Honoring of six great West Indians at Carifesta in Barbados : Builders of our Caribbean house
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA00100040/00001
 Material Information
Title: Honoring of six great West Indians at Carifesta in Barbados : Builders of our Caribbean house
Physical Description: 2 p. : ill.
Language: English
Creator: Lamming, George
Publisher: Caribbean Contact
Publication Date: 1981
Subjects / Keywords: Carifesta   ( fast )
Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts
Culture   ( fast )
Arts, Caribbean   ( fast )
Williams, Eric
Guillén, Nicolás   ( lcsh )
Collymore, Frank A   ( lcsh )
Manley, Edna   ( lcsh )
Mighty Sparrow
Sparrow (Calypso singer)   ( lcsh )
Césaire, Aimé   ( lcsh )
McBurnie, Beryl   ( lcsh )
Williams, Eric Eustace, 1911-   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: Barbados
Abstract: In appreciation of a former populist leader, prime minister and historian who introduced the author and the general public to a number of outstanding West Indian artists, and in advance of an honors ceremony planned for those artists at CARIFESTA IV in Barbados, descriptions of their works are offered.
General Note: Clipping from August 1981, page 5
Funding: Digitized with funding from the Digital Library of the Caribbean grant awarded by TICFIA.
 Record Information
Source Institution: Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
Holding Location: Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: CARIFESTA IV 1981
sobekcm - CA00100040_00001
System ID: CA00100040:00001


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****'Seehownicely his tie sits underneath his collar, you can always tell an educatedmanifyouknowjust where tolooi<.See, he lakes hishatoffwhen the bandisplayingthe national anthem.Thatman's"Thenthere's prayers every morning anddouble-enuybook-keeping; onefoctin Heaven,and one on the thingsthatmatter,plentyoftime afterwardstofornicate, guzzle andchatter.,,"..........."vnsthree housesanda drugstorein Port-Market. He has learnt to usebothedgesofthe golden rule, Yes, hewon'thavetouse a hoe,orlieoutin theopenwonderingwhatthings are or why theygo..."The privilegeofschool, and a gift for private accumu lation, would later transform three houses and a drug store into a miraculous havenofcondominiums and bou tiques, andallthe expensive mysteriesofun-real estate. \ But there remains the same virusofthat stable man who perceives himself tobeina stable place,Itwasonce a conditionofstabilityinthis region toignore the existence, and deny the human worthofanenor mous majorityofmen and women' whose labour made that order possible. The markoftheir exclusion was the black skin. "On that day, cried Frantz Fanon, "completely dislocated, unable to be abroad with the other, the white man, who unmercifully imprisoned me, I took my self farofffrom my own presence,farindeed, and made myselfanobject. What else coulditbeformebutanamputation?'" I knowtherearethose among you, who tremble at the soundofthatblunt and simple word, black: and who, apologising for your ownvictimisation, nervously antici pate a messageofrace. But whenwesayblack, it, has no biologicalmean-eOnPage6CARIBBEANCONTAC AugUlit 19'.Page5BarbadosItInFRANKCOLLYMOREThe grave is, after all, a very stable place, perhaps the most stableofaUplaces. Butitwould be a strange inteUi gence which chose the ceme teryasa model Idngdomofdevelopment. The late Frank Collymore who had the greatest genius for being genuinely loved,winalways remain the most mem orable fatherofthis familyofCaribbean writers. The' magazineBim,be came a regional home foralLBut hewasby occupation a school master whose reputa tion for kindliness and hu mane concern will neverbesurpassed in this island. Itwashis business to train boys into the habitofbeing stable, yethealways saw this function with a certain gentle mockery,Itwashis humour which concealed fromushow deepwashis creativesuspicion."AndI thinkofthese young sters, largeorsmall, earnestorwayward,orfrankly indifferent,butall, however,quitesure,thattheablative absolu teandthe Acts (by Marshall) are proven paths to a statusthat'ssecure.Carifestaata common family, which has influenced almost every crea tive, cultural workerinthis region,Itisnotonlyanexcellent choice.Itisalso a very cour ageous one.Whenweconsider the detailsofthe work and livesofour honoured .guests,werecognise that, in their dif ferent ways, each has beenanagentofcreative upheaval for ruling groups at different times. I donotthinkitneces sarytoemphasise that the prevailing valuesofa society (the codesyourespect and obey) are, to a large extent, the wishesofthe dominant ruling group. And the most urgent needofallrulersisto achieve and maintainanorderofstability. But these honoured guests haveallbeen led, by the na tureoftheir work, to explore aspectsofour reality .which brought them into conflictwithand official waysofseeing,Whilethe soldier mayapplaud stability with his gun, the creative, cultural worker forces us to question the con tentofthat stability, torethink, even to re-define the termsofour meaning.IndiansWestMARTINIQUE'sAimeCesaireand(atright) TRINIDADandTOBAGO's Beryl McBumiethatMrs,Edna Manley, Ja maicaninher experience, should welcome the Trinidad poet, Wayne Brown, tobeher official biographer. From the Great Sparrow in Trinidad, through the sparkling voiceofAimeCesaireinMartinique, to the earliest preoccupationofNicholas GuilleninCuba, each has sought to make pennanent a visionofthis regional house wherenomemberofthe family would conceiveofcalling another expatriate or alien Common decency tells us that it would be an actofthe greatest perversitytotrain a Barbadosbom childto thinkofits Vincentian or Jamaican motherasan ex patriateinthe island where she residesasmother and per son who contributestothe continuityofthis family. Such language promotes a mischievous disruption, and threatensallofusin the most sacred areasofour domestic experience. And so,wewannly con gratulate the BarbadosGovemmen t for using its au thori ty and its power to con finn, by this particular choice, the possibilityofthat vision,ofversies may surround the careerofEric Williams, I think it consistent with our purpose here, that we should, on this occasion, remember him with reverence and with gratitude. That influenceisat workinthe selectionofthese sixWestIndians for special hon our. Itisthe recognitionofa familyofislands includ ing the mainland islandofGuyana, peopled by the same blood, and shaped by the same historical experience. Manyofyouwillhave good reasontoknow that Barbados, your host, hassecreted itselfinthe blood<:treamofevery Caribbean territory. Wherever yougowithin this region, the signa tureofthat spennisthere.Federation may have failed to create common institu tions,butthe ceremonyofmarriagehascertainlysucceededinreinforcing that first traditionofkinship by blood.Tnspeakofthe Carib beal family, therefore,isto speakofacollective andpersonal experienceofthe deep est intimacy.Andthishasbeen a d01ninant characteris ticofthe workofthose we honour: their recogntionofcommon predicament,ofcommon need, andofcom mon destiny.Itisnotby whim or fancyByGEORGE LAMMINGI------.:._---IWEMUST-_..ERICWILLIAMSWITHREVERENCEANDWITHGRATITUDE'. vr11esLa1:1I:HHonouringofsixgreat..'J,..,CUBA's NWo'a's Guillen BARBADOS'sFrankCollymore JAMAICA'sEdnaManley TRINIDAD/GRENADA's Mighty SparrowTOunderStand whatismeant by the "Caribbean family" isBUlLDERS0F0to appreciate the outstanding contributionsofsix greatURWest Indians who have been honouredatthe current Caribbean FestivalofCreative Arts (CARl FESTA). The six who share the honour roll for this fourth CARI"AN'HOUSE-renowned calypsonian, Mighty SparrowofGrenada/Trinidad and Tobago; and the late Frank ColIymore, writer/artistofhost country, Barbados. The distinguished Barbadian novelist, broadcaster and lec turer, Dr. George Lamming,wasgiven the honourofpaying tribute to these stalwartsofthe Caribbean experience,atthe colourful ceremonialopeningofthis grand cultural festival on Sunday night, July 19. Lamming's presentation was the high pointofthe cere mony and,tothe appreciationofhis thousandsoflisteners, he began his address by singling out for special praise the late historianMinisterofTrinidad and Tobago, Dr. Eric Williams, whose vision and commitment made possible"thenecessityofgathering in this scattered familyofartists". THE first leaderofa Carib-who brought my attention to the necessityofgathering in this scattered familyofartistsv,here they belongwasthe late Dr. Eric Williams. After the victoryofthe People's National Movement in 1956, his invitationtothe novelists, Samuel Selvon andV.S.Naipaul, to return and move within the region at their pleasurewasa stage towards that ambition.Itwasthe transmissionofthisidea.taking root by chanceinGuyana, that started the pattern afreunionswfJichhasbrought us here,Williamswasalso the first man, who a decadeearlier,broughtmyattention to the namesoftwoofour hon oured guests NicolasGuillenof.Cuba andAimeCe'saireofMartinique..Itwashis wish that peo pleofmy generation then would ignore the imperial barriers oflanguage, and enter the world whichw.asbeing made by Guillen and Ce'saire.Hewas, essentially, aCar-ibbean person, and through his work, bothashistorian and manofpublic affairs, he became a great pioneer in helping to laythe,cultural foundationsofthis regional house. But a political 'life,' espe!cially a long political life,icarries within it the burden ,ofgrlfat contradictions, sincecritical moments will oftenIshow action tobeinconflict : with intention and idea. And so, whatever contro-


, Distinguished,honouredguests: Mine is a single voice through whichanentire regionnowthankyouforthegiftofyourlifeandyourworktothis unique family.Andin askingtheGovernor General .to confirm thesehonours,'Iam deeply con scious that,yourpresencehereconfers apermanenthonouronthis island; perhaps thegreatestandmosthumanevisitinghonourithaseverknown. "Leave this EuropelAmericawheretheyAreneverdonetalkingofmanYetmurder me"everywheretheyfmdthem, t-t the corner of theirownstreets,Inallcomers oftheglobe."'tospeakofthe Caribbeanistospeakofa collectiveandpersonal experiencef:theutmost FromPage5,herparticipationinthepo-'t.,fromthaiblackcontinent.CARIFEST A isnotabouting',norisitused in the serUtical livesoftheordinaryIntmac".There wasnoneed,youspectacle,itisa celebration viceofracial applause. ,andthepooralertedherto,:;Jmight say,thatamanofhisofwork,accomplished and WhenIsay black,itis thetheastonishingbeautyofHis act is visual. His themes, those forcesthatwouldhaltcomple?tionshouldofferhim-workthatis still in progress:nm:nea..: profound, and their physical presence. forallthe laughtertheypro-orextinguish the possibilityfor such naanditis sometimes theworkumque hlstoncal,expenence,Andshe setout,assculpvoke, are a sourceofgreatofmenand women becoming tional villification.ofmenandwomenofwhomborne by a particular group tor and painter, on a remarkdisturbance, Sociologists will trulyhuman.Wespecial reasontoitmight be said:ofmen and women whose able labouroflove anddutynever be abletoformulateItistoaid,byallmeans embracehim.AttheageofWewho triedtolay thepresence intheworld wastoreturnthatblack facetowhathis criti-eal intelligence possible, that-processofstrug-17his father wasmurderedfoundtItionsoffriendliness.destinedtothe its own eyes, andtrainandquick perception so easilygleagainsttheofwhitebythe"democratic"govern-couldnotourselvesbefriendly.eyes and ears.ofthose eyestosee agamhatcommunicates. power, the epIdemIcofclassmentoftheday.AndforIIyouplanta breadfruit and whose ultimate liberationtheyshould never have for"Outcast discrimination,nurturedinmorethanhalfacenturytree,itis unreasonabletoexwill be the decisive contribu-gotten.Theslavethese neo-eolonial cells, by a Comrade Guillen has com-pectthatitwill bear pinetion to the liberationofman-Itis the mrasureofherCongomannew breedofaspiring iJlacks, bined the giftsofa great apples. The tree isknownbykind..'.,.. staturethatauthentic his:DanistheManintheVantLe assaultonindividual dig-poettheheartofamanits fruit.10a similar wayitItprecisely, m thiSofcouldbeMonicaDoudounitybythe personal abuseofofconSCIence..'might besai4,thatanationconnection,thatwemustper-wnttenWIthout focussmg onRoseofficial power. As he enters the eighth is madeknowntoitselfbyceivethemeaningofthose we the role she has playedin"Get up, stand up;decadeofhisturbulentlife, -the creative culturalworkhfWhy,why,did youleaveme?honourtoday.For(:ac0the developmentofana-Whydidyoudeceiv,eme?Stand up j'oryour rights':'heisoftenheardrejoicingthat-whichgrowsoutofthesoilthemhas waged a waronthattional culture there.'NICOLA'CGUILLEN1the Cubanwasofthatsociety. .Faksfyoulookingforblows."LUJOamputationanonspe0:The same role fits exactly .' the greatest CaribbeanpoemYetthere isanimportanteachhasbattledconsistently the careerofBeryl McBurnie The enslavementofourBehinddrums01writteninhis time. difference betweenthetreetoheal and restoretherhythmofTrinidad and Tobago. The educational system, the chaos steel, theofMarley, What doesthatpoemsay?ofmanandthetreesofandbeautyofthatbatteredlanguageofsculpture and the inoursexual relations,theandtheJoyfulmockeryof"WhenIlookaiand touch nature. blackbodywhichEuropelanguageofdance are difpolitical leader in the role Sparrow, there was, acrossmyself,,Thehistoryofa treeisdd ''.fth"bd.hn"HfethtanstoroftheIJohn-only-yesterdaY-WlthllJIUe'.an continuestoaspectsofthe same0eaJO.e0Jers ewaer,an ce nothing, fixed sinceitcan onlyobeyargue,ISu8lY,gracelessandfunction.andJohn-with-everythingthe lawsofits ownnature.withouthistory., They are tools, devicesof.ButmendonotonlyenterForEuropeandtheir sucthe imagination, which, en-WIglancJtheverythin dgtlodl a yk ,dtheworld.TheytransfonnthU'tedStat. al earoun,00an seecessors,em.es,countenngamomentm re -andtouch n,yself and wondertheworldbytheir work. have..beenmity,'setsouttodiscover thehowitCQuIdhavehappened.Theyalterthechemistry0decelVlDg--habItofmeaning, the essenceofthatIhavelet'ssee.:their own soil, andtheynotas aportionmoment,by creating an order Ihave'the pleuure ofwalkingchange in their perceptionsofbutastheoutofwhathadappearedtoomycountry, ...and their needswithevery todiansofallhumandestiny. ordinary' forseriousattention.theofallISmIt, radical changetheybringButweknow,as Marx The imagination teaches usatverycloserangeaboutin the material condiobservedmorethan acenturytosee. I could notanddid nothavetionsoftheir existence. ago:Labourcalmotemancibefore.Ifsomeofourchildrenp,afeitself inthewhite skin,IBERYL McBtJRNIEjIcansaycane;-, fmd us strangeitis perhaps h.,h bl k...'Icansaymountam'"w eretnteac,.ItIS -I't', becausetheyliveasa fact bddBeryl McBumie, as. dancer cansayCIy,, ran e. Icansayarmyoftheir experiencewhatweAndthe significanceoftheand teacherofthedance,Armysay,'hadonly dreamta vagueRastafari Movementinitscreatedaw oily new vocab-Nowforeverand yours, possibility. .J '.hhularyforthepeopleofTrini-OursnatlveamQlca,IS,tatt eyhAndvastsplendourof.rustasmanyofustake forconfron,tus,In,themostdad and Tobago. Se madeThesunbeam, the star, the granted aoffreedomdramanc way, with(/ques-theb1awh.iermenattherdonremains centraltobodysing: sheIhave,let'ssee:times,beatenandenslave ,the polUicsofour culture.weep. ThatIhavelearnedtoread, could only dreamofasaWheredoyoustandinrela-This rangeofmoodandTocount,distinctandachievable reward emotion' c.ould beheardIhavethat Ihavelearnedton'on[0blackness? .ofstruggleItiscuriousthatin so through dIfferent accents: theThdr'.t'.1\, Amerihdian the African the ,enoanl\1lecautious a landasBarbados,Idid'r"LAMMING...Euwpe'sracismand a question aboutRuta-Andtolaugh.exerCIse.ItISthevery foun-theanswer was being offered.thntha creo Ismg syn-farlanculture.Ihavethat nowIhavedationofa future reality. bthfMrHAeSlSOese. ,STANDUPAplacetoworkAndth.h'fYyghnena,Ivepoebt'k't'th"Bu t she is also a builderGETUP,,.Andearn ,thatISwYf It0carlau "mareue0ef't'ti'Th"bittleWhatIhavetoeat.nesecost0anuntimey black classroomsofthis0ttu ons. eSTANDUPFORYOURRIGHTS'Ihave,let's see; death. , island:Canbbornfrom the Ihave,whatwascomingtoLet'the voiceofCesaire Turnsidewaysnowandletmostfragrle, dream,wouldus back our several humiliasame faithwhomwerecogme!"I-sealthatdream:themseelater growmtoations, nise andhonourasa residentIAIME"FornowweintruthWhatlovelinessescapesthecentre for many a corner10Buttherel'Sbehindtheex-ofthis remonal house: Com-ThIfdrh that man'sworkisbynoschools,. the Caribbean.trisexarnp e0eamasThenturnagainandsmileandThe firstindependence,travagant vigourofthis musirade Nicolas Guillen. neverhadamoreurgenttobe' 'celebrationsofGuyana could cal genius a persistent legacy Recording his witnesstovoice incontemporaryliteracontributetotheworldTheperfectanswezto thosenothave been thesamJ;l,ifofrage.ForSparrow was the Spanish Civil WaroftheturethanthatofAime Cethat parasiteswearenotfoolsthe"QueenoftheLittle descended from'adangerous 30shecould say: saireofMartinique. that'nomoreneedwesquatWhoalwaysprate ofGreeceCarl'b" wasnotthere. 'decade, before the steel bands"So here. we have thisHeistheproductofa atthegatethfCbafr CthObut that man'sworkhasonlyandRomeIdtbli't. got elevatedtoe status0unamamaguey;IS,particuJar French intellectualThf'thtIhdonoe eve1ISpos-, .alhdthWest Indian from Cuba; thisjustbegunshl'pas .aunce, asi,bleto,fin,danywhere outnation orc estra, an e tradition which knows ideol-andthathehastoreleasehisdhiIf streetsofCarnival were ruledAmerican from the Westogynotasan epl'deml'ctobeenergl'esandconquerAndsuchlikethingsbutkeepSIetsregron an examp e0b' tightlips' creative, cultural work, whereywarnors. "Indies, proclaiming to hiscontrolled or exterminated, and thatnosingleracehasath.,f'di 'dalThesoundwas Despera-brothers from Spain:butasan exampleoftheorymonopoly of beauty,Forburnishedbeauty nearer e tmagmatlOn0mVIud""Rd""Rd intelligenceandcreativityhomeartists is so completelydom-'oes,enega es ,e"/who love freedomsoand practice which all nien, in and that thereisroomA""HIIYd""C'I 'Turninthesun,mylove,myinatedby the livesofpeopleear,on-slmpy,-different ways, bringtotheforall.to conquer. tdThseare clearlyAsone loves-a child, or thedfthdill'Andnowweknowthatourlovefromdownbelow. WhetheritqUlSaors,econuct0eir ay Ives.thftsun or the treelandtooiswithin the orbitpalm-likegrace,what be literature, music, dance, or,e names.0ronplantedinfront one's houseOfthehumblestorigins, of thesunIswear,the visual arts, each form has samtsill.commumonWItha/shout to you with the voicewhere the houseofhis child-whichshinesonthe little plotIprIZetheseduskylimbsaboved'd'tf'holyspintThey are declara-hoodcouldhardly boast awehavewilledforourselves;Mylife.Whatlaughingeyes,erllve1sh romanal'tionsofonbehalfofaofafreemanthat without constraintwearewhatgleaminghair. vo vementWIte re !tIes bIflkh'ddthat / shall accompanyyouroof,his gifts have takenfreetomoveheaven,earthoftheoorturuent0w0remm ecomrades,himintothe academiesoftheandthestars." Eachofourguests cameto'p.allagentsofpower that spaceThat /shallmatchmystepworld, through the ranksoftheir work onbehalfofaISPARROW ,wasnotfor sale.with yours.theworking people, and back family whosehistoryis an ex' This traditionofresistanceSimply and happy,tothe original Africa which pIeofa people,throttledItordinarilybea isattheheartofSparrow'sPure,serene and strong,lentitshearttoMartinique. by the embraceofimperialtotheart.Anditis an inescapable .curly hair and brownHe was the teacherofguardians (be .they English,MightrSparrowtoyour, CaribbeanphenomenonFrantzFanon:.thatFanonFrench,Amencan),whose a tten.tion ,forhe,astotal ,whenever the artist goes seriHe created the greatestwhoso abrasively warned: generosity demandsdurtotalcreation.oftheCanbbeanouslytowork. scandal amongWer..iing acceptanceoftheir will, and people,ISalso, perhaps,There has recently been classes in Cuba when,intheir interests.mostcompleteofall Canbuniversal mourning forthe1934, hisbook,"Motivos deI ,EDNA MANLEYIbean artists. lossofBob Marley.Son",drawinguponthe Afri, Hisartembracesallforms."Get up, stand up.,canoriginsofa popularItwasthis conditionofHe sings, he dances, he em-Standupfor your rights':dance, TheSon,affirmedthatself-(JenialthatMrs. Manley ploys, inthetellingofaButtoaccept Marley isto,therewasnoCubawithoutencounteredintheJamaicastory,allthenarrative devices accept the moral necessityofAfrica,thatthe fundamentaloftIle late 308and408whenofa novelist. enterinintobattle a.stall bloodofthe Cuban flowed