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As a Soca lover I took a decision many years ago to abstain from Carnival Sunday in Jamaica. Apart from the fact that I could think of several other ways I’d rather spend hours gyrating “n@ked” and hot – there’s something else – I want Parity.
When I was 6 years old I started my love affair with reggae and dancehall buying my first records “Wha Duh Dem” by Eek-a-Mouse and “Zunguzung” by the great Yellow Man. In my late teens I’d go to Front Line, Super D, Rae Town and STING. If Stone Love and Body Guard were playing, I’d call Olly & we’d find our way to the dance (my poor mother) People were sincere, protective and open; it was where I felt most comfortable.
Many of the problems we face in Jamaica, stem from the maintenance of segregated ideals influenced by misunderstanding & misjudgment of uptown, down town, mid town, round town & “rural town” people. This misjudgment has always bothered me. It’s important to create avenues for dialogue & engagement. It’s the first step toward purposeful social acceptance & justice. In 2012, I introduced the park/shuttle ride from Kings House to the Stadium for Jamaica 50 so the child from Jungle could sit beside & make friends with the child from Beverly Hills.
I ensured there were no sections for VVIP, VIP just People – mingling, loving and celebrating all bunched up together for 6 days enjoying themselves incident free.
Circa Oct.2016, I was aggrieved when SPICE microphone was “nationally cut”. I felt people needed to know her. So I reached out & invited her to come with me.
Until we truly understand & give the same parity to our music on Hope Road, the resentment across class/race will continue to foster humiliation & division among us as people. The time is now for Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Lovers Rock & Dancehall to loudly expose our Jamaican culture for the world to see on streets of Jamaica.
I want every Jamaican to participate even the Pastor to “fling him” foot and “ska ska ska” as Beres belts out “ Pull the vibes that you’re playing ” & SPICE sings her PG rated versions. This would be a big step towards resolving hate, anger & double standards in our country.