I’m blogging today at www.rjrnewsonline.com. Please check it out!
The first 15 years of existence of Jamaicans for Justice have been marked by some very real successes in the area of advocacy and human rights protection. The 1999 beating to death of a mentally ill man, Michael Gayle, by security forces catapulted the then brand-new organisation into the national spotlight, and exposed the horror of state brutality. Read more
The cultural and religious disapproval, and let’s face it, deep distaste many Jamaicans have for homosexual men make it difficult for them to accept that the controversy over discrimination based on sexual orientation is being played out in an international human rights context, but it certainly is.
The gay rights issue is THE civil rights issue of this decade, if not this century, and Jamaica and her neighbours in the Commonwealth Caribbean are right in the middle of a global dispute, given these countries’ retention of laws that criminalise anal sex. Continued here..
This year’s Calabash audience had the rare opportunity of hearing from the immensely talented Jamaica Kincaid – first in an amusing reading from her latest book, and then in a insightful and engaging conversation with Kwame Dawes. The interchange included Kincaid’s description of the impact the Concise Oxford Dictionary had on her, as the only thing she had to read – punishment handed down to her seven-year-old self to copy out pages of “Paradise Lost” – passing comment on letters to the Corinthians from “the constipated Paul” – and her request for a picture of the Calabash audience, which she said included the most black people she had ever seen at a reading, proving that black people do read (and write!)
I was also honoured to have been asked to participate in the celebration of this year’s featured book at Calabash 2014 “Heartland” by Wilson Harris, as one of four readers of selected excerpts. It was the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the book. Thanks to the Calabash crew for a wonderful opportunity!