Jamaican ska singer Millie Small, RIP


This music video is called Millie Small – My boy lollipop.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Jamaican singer Millie Small, who had a worldwide hit with the ska song My Boy Lollipop, passed away at the age of 73. She was the first singer from Jamaica to sell millions of records abroad in the 1960s and was one of the founders of the ska genre.

Small recorded the song in a studio in London in 1964. …

The song was in the Netherlands for two weeks in the VARA Time for Teenagers TV show Top 10 and reached a top 3 position in the charts in the US, the UK, Norway and Ireland. In the US, the song was in the lists between greats such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. …

“It was the first ska song to break through worldwide, and the influence is still visible today,” said Millie Small in a book about the origin of ska. … “One thing is certain: it has opened the doors to all Jamaican artists who came afterwards.”

Jamaican women’s football World Cup, first time


This 13 May 2019 video says about itself:

The Reggae Girlz: How Bob Marley‘s daughter helped Jamaica reach the Women’s World Cup | ESPN FC

Alexis Nunes and ESPN bring the story of how Cedella Marley, Bob Marley’s eldest daughter, rescued the Jamaica Women’s football team from financial turmoil and put them on the path towards qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. The Reggae Girlz, thanks to their famous benefactor and an influx of talent from the Jamaican diaspora, made history in 2018 by becoming the first ever Caribbean nation to qualify for the tournament.

The World Cup tournament will start on 7 June, with hosts France playing South Korea.

Jamaica will play its first match on 9 May, against Brazil.

The Jamaican national team is ranked at #53 by FIFA. So, it would surprise many people if they would go far in France against all other teams ranked higher by FIFA. Still, as they say, ‘in football, the ball is round’, and can go anywhere. There have been many surprises in football before.

This 8 May 2019 video says about itself:

Meet the members of the Jamaica Senior Reggae Girlz Team

The Senior Reggae Girlz are on a mission to bring Jamaica to the world!

This video says about itself:

Jamaica Senior Reggae Girlz 3-1 Panama | International Friendly | May 19, 2019

The #ReggaeGirlz said their final farewell to Jamaica before their debut appearance in the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France with an AWESOME victory defeating Panama 3-1 at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

This video is called TVJ News: Major Glitch in Reggae Girlz Travelling Arrangements [to Europe] – May 25 2019.

Reggae music on global heritage list


This 29 November 2018 video says about itself:

Unesco adds Reggae Music to global heritage List – Special mention to Rototom Sunsplash

We are very proud to see our special mention during the Unesco session about the global cultural heritage of Reggae Music! One love and long life to reggae music!

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Reggae has been added to the Unesco list of intangible world heritage. According to the UN organization reggae music once gave a voice to the oppressed class of society, “but now it is played and loved by many people in society, regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion”.

When the decision was made at a UN meeting in Mauritius, the Jamaican delegation sang Bob Marley‘s One love. “This is the heart and soul of my country”, the head of the delegation responded. “Reggae is no longer ours alone, it belongs to the whole world now.”

Reggae originated in Jamaica in the 1960s, where African, American and Caribbean influences came together. For the inhabitants of, for example, the capital Kingston, it was a way to express themselves, social criticism and express their faith.

In the years that followed, the music spread all over the world through the big Jamaican community in Britain. Musicians like Peter Tosh, Desmond Dekker and of course Bob Marley broke through internationally.

At the meeting in Mauritius, which lasts until December 1, more than twenty traditions worldwide have been added to the list, such as the Irish ball sport hurling, Austrian avalanche prevention and the Cuban Parrandas party.

Noteworthy is the addition of traditional Korean wrestling to the list; it is the first time that North and South Korea submitted a proposal together. Ssireum (written as ssirum in the north) is a popular pastime in both countries.

The joint application was made possible by the rapprochement that the South Korean president Moon was looking for with the north in recent times.

Beer and paper

The list of intangible heritage is intended to protect traditional crafts, social customs and arts worldwide. Among the 508 traditions from 121 countries, since 2008, for example, the Belgian beer culture, the Day of the Dead in Mexico and Chinese paper-cut. …

In Mauritius, the emergency bell sounded about seven traditions that are threatened with extinction. For example, the Syrian shadow play threatens to disappear due to the civil war and more modern entertainment, there is less and less room for the Maasai’s transition rites in East Africa and traditional Pakistani astronomy suffers from digital alternatives.

Jamaica’s extinct monkeys, new research


Xenothrix, 1952 reconstruction

From the Zoological Society of London:

Primates of the Caribbean: Ancient DNA reveals history of mystery monkey

Weird evolution revealed in now-extinct monkey which inhabited Jamaica until a few hundred years ago

November 12, 2018

Analysis of ancient DNA of a mysterious extinct monkey named Xenothrix — which displays bizarre body characteristics very different to any living monkey — has revealed that it was in fact most closely related to South America’s titi monkeys (Callicebinae). Having made their way overwater to Jamaica, probably on floating vegetation, their bones reveal they subsequently underwent remarkable evolutionary change.

The research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (12 November 2018) and carried out by a team of experts from international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), London’s Natural History Museum (NHM), and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, also reveals that monkeys must have colonised the Caribbean islands more than once. The study reports an incredible discovery of how the unusual ecology of islands can dramatically influence animal evolution.

Xenothrix, unlike any other monkey in the world, was a slow-moving tree-dweller with relatively few teeth, and leg bones somewhat like a rodent’s. Its unusual appearance has made it difficult for scientists to work out what it was related to and how it evolved. However, the scientific team have successfully extracted the first ever ancient DNA from an extinct Caribbean primate — uncovered from bones excavated in a Jamaican cave and providing important new evolutionary insights.

Professor Samuel Turvey from ZSL, a co-author on the paper, said: “This new understanding of the evolutionary history of Xenothrix shows that evolution can take unexpected paths when animals colonise islands and are exposed to new environments. However, the extinction of Xenothrix, which evolved on an island without any native mammal predators, highlights the great vulnerability of unique island biodiversity in the face of human impacts.”

Professor Ian Barnes, whom runs the NHM’s ancient DNA lab, and co-author said: “Recovering DNA from the bones of extinct animals has become increasingly commonplace in the last few years. However, it’s still difficult with tropical specimens, where the temperature and humidity destroy DNA very quickly. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to extract DNA from these samples and resolve the complex history of the primates of the Caribbean.”

It is likely that Xenothrix’s ancestors colonised Jamaica from South America around 11 million years ago, probably after being stranded on natural rafts of vegetation that were washed out of the mouths of large South American rivers. Many other animals, such as large rodents called hutias (Capromyidae) that still survive on some Caribbean islands today, probably colonised the region in the same way.

Ross MacPhee of the American Museum of Natural History’s Mammalogy Department, a co-author of the study, said: “Ancient DNA indicates that the Jamaican monkey is really just a titi monkey with some unusual morphological features, not a wholly distinct branch of New World monkey. Evolution can act in unexpected ways in island environments, producing miniature elephants, gigantic birds, and sloth-like primates. Such examples put a very different spin on the old cliché that ‘anatomy is destiny.'”

What Xenothrix may have looked like has been greatly debated, with suggestions that it looked like a kinkajou (Potos) or a night monkey (Aotus). Living titi monkeys are small tree-dwelling monkeys found across tropical South America, with long soft red, brown, grey or black fur. They are active during the day, extremely territorial and vocal, and live up to 12 years in the wild, with the father often caring for the young.

Though the Galapagos Islands are famous for inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, the islands of the Caribbean have also been home to some of the most unusual and mysterious species to have ever evolved. However, the Caribbean has also experienced the world’s highest rate of mammal extinction since the end of the last ice age glaciation, likely caused by hunting and habitat loss by humans, and predation by invasive mammals brought by early settlers.

Usain Bolt, other Jamaicans, arrive at Rio Olympics


This video from Brazil says about itself:

28 July2016

Usain Bolt and his Jamaican teammates arriving at 2016 Olympic village in Rio.

SENATORS JOIN FIGHT FOR EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN’S SOCCER STARS “Two U.S. senators on Wednesday renewed their efforts to scrutinize why players on the U.S. women’s national soccer team earn less than their male counterparts, just hours before the USWNT begins its run at a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal.” [HuffPost]

London police ban Jamaican music


This music video is called Dancehall Mix 2020 | The Best of Dancehall 2020 by OSOCITY.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

‘Bashment ban’ sparks racial profiling claims

Saturday 12th March 2016

POLICE were accused yesterday of racial profiling after they threatened to close down a nightclub in Croydon for playing a form of Jamaican music, writes Bethany Rielly.

Dice Bar owner Roy Seda said that the police imposed a ban on his club playing bashment, otherwise known as dancehall, on the grounds that it is an “unacceptable” form of music and linked to crime and disorder.

Mr Seda has even been forced to draw up contracts for DJs promising not to play bashment.

Croydon Black and Ethnic Minority Forum chief executive Nero Ughwujabo accused the police of racial profiling for singling out Jamaican music in particular.

“The borough commander must explain what intelligence is underpinning these assumptions instead of giving the impression a sizeable proportion of the population are not welcome in the town centre,” she told local paper the Croydon Advertiser.

Borough commander Andy Tarrant has previously denied that such a policy exists.

Police allegedly trying to control music in London club. Croydon police have been accused of racial profiling after reportedly preventing a nightclub from playing bashment music: here.

Some criminals like classical music. Some criminals like country and western music. Correctly, no one talks about banning these musical styles because of that.

It reminds me of British rock band Babyshambles. Their concerts were banned by police for having both slow and fast parts in their music; like Mozart, Beethoven, Bach etc. already used to have.

Jamaican Grassroots singer’s support song for Bernie Sanders


JSC: Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba

jamaican-flag

Jamaican Grassroots singer’s support song 
for  Bernie Sanders

elad.jpg Elad

Political revolution

Political revolution
Elad in the building
Jamaicans supporting, Bernie Sanders

Ah sey what we need is a political revolution. yeah
Cause we tired a the greed from corrupted politicians
Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
So let’s plant some seeds of justice and liberation

Tell me how it is that the minority
Have all the wealth an a starve the majority
Well to me that’s a foolish policy
Nah serve no good purpose to humanity
Too much people a sink ina poverty
Pulled down by unemployment’s gravity
Tonight ah won’t be sleeping happily
Cause tomorrow injustice might be after me

Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
Cause we tired a the greed from corrupted politicians
Ah sey what we need is a political revolution, yeah
So let’s plant some seeds of…

View original post 441 more words

Jamaican prize-winning novel on Bob Marley, review


This music video, recorded in Germany, is called Bob Marley – Live In Rockpalast, Dortmund (Full Concert) – 1980.

By Karl Dallas in Britain:

Monumental musings on mayhem and Marley

Tuesday 10th November 2015

KARL DALLAS recommends this year’s Man Booker prizewinner, set in Jamaica from the turbulent 1970s onwards

A Brief History of 7 Killings
by Marlon James
(Riverhead Books, £8.99)

WINNER of this year’s Man Booker prize, this long story of over 700 pages centres on the attempted assassination of reggae singer Bob Marley in 1976.

It’s a monumental and multifaceted achievement even though, because much of it is in Jamaican patois, it is not an easy read.

And, because of its depiction of the lower depths of Jamaican society, it’s unlikely to obtain the endorsement of the Jamaican tourist board.

The genesis of the author’s third book began in some confusion. In a note at the end he writes of its conception: “I had a narrative, even a few pages, but still not quite a novel. The problem was that I couldn’t tell whose story it was.

“Draft after draft, page after page, character after character, and still no through line, no narrative spine, nothing.”

A colleague suggested that he turn those fragments into a multivoiced narrative. “I had a novel, and it was right in front of me all that time. Half-formed and fully formed characters, scenes out of place, hundreds of pages that needed sequence and purpose.

“A novel that would be driven only by voice.”

Supposedly, it took the Man Booker judges just two hours’ discussion before they unanimously gave James the award but it’ll take readers many hours more, if not days and weeks more, to reach their own verdict.

This is a big book, not only in length but in depth also.

Reading it, I was reminded many times of the nightmare “Nighttime” dream sequence in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Like that book, its strength is its basis in reality. But while Joyce concentrated the focus of his work on a single Dublin day, Marlon James’s narrative begins in 1976 and ends in 1991, shifting from one ghetto to another and from Kingston, Jamaica to Miami and New York.

It’s not something you can read just once and leave to gather dust on your bookshelves. I guarantee that, if you are prepared to put the work in, it will repay repeated readings in the years to come.

The author doesn’t make things easy, though.

Although he provides a list of the 70-odd — some very odd — characters at the beginning of the book, his hero-victim is referred to only as the Singer, although a Rolling Stone journalist says at one stage: “I should head back to Marley’s house tomorrow. I mean, I had an appointment. Like that means anything in Jamaica.”

The various ghettos are given new names. Kingston’s Tivoli Gardens becomes Copenhagen, which loses the irony of the original name for what one local newspaper has described as the worst slum in the Caribbean, where “three communal standpipes and two public bathrooms served a population of well over 5,000 people.”

If the book has anything like a central character, it would be Josey Wales — in real life, many Jamaicans have adopted names from US films. Robert Brammer became Clint Eastwood. Shotta Sherrif/Roland Palmer, don of the Eight Lanes, takes his name from Marley’s “I shot the sheriff” and the term becomes a generic description of ghetto killers.

“Me stun like little boy when him first see a dead shotta,” says one character.

Wales is obviously based on the real-life Lester Coke, the former Tivoli posse drugs boss, whose death in a crack-house fire is the climax of James’s story.

The book could do with a patois glossary and one advantage of reading the Kindle edition is that if you select a word you don’t understand you can sometimes, though not always, be given an explanation.

One thing that jarred with me was the frequent obscenities. I have interviewed many Jamaican musicians, including Marley, but none of them peppered their speech with terms like “pussyhole,” which appears over 100 times in the text.

Though few of the characters could be said to be models of spiritual perfection, most of them are in fact deeply religious and not just the comparatively few Rastafarians depicted within the book.

Before he is ousted as Copenhagen “don” by the Wales/Coke character, Papa-Lo muses: “The world now feeling like the seven seals breaking one after the other. Hataclaps or ill feeling, something in the air.”

Hataclaps means “apocalypse” and the reference is to the last book in the Bible, the trippy Revelation of St John the Evangelist.

As the CIA Jamaica chief says, the situation there was “like Cuba in 1959, only worse because this was all religious.”

Cameron wants money for Jamaican prison, not for slavery reparations


This music video says about itself:

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Slave Driver [Live at Harvard Stadium/Amandla Festival]

Amandla–Festival of Unity—was a world music festival held at Harvard Stadium in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 21, 1979. The goals of the concert were to support and celebrate the liberation of Southern Africa as well as the on-going efforts of people in Boston to end racism in their families, schools, workplaces and communities.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Cameron vows to blow 25m on jail in Jamaica

Thursday 1st October 2015

Huge facility would take inmates repatriated after being convicted in Britain

MORE than 300 Jamaican criminals in British prisons will be sent away after David Cameron pledged £25 million of foreign aid yesterday to build a huge jail on the Caribbean island.

The Tory PM claims that the prison transfer agreement will save taxpayers around £10m a year, despite being paid for by funds set aside to help poor countries in need.

Prisoners sentenced to more than four years and with at least 18 months left to serve would be flown out from 2020 as the first cohort to be locked up in a new 1,500-bed facility.

Shadow international development secretary Diane Abbott criticised the deal as misguided, “wrong in principle” and a “superficial public relations initiative.”

The MP, who has Jamaican-born parents, added: “I do not believe aid money should be spent on building prisons merely as an adjunct to the British criminal justice system.

“If David Cameron is really interested in seeing a decrease in the levels of criminality in Jamaica, he should be investing more in education projects and helping to promote local agriculture and manufacturing, which would provide legal employment for young Jamaicans.

“As it is, catastrophic economic conditions and the absence of employment opportunities force too many Jamaicans down the road of criminality.”

Jamaican officials pressed multimillionaire Mr Cameron, whose slave-owning family received compensation when slavery was abolished in 1834, to consider making national reparations and apologise to Caribbean countries for Britain’s role in the slave trade.

But he refused to apologise and instead promised the prison deal as part of a £200m plan to “reinvigorate” ties with the island by letting British firms bid for contracts to build roads, ports and bridges.

Britain also has prisoner transfer agreements with Albania, Nigeria, Somaliland, Rwanda and Libya.

David Cameron in Jamaica once again made much of so-called abolition of slavery, ignoring Britain’s central place in atrocities: here.

London: Why has a memorial to slaves quietly been dropped? David Olusoga. For 13 years, Memorial 2007 has been raising money for the project in Hyde Park rose gardens, but the government has refused to help: here.