Nothing Against Bob Dylan, but wha bout KAMAU?

Kamau Brathwaite
Posted as a comment to another blog by Caleb Pilgrim.

So far, the need to honor Professor Kamau Brathwaite cannot be reasonably or intelligently contested. What, therefore, are the options?

Rename a great Boulevard after Professor Brathwaite as Hal A. suggested.
Rename his alma mater, Harrison College, after him and in his honor. The HC Gentlemen and Gentlewomen could/should prevail upon their Governing Body, to adopt the necessary, relevant resolution to rename HC, beginning at their very next mtg.
Urge the University of the West Indies (UWI), Vice Chancellor Professor Beckles et al, to establish an endowed chair in Kamau’s honor. (Certain insurance companies – the pirates of our day, incorporated under law – in order to launder their reputations might even be encouraged to put in $2.5 m, to guarantee the Chair in Brathwaite’s honor).
Simply, have the GOB seize the property near BGI, by eminent domain, if necessary, just as the Government reportedly seized Mrs. Ram’s property, pay fair market value, and establish the Kamau Brathwaite Cultural Center forthwith.

To my mind, these are all viable options which do not require a lot of long talk. They simply require the necessary “political will”.

Re 4. e.g., any intelligent civil servant could draft and finalize a cabinet paper in a matter of hours, if not less (unless we are bent on perpetrating what Professor Blackman, I believe, once labeled “disguised unemployment”).

However, true to our traditions, ceteris paribus – you know how prolix we are, how after a couple of grogs, and ludicrous and unnecessary chatter, and a fabulous bowl of cou-cou, with salt fish gravy, with some sweet potato on the side, we tumble over like some Rip van Winkle, then sleep walk through serious issues (cf. our esteemed “Lord Nelson”).

Then, we may simply have to wait until the Resurrection. Good luck.


Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement (Barbados)
Kamau Brathwaite

Kamau Brathwaite

So, the American folk/rock musician , Bob Dylan, has been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature — the first time that a song lyricist has won this prestigious international award !

I say well done to Bob Dylan: he is deserving of every accolade that comes his way. In fact , I am one of Dylan’s biggest fans, and regularly  gorge myself on his socially conscious, insightful and poetic compositions, ranging from the anthemic “Blowing In The Wind” of the American civil rights era, through such folk and rock classics as “The Times Are A-Changing” , “Mr Tambourine Man”, “All Along The Watch-Tower” “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” and the list goes on and on.

But, as much as I admire and appreciate the lyrical work of Bob Dylan, I can’t help but note that it pales in significance to the tremendous body of poetry and essays of cultural scholarship that  has been produced by our very own Kamau Brathwaite over a 65 year career of ground-breaking scholarship and artistic creation.

Why hasn’t the 86 year old Kamau Brathwaite– easily the most original and creative poet of the Caribbean and wider Americas region– ever been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature?

Is it because he is too authentically Bajan, Caribbean, African? Is he too Black, too revolutionary, too un-compromising in his views and in his defense of the intrinsic validity and worth of the culture, heritage and humanity of the Bajan/Caribbean/Afro-American/African/Third World peoples?

Several years ago, the Nobel Committee found it possible to award Nobel Prizes in Literature to two English-speaking Caribbean writers– Derek Walcott and V. S. Naipaul. Of course, the latter writer– Naipaul– has devoted much of his career to extolling the alleged virtues of the English and Western European culture and to sneering at and denigrating virtually every non-White civilization, including our Caribbean civilization.

Walcott’s work, on the other hand , has valorized and found universal relevance in our (and his) Caribbean culture and civilization, but has done so without veering too far away from the standard European models, standards and approaches. Unlike Kamau Brathwaite, Walcott has not plunged into a profound exploration and validation of our Nation Language , nor into the capacity of our African based and derived folk culture to generate authentic and valid myths , legends, philosophies, historical arch-types, poetical and literary devises, deities, and creation stories. Nor, for that matter, has he been the excoriating critic of European imperialism and domination that Brathwaite has been!

Thus,so far as the European literary establishment is concerned, Walcott has in all likelihood been a safer and less dangerous cultural warrior and literary iconoclast than Kamau Brathwaite has been AND  CONTINUES  TO  BE.

And so, even though the Nobel Committee may never be able to summon up the integrity and sense of justice that will be required of them if they are to make that fateful decision to award the Nobel Prize in Literature to the profoundly deserving Kamau Brathwaite, we should not let them off so lightly by failing to publicly press the case for Kamau.

I don’t know what the procedure is for nominating a writer for the Nobel Prize, but I think that the time has come for us Caribbean people to do the necessary research and to launch a very public campaign of advocacy in pursuance of a collective people’s demand that Kamau Brathwaite be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

A Tribute to Kamau Brathwaite by David ComissiongThe Quiet Warrior

108 comments

  • David Comissong is WRONG!

    Does he not know that the Nobel prize was set up in honour of a man who made his money providing dynamite during WW1, to several sides of that conflict.

    That that ‘prize’ has previously gone to a large percentage of Jews, per population

    That a third Caribbean received such a ‘dishonour’, Arthur Lewis, another St.Lucian, for trapping Caribbean and African countries into western financial systems, World Bank, IMF. These led to the wall of economic failures in Sub-Sahara African countries and what we in the Caribbean are now starting to see. Promoted underdevelopment for decades.

    The case of Ghana and Lewis’ involvement is particularly troubling.

    That Derek Walcott, and this is not a bad thing, was being ‘urged’ by the Americans, the country in which he then lived, to become an American citizen as a condition precedent. Thankfully he refused.

    Our main point is that we should not seek to define ourselves by these platitude which we know are to serve imperialism, while expecting that our open enemies are to make fair judgments in our favour while they otherwise seek to rule us, culturally.

    The Nobel prize should mean nothing to us or be rightly seen as an institution of empire!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I don’t know what the procedure is for nominating a writer for the Nobel Prize, but I think that the time has come for us Caribbean people to do the necessary research and to launch a very public campaign of advocacy in pursuance of a collective people’s demand that Kamau Brathwaite be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
    +++++++++
    An admission that you don’t know the process is a good start but you should find out and submit your nomination before Kamau departs because the Nobel prize is only awarded to living recipients. Quick! Without having to look it up who won the Nobel prize for literature last year or the year prior, or two years prior. Every year the Nobel committee awards this prize to some obscure individual that no one has ever heard of, who is only recognizable to their immediate family or a small region where they reside, this year at least we can debate whether Dylan is a worthy recipient or not. Personally I like Dylan’s music and his album “The Essential Collection’ is a must have whenever I undertake a long road trip, I also have the Martin Scorsese bio ‘No Direction Home”.

    Dylan may not be very popular on the rock and if you listen to any recent performance he appears to be mumbling but he has made an outsized contribution to North American music, of course he borrowed from some other musical geniuses along the way but who hasn’t? I have long held the view that due to his body of work he should be lauded as the poet laureate of the US.

    About the Nobel, I was fortunate to attend a luncheon honouring two Doctors who spent their careers in research and made some significant discoveries and they used to be nominated every year but were passed over, they have gone to the great beyond so that prize will escape them but the Nobel committee has a myriad of entrants over the years.

    The motto is many are called but few are chosen.

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  • @Pacha

    What indigenous awards do we have that allow our top performers to be recognized globally? Isn’t the rationale by those who dish the Nobel Prize for the recipients to have excelled to a global standard read influence. We are part of a global space not so?

    >

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  • Could not something be offered to those who write shyte on BU daily for five years?
    We could call it it the BULLSHIT PRIZE or the BU RUMSHOP PRIZE

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  • @georgieporgie. Please do not belittle the rumshop.

    Liked by 1 person

  • wILLIAM SKINNER
    QUID DIXI SCRIPSIQUE, DIXI SCRIPSIQUE

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bernard Codrington.

    Has anyone ever forwarded Kamau’s name to the selecting committee of the Nobel Prize. If he has not been nominated his chances of getting one is slim. So Mr Commissiong needs to do his research and follow the procedures. I do not think getting a Nobel prize for literature would improve Kamaus’s reputation . There are somethings you cannot demand and pushing for them diminishes their value.

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  • Bernard Codrington.

    Wuh loss Georgie .You is a Latin scholar too? Don’t you know it is bad manners to speak and write in a foreign language where there is no context to guess your meaning. Just joking!!!!!

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  • BERNARD I HAVE SAID THAT HERE SEVERAL TIMES OVER THE YEARS
    WHAT I HAVE SAID AND WRITTEN, I HAVE SAID AND WRITTEN.

    AFTER 8 YEARS OF STELLAR MEDICAL TEACHING HERE ON BU, I THINK I DESERVE ONE OF THE BU RUM SHOP PRIZES

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  • David pass ’round the hat man and let we collect a little something for Georgie P.

    Since there is an Ignobel prize:

    http://ignobel.com/ig/

    The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, and then THINK. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.
    Every September, in a gala ceremony in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, 1100 splendidly eccentric spectators watch the new winners step forward to accept their Prizes. These are physically handed out by genuinely bemused genuine Nobel Laureates. Thousands more, around the world, watch our live online broadcast.
    CEREMONY: The 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was held on Thursday, September 22, 2016, at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    there is no reason why we cannot have a BU Rumshop prize.

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  • Excellent essay David Comissiong.

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  • I repeat call I first made in one of my Notes From a Native Son – make Kamau Brathwaite Barbados’ Poet Laureate for life. This should be a 50th anniversary objective.

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  • “I don’t know what the procedure is for nominating a writer for the Nobel Prize, but I think that the time has come for us Caribbean people to do the necessary research and to launch a very public campaign of advocacy in pursuance of a collective people’s demand that Kamau Brathwaite be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.”

    There we go again cap in hand on bended knee back to the same slave master people who extoll the alleged virtues of the English and Western European culture and sneer at and denigrate virtually every non-White civilization, including our Caribbean civilization begging them to give we some kinda grammy award -like prize where the basis for selection remains a mystery as Mr Obama among others can testify. Pacha’s words should be instructive to us brassbowls-

    “The Nobel prize should mean nothing to us or be rightly seen as an institution of empire”

    God save the queen.

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  • Don’t we live in a world if we observe an injustice we should rail against it?

    Cap in hand what!

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  • @ David

    We should be more cautious when we, carte blanc, accept foreign standards as the only ones worthy of our best citizens, highest honours.

    And we already know that the Nobel Prize is political, immoral. We are highly disappointed that Comissiong, of all people, would so readily be a lap dog for the same international structures he otherwise challenges, and rightly.

    Even in the absence of standards set by us. Standards with ‘international’ acclaim. We should not recognize western prizes as the holy grail.

    Remember, it was Obama who got the Nobel peace prize and continued to give us 8 years of illegal wars, drone assassinations, killings of foreign leaders, support for terrorism and the brink of a nuclear war.

    We feel the say way about knighthoods and so on.

    Kamau Brathwaite could not possibly be himself if his work was predicated on western acceptance, western domination. But we have a whole list of Caribbean people whose genius would never attract western attention because they did not serve western interests.

    So the real question should be, are we slaves or are we free.

    Yes, and besides Bob Dylan there are many others who have good work. Works worthy of respect and we do. But is that the only or highest basis by which we should define ourselves?

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  • Google+ > > > Calendar > > Web > > more > Sent Mail > [Barbados Underground] Comment: “Nothing Against Bob Dylan, But Wha Bout > KAMAU?” > Bin > David > to comment+zra06rg-ybwzync8k0j132djw4m@comment.wordpress.com > 18 minutes ago > Details > > @Pacha > > A decent comment. If there is a flaw in the rational how the Nobel prize > is awarded we need to press for change. Justice is a universal ideal. And > yes a Caribbean award should have been implemented along time ago. This is > something our regionalists should be vigorously advocating. Then again we > have demonstrated we have no confidence in key regional entities read the > CCJ. >

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  • David

    That is only give the Nobel more prominence.

    It is only a private foundation which has too much power already.

    No!

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  • What about me, Norman Datt, ?
    All poets matter!

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  • charles skeete October 17, 2016 at 4:58 AM #

    There we go again cap in hand on bended knee back to the same slave master people who extoll the alleged virtues of the English and Western European culture and sneer at and denigrate virtually every non-White civilization, including our Caribbean civilization begging them to give we some kinda grammy award -like prize where the basis for selection remains a mystery as Mr Obama among others can testify. Pacha’s words should be instructive to us brassbowls-
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Truer words never spake.

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  • @David Commissiong “I don’t know what the procedure is for nominating a writer for the Nobel Prize.”

    The procedure for nominating someone for the Nobel literature can be found here:

    https://www.nobelprize.org/nomination/literature/

    Nominations to the Nobel Prize in Literature can be made by qualified persons only.

    Qualified Nominators:
    The right to submit proposals for the award of a Nobel Prize in Literature shall, by statute, be enjoyed by:

    Members of the Swedish Academy and of other academies, institutions and societies which are similar to it in construction and purpose;
    Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges;
    Previous Nobel Laureates in Literature;
    Presidents of those societies of authors that are representative of the literary production in their respective countries.

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  • https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/prize_awarder/

    The Swedish Academy is composed of 18 members whose tenure is for life. Known as “De Aderton” (The Eighteen), current members of the Academy include distinguished Swedish writers, linguists, literary scholars, historians and a prominent jurist. Its working body is the Nobel Committee, elected from among its members for a three-year term.

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  • @charles skeete October 17, 2016 at 4:58 AM “There we go again cap in hand on bended knee back to the same slave master…”

    No we don’t.

    I am sure that in Barbados we can find distinguished Bardian writers, linguists, literary scholars, historians and a prominent jurists. We pull toggether an Academy, and they go to work nominating Brathwaite or any other Barbadian writer whom WE think deserves the Nobel.

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  • @charles skeete October 17, 2016 at 4:58 AM “There we go again cap in hand on bended knee back to the same slave master people…”

    And I don’t think that the Swedes had any big role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, or plantation slavery in Barbados.

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  • As I indicated in the Release I would not expect the Nobel Committee to award Kamau– his work is too iconoclastic and un-compromising from their perspective. But I want to challenge them, in order to show up their double standards, or rather their lack of standards, and to embarrass them.

    Of course, I am all in favour of our Caribbean Civilization establishing its own honours and awards and lifting up and recognizing our own. No doubt a few such awards do exist, but not at the level to suggest that we are really serious and really respect ourselves and our outstanding achievers.

    Barbados is so fortunate to be able to claim national “ownership” of the likes of George Lamming , Kamau Brathwaite and Paule Marshall, but we are not making proper use of the tremendous bodies of work that the have tried to bestow upon us. Nor have we ever really given them the acclaim and respect that they deserve.

    DAVID COMISSIONG

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  • David Comissiong. Maybe this is your first and last comment with which i might agree
    Any how well said

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  • “David October 17, 2016 at 5:19 AM #

    Don’t we live in a world if we observe an injustice we should rail against it?

    Cap in hand what!”

    is that the best you can do?

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is not a game of one uppanship to see who can score debating points. To repeat, we are free to establish a regional awa:rd of excellence and at the same time challenge the rationale of any global award. It is called seeking justice. We can agree to disagree.

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  • It is kinda funny how the perception is that our educational system surpasses most in region, and yet two St. Lucians have received the Nobel Prize thus far and no Barbadians have as yet.

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  • Kamau Brathwaite has no monopoly on being iconoclastic

    Being ‘too iconoclastic’ is a contrivance.

    Harold Pinter was given a similar award in 2005, he has been so described, variously

    In art this has to be a key determinant in giving the culture new understandings, meanings, a way forward.

    It must be characterized as an attack on cherished institutions, beliefs systems

    And only people willing to engage the necessary critiques can so be. It is a lonely path.

    While in fact, genius in all fields, must be so imbued.

    So the freshness of Kamua Brathwaite, to the existing systems of domination, is never really seen as a disqualifier

    Instead, from the view of the people awarding the Nobel Prize it is exactly what they want to incorporate, to nullify, to make irrelevant the burgeoning freshness which aims at changing power relationships. And these are why those standards must be avoided.

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  • @ Dompey,
    Not true. We have a Nobel Laureate at the U>W.I. Cave Hill. Our problem is that we do not give enough attention to our own people when they achieve. Check and you will find out.

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  • @Alvin

    Surely you are not claiming Leonard Nurse Nobel prize he received as a member of a panel?

    http://sta.uwi.edu/news/releases/release.asp?id=60 > >

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  • @Caleb

    This blogmaster is reasonably confident a Mia Mottley government will find a way to further recognize Brathwaite. An official funeral is a standard offering in the same way Warwick Franklin, Seymour Nurse et al were recognized in death. It is the start of a process. We should give the government time to identify and pursue options.

    Recently Cicely Spencer-Cross suggested a Kamau Brathwaite Day that would stoke the memory of the man for as long as we exist as Barbadians. The deliberation continues. We shall see what it translates to.

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  • Dr. Brathwaite’s funeral is advertised in today’s Sunday Sun. In the obit nothing is mentioned about an official funeral

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  • The funeral will be help at James Street Methodist Church on Friday, 21 February, 2020 at 10 o’clock in the morning. Interment at Coral Ridge Cemetery. Flowers may be sent to Clyde B. Jones Funeral Home by Thursday 20 February by 6 in the evening; or by 7 in the morning on Friday.

    To express condolences visit: http://www.clydebjonesfuneralhome.com

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  • The late literary icon, The Hon. Kamau Edward Brathwaite, CHB. (BGIS Library)

    The late literary icon, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, CHB will be accorded an Official Funeral on Friday, February 21, at 10:00 a.m. at the James Street Methodist Church. The interment will follow at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens, Christ Church.

    The body will repose for viewing at the Clyde B. Jones Funeral Home on Thursday, February 20, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., and at the church on Friday, February 21, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. The service is open to all members of the public.

    Persons are invited to pay their respects at the service and to sign the condolence books, which will be opened at the viewings. Mr. Brathwaite passed away on February 4, 2020 at the age of 89.

    ian.inniss@barbados.gov.bb

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  • Thanks David.

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  • Pachamama
    October 16, 2016 6:48 PM

    David Comissong is WRONG!
    Does he not know that the Nobel prize was set up in honour of a man who made his money providing dynamite during WW1, to several sides of that conflict.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Alfred Nobel died in 1896, 16 years before WWI started.

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  • But you have a point about the Nobel Prize and its prestige.

    Look who got one for doing absolutely nothing!!

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34277960

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  • Everyone was surprised, including the recipient!!

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  • Shameful. One of our greatest literary icons has lived amongst us for several years. We gave honors to all kinds of nincompoops and now we talking about what could be done for one of the most brilliant sons of the soil. Shameful!!!!!!

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  • @ William

    This blogmaster is reasonably confident a Mia Mottley government will find a way to further recognize Brathwaite. An official funeral is a standard offering in the same way Warwick Franklin, Seymour Nurse et al were recognized in death. It is the start of a process. We should give the government time to identify and pursue options.(Quote)

    Says it all.

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  • @ Caleb

    You must get in to the mind set of the Nobel Committee: Wole Soyinka won the Nobel Prize, but Chinua Achebe did not; Walcott won it, but Brathwaite did not. Naipaul won, not as a Caribbean writer, but as an English writer; the outstanding writer of his generation. Nothing to do with Naipaul’s naked Hindu racism.

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  • What honour was bestowed on Einstein?

    Oh yeah, he got a nobel prize … didn’t he?

    What honor was bestowed on Churchill … indeed what about Hitler, or Stalin or FDR?

    Churchill got one too.

    “The Nobel Prize in Literature 1953 was awarded to Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.””

    I know, there must be some more and they will be on google.

    Point is no one knows what they are or were.

    For example, KB was given the Bussa Award in his life.

    Who actually has one of them?

    Who knew until google there was such a thing and indeed what it was or is or maybe?

    People who deserve recognition and remembrance get it with or without any intervention from man!!

    Their deeds are what merit the recognition or remembrance, they simply made a difference.

    Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the Gate:
    To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his gods” ”

    Horatius been dead a long long time ago and poetry will determine he lives a lot longer.

    Maybe somebody should make up a poem about KB and his exploits?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Did you know Stalin was nominated for the Nobel peace prize not once but twice?

    “Joseph Stalin, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922-1953), was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 and 1948 for his efforts to end World War II.”

    Makes Obama look like a nincompoop.

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  • Black people never stop amazing me!!!

    why do we seek validation from whites?

    why not set up our own award / value system?

    we seem to think that we are only valued when whites say so.

    every day i get disappointed with my people especially with this kind of writing coming from this author

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  • How much of Kamau Brathwaite’s work is available in Barbadian schools?
    How much of it is on the curriculum?
    How many times have it appeared on CXC’s syllabus?

    “wha bout KAMAU?”
    Who??

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  • @ John February 17, 2020 7:45 AM
    “Makes Obama look like a nincompoop.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No more so than Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, the Bushes or even Clinton!
    We were thinking you would have been empathetic with Obama as you are with the peace-loving Quakers since you both share a similar dual racial ancestry.

    You can consult Samuel Galton Jr. for a response.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ F.M. Luder

    Master questions. They go right to the heart of colonisation of the mind. Here is an example: Mandarin is an official language in the new South Africa; Zulu is not. Tells you all you want to know.

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  • @Greene

    Good observation.

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  • @Hal Austin
    Recently, glowing tributes to Kamau Brathwaithe, were featured in the newspapers. There was even one from a former Minister of Education… Too bad hindsight is always better than vision.

    Said former Minister has a vision of every Bajan child speaking Mandarin by 2030.

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  • @ Greene February 17, 2020 8:56 AM

    Want to support you on your ‘surprisingly’ perspicacious observation.

    But why do you think this phenomenon exists mainly among blacks?

    You did previously make reference to its probable source by suggesting that black people must stop worshiping other people’s gods and look towards the source of their black skin for their own guidance and strength and stop being the hewers of wood and drawers of water for other less melanin-enriched races

    We, quite surprisingly, are sharing, on this occasion, the same halo of knowledge devoid of your partisan political penumbra of the yellow and blue spectra of the Bajan rainbow. LOL!!

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  • Green @8:58
    Luder @9:53
    Simple
    Well said.
    Food for thought

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  • @ Hal
    That’s the thinking of the blogmaster. I am not surprised.

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  • @ F.M. Luder

    Nothing surprises me when it coms to Barbados. Maybe Kamau was not world class enough, he did not punch above his weight. By the way, was this former education minister involved in a government that frustrated Kamau’s attempt to build a cultural centre?
    One of the two or three top children’s authors in the UK is Malorie Blackman, the grand daughter of a outstanding old Harrisonian. I often wonder if any of her books are on the curricula in the Caribbean, as they are on UK curricula. We talk about heritage, but would not recognise it if it fell on us.
    Kamau came from the wrong side of town. If he was a MSc from the LSE in political sociology he would have been a star – the president would have changed to constitution to make sure of that.
    Big flourishing speeches, hands flaring, may impress the weak minded. Depth comes from the soul.

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  • If we do not even give him his due here why would we expect them to give him his due? How many people in Barbados actually focus on thought provoking rather than mind numbing culture? Mind numbing culture is pushed more than thought provoking even by the NCF because they know that most people don’t want to think and therefore it is more commercially viable to push bashment soca.

    Years ago people had less education but actually thought more.

    It is time we face ourselves head on as Kamau would have wanted us to do. Then we would not be left “blowing in the wind” but would find our own answers as culture is supposed to do.

    Monuments are fine but the cultural centre named in his honour surrounding the statue would be better. Even better would be a little museum of Caribbean history, literature, film, art etc as a feature of the centre.

    I can see it now! How much would it really cost us and what would be the returns?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Perhaps because of my faulty vision, I am not blinded by the sheer brilliance of former Ministers of Education or their visions and promises of reform. We can only hope that they don’t commission another plaque in his honour.

    Lest I be accused of being overly negative, here’s a suggestion to former and present Ministers of Education:
    Partner with his family, UWI and BCC to adapt some of his work to the big screen.
    Add his name in some way to NIFCA or create a new festival.

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  • Perhaps because of my faulty vision, I am not blinded by the sheer brilliance of former Ministers of Education or their visions and promises of reform. We can only hope that they don’t commission another plaque in his honour.

    Lest I be accused of being overly negative, here’s a suggestion to former and present Ministers of Education:
    Establish a partnership with his family, UWI and BCC to adapt some of his suitable work for screenplay.

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  • fortyacresdsandamule

    What’s in a name ? Plenty of great scientists have passed on long before a nobel prize even existed. People like Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Darwin, Mendelev, and a lot more, are still very accomplished without a nobel prize.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @F.M. Luder

    Maybe Kamau should be given a Chinese name, then he will get respect from our politicians..

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  • Donks Gripe and Josh

    []ac
    October 17, 2016 7:46 PM

    David Comissiong. Maybe this is your first and last comment with which i might agree
    Any how well said[]

    We endorse this comment.

    On Dompey’s missive of two St. Lucians receiving Nobels it is a profound achievement.

    When rigorously scrutinized however there isn’t anything to imply the two laureates were products of extraordinary educational or unique circumstance.

    While not belittling their Nobel accomplishments it lends itself to the theory of an outlier metaphysical fluke.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    No black person has ever won a nobel prize in the sciences. And only three have won for literature. It seems we are only good at peace-making. Please note the prize in Economics is not an original nobel prize. The Economists were jealous of the real scientists, so the Central Bank of Sweden in the 60s decide to create a prize for the discipline in MEMORY of Alfred Noble. Ever since, the economists have referred to their prize has a nobel prize to had prestige to the discipline.

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  • @Hal Austin
    No, not yet, we must try getting RIhanna to perform one of his pieces first. After it generates enough interest and accolades in the international press, politicians will be tripping over each other to be associated with the name Kamau

    Politicians are more accustomed to paying respects, this is what they’ll do at his “Official Funeral” on Friday. Same as they’ve done countless times before. Plenty of photo ops available. That is all that matters.

    I never knew the man personally, but I would be surprised to discover that he cared for such useless pomp and pageantry.

    Like

  • @William

    #deletenegativity

    Like

  • @ Donna,

    It is instructive that, among the many gurus here who have spoken on this topic we have

    1.the customary useless commentary from the MIA (missing in action not Mugabe’s Intimate A.sshole or Most Itinerant Asslicker) Ambassador Come Sing a Song

    2.noticed that bajans (and blacks) are trained to adopt all things white as “we” standards of success

    3.the usual response that when such obsequious behaviour is pointed out to its students, they “double down” with the inane reasoning that “the Nobel Prize, is the de facto standard and norm therefore WE MUST ADOPT IT CAUSE all else is on no account.”

    4.reverted to the poultry “Road naming or festival or another holiday” practice where, 10 years later and nobody doan know who Ermie? HIGHWAY get name afterwards!

    But you alone said this Donna

    “… Mind numbing culture is pushed more than thought provoking even by the NCF because they know that most people don’t want to think and therefore it is more commercially viable to push bashment soca…”

    And this encapsulates the “mind numbing” effect that permeates our thought processes and has resulted in these proposals.

    Some with notable permanence/impact and others of accustomed paucity!

    We are speaking of creating proactive legacies, which perpetuate this “son of the soil” (one who successive governments persecuted in his lifetime, but that is another story)

    what of a Kamau Brathwaite institute of Creative Genius at UWI which would, in addition to the notable proposals above

    1.offer 4 different masters scholarships across 4 disciplines, 2 each, in Arts & literature, Creativity and Innovation.

    2.ironically such would be co-sponsored by the imaginary business community e.g. Sagicorp that might participate and counterpart UK AND US UNIVERSITIES! (by was of creating the counterpart scholarship offering)

    2.let the recipients be pre qualified by 1 year of service in a related agency or organization where they work having been awarded the scholarship in year 3 of their baccalaureate AND MUST GIVE ONE YEAR AFTER THEIR MASTERS (they are to be paid)

    We want KB to be honoured, but we want his memory to live on for beneficiaries BUT WE WANT VALUE TO OUR NATION, FOR THE RESOURCES ALLOCATED TO HIS MEMORY!

    (as long as the value of the exit man hour repayment IS REALIZED IN ACTUAL HOURS TO THE EXIT JOB ATTACHMENT PARTNER, then exit requirements are realized)

    Like

  • Scholarship is fine but will reach only a few people. We need impact and we need it now! Wuking the waist is good exercise but we also need to work our minds. The whole population needs to do so. And the government needs to make it more “sexy” to do so since nowadays that seems to be the only way to attract people.

    Like

  • @ Blogmaster:

    Lost earlier intervention. But, if it has not been already done, should this matter of the appropriate honor/memorial for Dr. Kamau not be included in the Cabinet’s calendar, this coming Thursday, February 20, 2020 in the a.m? So far as I can sense, your readership in the main demands it? I am confident that in your natural generosity, you will use your good offices and advocate accordingly.

    Like

  • @Caleb

    The PM and her surrogates are keen followers of social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @CPikilgrkim

    Have you noticed, in typical Bajan style, the discussion descends in to what kind of recognition is best, whether than first agreeing he should be recognised..

    Like

  • @ Hal:

    Yes; but I have long given up trying to change the world (that is, Barbados). As a dear friend and local historian advised me decades ago: “May be the world is perfect as it is”. Stupidly, I used to think differently. Live in hope. Die in despair.

    Like

  • rather…..

    Like

  • @ Mr Hal Austin

    Hal,

    Some of us are already at the point in our minds that HE MUST BE REWARDED AND RECOGNISED.

    And yes, some of us are already suggesting what the rewards should be and have unwittingly and unintentionally fallen victim to the fact that the first step was not employed

    The mere fact that this article has been launched by the Minister of Disinformation EVIDENCES THAT DEM DOES NOT HAVE A CLUE WHAT TO DO!

    In fact, de ole man might go a step further to say that the Letter from Come Sing a Song was an after thought solicited from de Ambassador after the Pilgrim comment AND BEFORE BEING POSTED HERE!

    Just think about the coincidence of the two items here!

    The question then is

    “Was not Caleb Pilgrim’s blog not enough to generate these 70 comments?”

    Why then append to no value blog from Commissiong?

    Come Sing a Song added nothing unless one seeks to reactivate the MIA Ambassador

    You understand de ole man?

    Like

  • @ Piece
    The man lived ninety years. We failed to honor him in any meaningful way. That is the national embarrassment.
    Your ideas about a meaningful honor are progressive and should be embraced by forward thinking citizens.
    The Duopoly should really be ashamed to even mention the gentleman’s name.They get about here giving all kinds of fancy honors to family friends and political lackeys.We have reached the sorry state where an artiste/ calypsonian/ teacher/ comedian gets a chairmanship of a board and calls that murders be removed from front page coverage. That’s where we are.
    The Duopoly Rules.

    Like

  • @ William
    @Piece

    Kamau is not the first. Remember Mr Emptage, who invented the search engine? Where is his national recognition? How do we encourage young people? Where is his honorary professorship at UWI?
    Of course, Obama’s hit man got his recognition. Has CBC done a profile of Kamau?

    Like

  • Originally posted on October 16, 2016 by David 73 comments

    Like

  • I am truly amazed that I never heard of Mr/ Emptage! What is his fuul name so I can research it. Seems to me such a story would truly inspire other Bajans.

    PS. I thought the fact that we had gone on to what honours should be given meant that we accepted that he should be honoured. I thought taking that for granted was a good thing. But perhaps we should further examine why he should be honoured. Extracts from some of his work would be nice.

    Like

  • > > INTERNET HALL of FAME INNOVATORAlan Emtage

    In 1989, Alan Emtage conceived of and implemented Archie, the world’s first Internet search engine. In doing so, he pioneered many of the techniques used by public search engines today.

    In 1992, Emtage, along with Peter J. Deutsch, founded Bunyip Information Systems, Inc., the world’s first company expressly founded for and dedicated to providing Internet information services. Bunyip distributed a licensed, commercial version of the Archie search engine.

    Emtage, a founding member of the Internet Society, chaired several working groups at the Internet Engineering Task Force, including one which established the standard for Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). He has served on advisory panels for the National Science Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Online Computer Library Center and others.

    Since 1998, he has been a partner at Mediapolis, Inc., a small web development company based in New York City.

    Emtage was awarded a B.S. in Computer Science in 1987 and an M.S. in Computer Science in 1991, both from McGill University in Montréal, Canada.

    Like

  • Impressive indeed! Why don’t we hear more about him?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Up! Up! Up!
    Black heroes raise their people up but upliftment of black people is deemed a radical threat in the human race

    Like

  • Ballad of a Thin Man
    Bob Dylan

    You hand in your ticket and you go watch the geek
    Who immediately walks up to you when he hears you speak
    And says, “How does it feel to be such a freak?”
    And you say, “Impossible!” as he hands you a bone
    And something is happening here but you don’t know what it is
    Do you, Mr. Jones?

    Like

  • Kamau’s ‘official’ funeral is tomorrow (Friday) and Bajans should/must turn out. There should also be a minute’s silence in his memory. We are still waiting to hear the order of service at this ‘official’ funeral. Of course, the president will give the main address. To good an opportunity to give up.
    How about the governor general?

    Like

  • Why not wait until the service is completed before leveling criticism.

    Like

  • Today is the ‘official’ funeral for Kamau Brathwaite. Barbadians should turn out in large numbers to show support.

    Like

  • Why is CBC not streaming Kamau’s ‘official’ funeral?

    Like

  • The funeral is being televised by CBC and at this time Mottley is paying a tribute, (which will obviously provoke the ire of some people).

    Like

  • Voice of Barbados carried a nice tribute yesterday.

    But we are a failed state that does not appreciate our own.

    >

    Like

  • @Hal,
    With silence, we will never be right or wrong.

    We have no way of measuring how a comment prompts others to act; how it modified their behavior or their plans.
    We should continue to make comments, even though time may prove us wrong. At lease we will have the knowledge that in the end, they did what was right.

    It does not matter if you provided the spark or if you were wrong. Scream.

    “I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity.” ― Nadezhda Mandelstam, Hope Against Hope

    Like

  • @ Theo

    Good. I am listening to Gabby.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Not withstanding his personal scholastic achievement and his acomplishments in the literary world acknowledge by some; his contribution to the nation of Barbados escapes me.
    i await the guillotine but i was never a weathercok

    Like

  • You should have attended the tribute held at the UWI Errol Barrow Creative Centre this week that paid tribute to the late Kamau.

    Like

  • Streaming on CBC TV 8

    Liked by 1 person

  • Charles Skeete,

    What do poets do? They make us think. Some of us did.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Hants
    Thanks for the link.

    VERY General comment: It appears to me that we often have to reach the point of near exchange of blows before useful information is tossed into the ring.

    Like

  • It is all in the attitude of people. It is a Bajan condition, we are a failed state.

    Like

  • @Hal,
    This is a test with a response of Yes/No.
    Googling not allowed.
    Have you heard of Audre Lorde??
    Here are some googled quotes from her.

    —xx– .
    It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.

    Your silence will not protect you.

    If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.

    When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.

    Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.

    Revolution is not a onetime event.

    Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat.
    ————————————————-xx—————————————————————
    She is Grenadian. Was not aware of her.
    It seems as if there can only be one at a time.
    It was Maya Angelou
    It is Malcolm X
    It was MLK and now that he is gone, there is a vacuum.

    There can be only one

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yes. She died of cancer a few years ago. Didn’t she have a Caribbean connection? In the English speaking Caribbean it will be the Guyanese Fred D’Guiar.

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Austin, you pressed the issue of a ‘state’ vrs an ‘official’ funeral repeatedly these last several days and I wondered why a man of your knowledge would act to be do facetious rather than clarify what is a simple matter.

    Dr Brathwaite is essentially receiving a ‘state’ funeral based on the pomp and ceremony of his final send off but based on the dictates of protocol (and legalities/statutes, one presumes) it is called an ‘official’ rather than ‘state’ funeral.

    A state funeral as broadly explained can be described as “a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honour people of national significance….Generally, [one is] held in order to involve the general public in a national day of mourning [and to] generate mass publicity from both national and global media outlets.”

    By that simple measure this is a state funeral. However, it isn’t so called because the term state funeral is actually OFFICIAL terminology for a funeral event accorded principally for Heads of State (honorific or elected) where proclamations are given in HofA and all that sorta thing.

    So the renowned brother has been given a full (lower case) official funeral which has all the ‘sound and fury’ of a state funeral (and the nation picking up the costs, np doubt) but without that OFFICIAL ‘State’ label.

    Quite SIMPLE (where r u 🤣) , really?

    Both David Thompson and another very well known, widely respected young man Stephen Alleyne were accorded major public funeral ceremonies at Kensington. Both events were treated to comprehensive assistance from the govt of the day and attended by the PM, GG, cabinet officers etc and both events were almost a national day of mourning…. but, only Thompson’s funeral was labelled a ‘state’ funeral: the last such to date I believe!

    Thus, no need for this too deep intrigue on simple issues.

    Like

  • @ Hants

    I got it, thus the reference to Gabby. Thanks.

    Like

  • @ Pedantic

    I did not press anything. I asked what was an official funeral and Quaker John posited that it was a state funeral. I asked the question, not pressed anything.
    This is not the first time I have asked a question and you questioned my motives. I know there is no such thing as a question in Bajan English. I asked because I did not know. Do you? How does it differ from a state funeral? Don’t patronage me with nonsense about knowledge.

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Austin, why is it patronizing to give the expectation of ‘knowledge’ to an experienced, well read person!

    You never cease to amaze.

    I explained with a detailed quotation and then with a clear example that anyone who paid attention to Bajan affairs is last 15 or so years should understand.

    YET, you ASK again how these two things differ.

    Senor, there are questions and then there is Hal’s supposition that he can play smarypants repeatedly on BU.

    Remember bro a breach of commonsense may no longer get one a caning for the folly but it still looks like yah playing de fool.

    Like

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