Freud agreed - "The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief."