Getting the word out…

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After weeks of bated breaths and pines for her return, the ‘Fluffy Diva’ Khadine ‘Ms. Kitty’ Hylton will be back on afternoon radio on July 1. The effervescent radio/TV personality will return to Nationwide 90FM weekdays from 2pm-5pm with her show ‘Ms. Kitty Live’.

CEO of Nationwide 90FM Cliff Hughes highlights that Ms. Kitty “is returning home to welcoming and open arms as she will be an asset to the broadcasting industry and specifically the afternoon time slot”. Mr. Hughes says Ms. Kitty’s return to Nationwide 90FM in the 2-5pm slot “virtually completes the revamping of the station from 6am-2am and signals a repositioning of Nationwide 90FM in response to the changes in the radio landscape and wider economy”.

Ms. Kitty’s return not only promises to

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The Caribbean Airlines FLIGHT BW523 with 154 passengers after its crash land.

A report by the CMC News Team noted that Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy said most of the injured were treated at the Diamond Diagnostic Hospital before being taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.

It is understood that the FLIGHT BW523 accident which had earlier connected from New York to Florida to Port of Spain occurred around 1:25 a.m (local time) Saturday. This is after the flight was after a delay from its originally 9:45 p.m Friday due time to arrive in Guyana.

Most of the passengers fled the wrecked plane without their luggage.

The Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Transport Devant Maharaj and CAL officials were scheduled to host a news conference this morning at 8:00 am (local time).

Source: Jamaica Gleaner



The following is a story submitted by Dexter Communications Inc US Correspondent.

Jamaican-born Fashion Designer JOHNPAUL PIERRE showcased his Fall 2011 Collection to a packed Manhattan exclusive venue last night, rocking New York with “BOLD IN AFRICA”.

After showing in Philadelphia and Los Angeles California, BRAATA PRODUCTIONS believed it was New York’s turn to experience this undoubted young talent who proved to the packed venue that JOHNPAUL PIERRE is indeed “timeless, fresh and innovative”.

Shades of Africa ignited the room with some of New York’s elite models. The designer showcased 13 out of his possible 17 pieces, as 4 of his Fall creations are already booked for international recording artistes and New York business executives, thus could not be put on the run way.

When asked about the inspiration behind the collection, JOHNPAUL PIERRE said, “I am inspired by all women, and Africa being dubbed the “Motherland”, I felt the need to zoom in on that aspect of my creativity, using African fabric and African inspired cuts; what has transpired here tonight is a manifestation of my hard work, the work of my entire production team, meetings and consultations across the United States and tapping into my global contacts”.

This “Wine and Cheese” event brought AFRICA to the West in a very BOLD way, as JOHNPAUL PIERRE experimented with the use of elastic to ably hug every curve of each model, hence each creation was like gowns painted on a flawless frame – any frame.

BOLD in AFRICA was complimented by new designer, Natalie Woods, this being her first showing was very impressive. The entire event did not have one lull moment, high energy interspersed with excitement from start to finish, as music and visual art got married to fashion. The event featured Visual artiste Howard Hamilton and Fly Focus Photography by Qas. HBO Def Jam Poet “RIVA” had the venue glued to her every word and performances from Mario Evon, Smax, Nikki Njoi, Freddie Cosmo and World Championship of the Performing Arts Gold Medalist Andrew Clarke had the audience in a boldly rocking to every beat.

In a Press Release from the Directors of BRAATA PRODUCTIONS, the company highlighted its commitment to the arts and its unwavering support for upcoming artistes, hence such talent being exposed at the BOLD in AFRICA event.

Internationally acclaimed stylist, make-up artiste and video director Dexter “3D” Pottinger who flew in from Jamaica for the show, Karl Williams, Jamaican-born Actor, along with noted Philanthropist and Entrepreneur/Journalist Lawman Lynch, were among the many celebrities in the audience; both of whom gave the show an “A” grade, articulating the fact that the world of fashion is now the play ground for JOHNPAUL PIERRE.

“A night of Fashion”, showcasing “BOLD IN AFRICA” was hosted by Andrew Clarke who is a recipient of the Prime Minister Youth in Excellence Award (Jamaica) and was a BRAATA PRODUCTION and JOHNPAUL PIERRE Production.



Fast rising reggae crooner and Danger Zone artiste Hezron is set to debut the video for his latest single Forever and Always on CVM’s hit show On Stage this Saturday.

The song Forever and Always was produced by Courtney Johnson of Whatage Music on the Jahness Riddim. According to Johnson Forever and Always has been doing very well internationally and is now being rotated on Choice FM and Vibes FM in London as well as WWUH 91.3 FM, Busy Radio and WRTC FM in Connecticut. The . The song has also been picked up by stations in New York, Florida and California.

Johnson says Whatage Music decided to do a video for the song because: “We believe in the song based on the message which is love and we really believe in Hezron as we know he has excellent potential. The song is playing on most local radio stations as well as stations in the UK, Europe, America and the Caribbean; as such we thought a video would be a good follow-up”.

Forever and Always was shot by noted video director Asha for Far Eye Films just two weeks ago in Kingston and Manchester. Asha says the song is a love story which chronicles the relationship between two persons who are having issues in their relationship and the video mirrors that message. He also believes the video will be popular among Hezron’s fans and says: “I really rate Hezron as a performer and I think  this year is his year, he is a true professional. I worked with him on his first video a few years ago and I realised his potential. This is his fourth video with me and I really think his work ethic and his talent as a writer and singer made this video one of if not his best.

Forever and Always the video, features a star studded cast including renowned stage performer Camille ‘Diana’ Davis who is known for her roles on stage in plays such as love Game, Diana and Easy Street and Garnet silks two daughters playing various roles.

Hezron says he is very pleased with the outcome of the video and sees it as the next step is his growing career. The artiste proclaims that he is dedicating it to his fans who have stuck with him thoughout the years: “I feel it’s one of my best videos and Camille Davis played a big role in making it a success. The video is definitely a plus for the song and compliments it well. The story line was really good and fulfils the initial plan that I had. This video is dedicated to my fans who have been with me over the years through ups and downs and I know they will like it”.

The video for Forever and Always will Premiere on CVM’s On Stage this Saturday January 15 at 9pm. The show will also feature an interview with Hezron where he will tell Jamaica whats the next step in his career.

 



Author: Anthony N. Morgan
B.C.L./LL.B. Candidate Class of 2011
McGill University, Faculty of Law
GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Ambassador

As this is being written, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit is taking place in New York. This global gathering will include the heads of government and representatives of developed states, many of whom will reaffirm their countries’ commitment to the Millennium Development Goals which aim to sharply reduce poverty, increase global equality and provide greater protection for the environment.

Despite the fact that the Caribbean is well represented at this global forum, and that some Caribbean leaders are even scheduled to speak at the event, there’s a cold hard truth that Caribbean people at home and abroad must not forget: As long as our Caribbean sun stays hot, our waters stay blue and our beaches remain a pristinely beautiful getaway for western tourists, none of the big players on the international stage have any real incentive to do much to serve the well-being of Caribbean people.

The fact remains that there are persistent and fundamental flaws in the United Nations system which make it so that the fanciful speeches, proclamations, pledges and declarations that will no doubt come out of this global gathering, will not have the benefit of legal enforceability. Though these pronouncements will garner celebratory media attention and self-congratulatory back=patting among developed states, there is no court or official structures that we can go to to force these states to honour these or any of their other anti-poverty and pro-development pledges. This is an important fact that explains why we have heard so many well-meaning, sweetly-sounding statements come out of the UN, but have seen very little progress in the amelioration of conditions in the developing world, especially in the Caribbean.

So how do Caribbean people make these international forums really work for us? How do we get the governments of the developed world to fully live up to the promises they’ve made to helping our Caribbean states (as developing countries) alleviate poverty by increasing the health, wealth and well-being of our people?

My suggestion is that Caribbean Diaspora people facilitate greater connections with our people at home so that the Caribbean Diaspora can engage in organized, active and effective diaspora diplomacy.

So what is diaspora diplomacy? Generally speaking, diaspora diplomacy in the case of the Caribbean would entail Caribbean diaspora populations in the US, UK and Canada officially coming together in their respective countries and lobbying their governments on issues that affect Caribbean development. The aim of this would be to make these developed states engage in policies and practices that are more favourable to Caribbean countries.

Now skeptics may ask: “why in the world would the US, UK or Canadian government listen to us?”. The answer is, unlike when we first arrived in these countries en mass, a significant number of us are now citizens of these states and/or have the power to vote. Though we form numerous communities in varied places in the US, UK and Canada, we are still relatively concentrated in these communities (think New York, Miami, Toronto, Montreal, London and Birmingham).Thus, with the appropriate initiative, will and vision, we can form effective voting blocs which politicians in our areas would be greatly inclined to pay attention to if they’re interested in being re-elected.

Whether it be fairer terms of trade, debt cancellation, disaster relief or more technology transfers for the purpose of building green economies, the Caribbean Diaspora, if strategic and properly organized, could demand that their diaspora governments provide Caribbean states with this support. Diaspora diplomacy, then, would mean collectively making it known that Caribbean Diaspora people will not vote for representatives who do not demonstrate a serious interest in the advancement of the Caribbean.

Before we can evolve to the position of forming these voting blocs and engage in diaspora diplomacy, there are four crucial things that the Caribbean Diaspora must first do, lest our efforts come to naught: 1) Overcome the ‘immigrant mentality’; 2) Organize under a ‘One Caribbean’ banner; 3) Start taking a greater and interest in finding out how US, UK and Canadian government policies and positions are affecting the Caribbean and; 4) Engage in more active and permanent forms of communication with Caribbean people still living in the region.

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1.       Overcoming the “immigrant mentality”.

When Caribbean people first arrived en mass in the US, UK and Canada during the 40s, 50s and 60s, we faced the insecurity of being Black immigrants in times when racism and anti-immigrant sentiments brewed much more blatantly and violently than we are used to seeing today. Thus, we did not only fear having to face mental, emotional and physical abuse (from other immigrants and non-immigrants alike), but also had the fear of possibly being sent back to the islands if we made too much of a fuss or drew too much attention to our hardships.

This ultimately led the people of the Caribbean Diaspora to develop a habit of silent suffering and teaching future generations to just take things as they are (as unjust as they may be at times), and avoid “troubling” the government to make changes that would better our lives in these new places. Added to this, we were taught and often believed that we had arrived to the promise land and so would be fools to do anything that might somehow get us deported. Thus, we started a practice of vilifying any one of our diaspora members who pushed too hard for change, dismissing and decrying them as “trouble-makers” and “radicals”.

But today, things are very different. Open racism is no longer acceptable and is condemned in our diaspora countries. Moreover, we are certainly not the “immigrants” we once were. Now we have children, grand-children and even great grand-children who are full citizens with full rights of public participation and equal voting power. Collectively, however, the Caribbean Diaspora is yet to mentally mature into embracing this reality.

We remain hesitant and timid when it comes to making forceful and pointed demands of our governments and become overly deferential and uncritical (often to the point of appearing ridiculous) when a politician attends one of our community events. At the heart of this is a lingering fear that the immigrant mentality brings. Today, the immigrant mentality fear is most present in the sentiments that we should not openly and forcefully criticize or make demands of our politicians because, “they will cut our funding…”.

We need to crush this spirit and mentality of dependence, especially where it interferes with our aims to help our home-countries. We are no longer simply, “tolerated immigrants”, we are now woven into the fabric of our diaspora countries. As such, I encourage Caribbean Diaspora people to rise up wherever we are, take our place as equal citizens and demand that our diaspora governments adopt foreign policy that is more advantageous to Caribbean countries. Now that we’re citizens (most of us), if we make too much noise, there’s no place they can send us. We’re already home!

2.       Organizing under the banner of “One Caribbean”.

A dying generation of Caribbean Diaspora people think that it is still best that we continue to organize and mobilize exclusively under our national identities. As the logic goes, by way of example, only once Jamaicans have successfully helped Jamaica, can Jamaicans meaningfully partner with Haitians, Trinidadians, St. Lucians, etc. in aid of their respective countries. This mental filth still clutters the minds of Caribbean Diaspora people who are yet to mentally emancipate past these slave and colonial mentalities.

We should not subscribe to the thinking that says “if Europe is doing it, it must be good and right”. However, if the counties of Europe can wake up to the fact that their individual positions on the world stage are greatly imperilled unless they form a strong partnership (the European Union), the Caribbean Diaspora must also realize that Caribbean people organizing solely along national lines will only amount to us perpetuating problems, where by the year 2020, we will all agree that it would have been better for our islands to have sunk to the bottom of the sea.

In the eyes of world powers, individual Caribbean states hold little more than tiny markets, a few bananas and some pretty beaches. In all other regards, as individual states, we are irrelevant to them. Together, however, the Caribbean represents a sizeable market for foreign goods, and also controls a very important and quite massive area of air and water which the US, UK and Canada need for easy access to major emerging markets in Latin America.

In other words, successful diaspora diplomacy necessitates Caribbean Diaspora people from big islands to small islands and French islands to English islands, coming together as one and advocating as a single unit in order to get our diaspora governments in the US. UK and Canada to better serve the interests of Caribbean states, individually and collectively.

3.       Educate ourselves on the foreign policies of our Diaspora countries regarding the Caribbean

Caribbean Diaspora people are woefully ignorant when it comes to having knowledge concerning what the foreign policies, programs and initiatives their US, UK and Canadian governments have on-going in the Caribbean. For diaspora diplomacy to work, we must inform ourselves about what our diaspora countries are doing in the Caribbean and how their foreign policies are directly or indirectly hindering the development of Caribbean states. We must take much more of an interest in learning about this so that diaspora diplomacy can be founded and guided by more than blind presumptions, speculation and incomplete information. There is no way the Caribbean Diaspora will be taken seriously in its acts of diaspora diplomacy if it has not first taken the time to learn and know what is already in place on the ground.

4.       Staying informationally grounded and tied to the Caribbean
Finally, diaspora diplomacy cannot and should not happen where Caribbean Diaspora people are not hearing directly and frequently from Caribbean people still living in our respective states. The Caribbean Diaspora risks becoming a paternalistic and quasi-colonial power if it is not committed to forcefully and collectively advocating for what we are told and gather from Caribbean people are their most pressing and important needs. Through permanent and frequent communication with our people back home, we can learn about what is really going on and be most responsibly and relevantly engaged in diaspora diplomacy in the interest of our Caribbean states.

In closing, diaspora diplomacy should not be regarded as an option for the Caribbean Diaspora, but rather a necessity. Indeed, it requires that we overcome irrational patterns of thinking that slavery and colonialism have left as scars on our mentalities. But this is work that must be done. Our people and politicians back home simply do not have the power or resources to force developed states to treat the Caribbean more fairly in international dealings. They need us to rise up where we are in the diaspora and force this change. If we do not wise up to this, the current UN World Summit will be like all the others; hot on promises and pleasantries and cold on meaningful benefits for our beloved Caribbean countries. For Caribbean Diaspora people who doubt our power to make diaspora diplomacy an effective and useful reality for the Caribbean, I recall the curt and profound proclamation of Marcus Garvey: “Up, up, you mighty race!/ You can accomplish/ what you will!

Author: Anthony N. Morgan
B.C.L./LL.B. Candidate Class of 2011
McGill University, Faculty of Law
GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Ambassador



Romain Virgo

Reggae singer, Romain Virgo heated things up at the Best of The Best Concert on Sunday followed by the Celebrity Soccer Match in New York on Monday.

The young star’s set at Sunday’s Best of the Best concert staged in Miami was flooded with his hits including Cyaan Sleep, Love Doctor, Who Feels It Knows It and others. While at the soccer match between artistes and former Reggae Boys in New York on Memorial Day, Romain delivered a stunning opening performance with the Jamaican National Anthem. This was followed by him performing Cyaan Sleep at half time.

Romain who only recently returned to Jamaica from a promotional US tour for his upcoming self-entitled debut album said, “I had a good time performing and sharing my music at the concert and football match. It was my first time at Best of The Best and I was extremely happy about the reception that I got. I can’t wait for the album to drop and I’m thankful to all my fans for the support which has helped to bring me to this point at such an early stage in my career.” Another thing Romain’s fan can look forward to, is the release of yet another timeless, well-done single, Be Careful, which was written over a year ago and produced by Donovan Germain on the Penthouse Label. The song, which will also be released on Romain’s upcoming album later this month, pays particular attention to life in the inner-city and as the title suggests, warns young persons about the choices they make.

(l-r) Singer Romain Virgo and Steve Rapoza of Roots Radical Connection, 89.3 FM & 893wumd.org (USA)

“Although I wrote the song so long ago, it’s something that is applicable to so many people despite the year. As time passes, some people’s realities remain the same because of where they live and they think they have no way out, but through my music I want to encourage people to stay on the right path and reach for more because success is possible,” said Romain.



Reputed Jamaican druglord Christopher (Dudus) Coke
Reputed Jamaican druglord Christopher (Dudus) Coke, the subject of an islandwide manhunt, has reportedly volunteered to surrender himself to officials in New York.

After attempts to arrest him in Kingston turned into urban warfare that left dozens dead, Coke began negotiating with U.S. authorities, federal sources said.

The 41-year-old alleged head of the notorious Shower Posse could be in custody in Manhattan by the end of the weekend. He is wanted in New York on multiple counts of drug-running and gun-running.

The Jamaican Observer newspaper quoted sources close to Coke saying he “feels it is in his best interest to be taken to the U.S., rather than to a Jamaican jail.”

Meanwhile, the death toll from the street battles that failed to bring him in jumped to 73 – twice the original government estimate.