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 Material Information Title: Jamaica journal Series Title: Jamaica journal. Abbreviated Title: Jam. j. Physical Description: v. : ill. (part col.) ; 31 cm. Language: English Creator: Institute of Jamaica Publisher: Institute of Jamaica. Place of Publication: KingstonKingston Publication Date: December 2006 Frequency: semiannualregular
 Subjects Subject: Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh ) Genre: periodical   ( marcgt ) Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
 Notes Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with Dec. 1967 issue.
 Record Information Bibliographic ID: UF00090030 Volume ID: VID00079 Source Institution: University of Florida Holding Location: University of Florida Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location. Resource Identifier: oclc - 01797964lccn - 75027862 issn - 0021-4124

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Life and history
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Science and technology
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In-house
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Books and writers
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Back Cover
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Full Text
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JAAIA PRPET MaAa

FF W I AT It R\ IAI

SIRTI A CANGN JAMAICA

NUTUE TH NRPEERA SPII WHC HAS BEOM TH ALAKO H
GROP' DEEOMN OF REIDNTA AN COMRCA *30ER Y AN THE

BY REPNDN TO THE NED OF AHNIGJMIATECMAISO
PA-AMIA HAV FRQENL BEOM LEAER IN THEIR REPCTV SETR OF
THE ECNOY BY, DEONTATN IT ABLT OiD H NGEB
REOSTONN ITS HODIG AN INEET ACODIGY PA-AACNETR
IT FIFT DEAD INARNWDENRPEERA SPII SEKN NEWi
OPOTNTE FOR EVE GRETE GRWT IN AN EVRCAGN JAAIA

January 14 February 28

Exhibition Gallery, Istitute of Jamaica
Comer, East and Tower Streets, Kingston
Tel: 922-06206

Official Opening 1907 Quake Exhibition
loint project between 101 (Museum of History
and Ethnography) and National Gallery

uNadoa Gallery of Nmaica National Biennial Exhibition
January March 1 Kingston Mall 922-1561/8540
Annual February Programme
African Caribbean Institute of jamaica/ 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the
lamaica Memory Bank Trade in Africans
February Kingston Mall To feature Poetr Reading wth
922-7415/4793 Canadian Poet Dr George Ellio Clarke
at Emancipation Park among other activities
Discovery Room, Natural History Division World Wetlands Day, Open Day and Workshop
February 2 Comer, East and Tower Streets, Kingston Mason River Field Station, Clarendon

Contact Alison S. Prieto Exhibition on the Legendary City of Port Royal, lamaica
Historical Museum of Southern Florida H loina proecu between 101 and
February 16 -- June 3 Tel: 305-375-1492
February 16 lume 3
Address 101 West Flagler Street Miami, Educational pgrammes. lectures offered by the Historical
Florida, USA, 33130 Museum related to lamaican history and cultural
Florida UA 310 traditions, Family Fun Days and more

Liberty Hall Sankofa III
February 23 76 King Stree Kingston (Reclaiming nour past so you can movie forwaidi
To include symposium on African Heritage

March 5 Aprl Institute of lamaica ICC CWC 2007
March 5 April 29 1016 East Street Kingston Cricket Exhibition

Institute of amaica Lecture Hall Award Ceremony for Ar in
March 7 at 10:00 a.m. Preparatory Schools Exhibition
"Cricket Lovely Cricket"
March 12 March 21 National Gallery of Jamaica The paintings of Barnngton Watson

The Opening Cremony for the exhibition,
April 19 Museum of History & Ehnography Fo. Fashionable ne: rrrture in lmaica
1720-1900

I'"t

Jamaica Journal Vol. 30 Nos. 1-2
December 2006
Editor
Kim Robirison-.alcott
Assistant Editor
SAuvaun Heame
Editorial Committee
Petrine Archer-Straw
Rupert Lewis
Wayne McLaughlin
Verene Shepherd
Editorial AssistanI
I atnya Pennant
Design and Production
Image Factor) Limited
Subscriphons
!-aith MyNers
Tamara Williams-Martin
Printers
Pear Tree Pre-s
the Institute of lamaica
All correspondence and subscrption
Institute of Jamaica
10-16 East Street Kingston. lamaica
Telephone (87b1922-0620-6
Fav 18"6) 22-114'
Email il.lam@mail intohan.com
Website' www.instbtuteotjamaica.org im
Back issues
Most back issues are available List sent on request
Entire senes available on microfilm from
PoQuest Information and Learnng
Periodicals Acquisitions
PO. Box 1346,.nn Arbor MI 48106-1346
Telephone: ("34) 761-4700
Subscriptions
Individual copies J600/ US$10; a subscription for three issues is available from the Institute of lamaica for J$1,800/ US32 Including shipping and handling. Cheque or international money order payable to the Institute of Jamaica. Index Articles appearing in Jamaica journal are abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts and Amenca History and Uife. Vol. 30 Nos 1-2 Copyright 0 2006 by the Institute of Jamaica ISSN 00214124 CoCer or coenenismy not be.repodwciin wiare . i tp arttiitheuuf;ti ittenp.~riis fi 6 tie basute. "- of Janica. . Cover mage ofinton Kwesiohnasoiextraded fomn front cover of A Resualaliunery v Selected Poems enguhin 2002) Rethinking Family in Black and White I am recovering from a serious illness that kept me on life support for weeks and sent shock waves through my family as they considered the possibility of my death. I was in a coma, so these anxieties were unknown to me. Instead, I was in another place of indescribable time and space conversing with angels who determined my fate. In the real world there were other conversations. Mobile phones in Jamaica, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and the UK rang incessantly, linking family groups with each other. Faster than CNN, friends, personal and professional, shared news of my illness. In the ten days I 'slept', my life conflated from a loose global network into a tight village of friends and family who referred to each other with ease, as if they had known one another all their lives. I was filled with tubes and needles in the intensive care unit, while these people gave another type of life support praying, negotiating and fighting for my survival. I woke up to find that I had no control over this; I merely had to accept the transparency of my new life and its interlocking friendships. My once reserved life was now the shared responsibility of a diaspora family one that had always been there, but one that I had never fully acknowledged or appreciated. Aunts, uncles and cousins, twice and sometimes three times removed, had joined in a collective prayer to keep me alive. When I asked one of my American cousins whom I have met barely twice in my life why she had involved herself in the anxious telephone updates on my progress, she said she loved me. How could you love me, I asked? She explained that she had FET :II IE ARCHER-STRAW St Mary's School, 1962 grown with me as part of her family not because of my physical presence but because of our family pictures that she had known from childhood. These photographs circulated throughout our extended family; they were images of weddings, of new babies, and annual school photos sent initially to our maternal grandmother and then duplicated and circulated to each branch of the family. Each year, she studied how my pigtails had grown, was I smiling or sad, and how I became more independent of my brother and sister initially huddled into the same frame. Now, retreating from near death, I find myself returning to these pictures of myself and others, piecing together the shape of this family spread across the globe, but bound close with familial ties. This is the diaspora family typical in so many of our Caribbean lives so rich with history, pain and sentiment. This is the story of a life almost lost but saved by black and white photos, faith and the cell phone. My parents went to England in the early 1950s. Their separate journeys there (followed four years later by my brother and sisters) began a process of fragmentation that would become more evident in future years. Photographs from our family album reflect the sense of adventure, independence and aloneness of that time. A rare photograph of my father and five fellow passengers perched on the deck of the SS Arigua suggests the camaraderie and high spirits that attended the three-week journey to Genoa, Italy. Even as they are poised precariously between one life and another, their confidence is palpable. After all, they are all young, able men, eager for independence and the possibility of making their way in a 'common-wealth' and empire that even on the verge of its dismantling still offered economic advancement. It is also clear that the diaspora took roots on the journey, because all those men in the picture became lifelong friends of my father and an extended family to his offspring. On board the SS Arigua, 1955 Beneath the railings, other passengers quizzically observe the scene, perhaps envious of their agility and fearlessness. Their casual occupancy of the stem signals the rudimentary nature of their facilities and their status as economy passengers on this banana boat. They are crossing the Atlantic on a journey so different from their African forebears who, packed like sardines below deck, had little time for self-expression or speculation. By contrast, the photograph of my mother taken almost a year later at Palisadoes Airport is replete with apprehension. It is the first time that she will take a plane, to travel with my aunt to the UK via the bitter cold of Newfoundland. Predictably, she is dressed in a short-sleeved dress entirely inappropriate for this journey. Halfway there she will shiver and cry for the warmth she has left behind. She is flanked by my brother and sisters, all three clinging to her, instinctively aware of her pending departure and their future estrangement. Looking on are other children dressed in their finest for their trip to this place of departure. Like my siblings, they are also apprehensive about that moment when they too might be able to board a plane and become part of this global adventure. Jamaican US-based photographer Albert Chong has created images and poetry about this moment of leaving, and the anticipation and excitement of finally boarding a BOAC plane. He framed this experience in a series of childhood passport photographs referencing the beginning of his transient life. His poignant recollections of his first departure echo the voices of so many Jamaican families who scattered across the globe in the 1950s and 1960s. Motivated by TOP Cousins Junior and Hilary, 1955 MIDDLE My mother at Palisadoes Airport, Kingston, 1956 BonoM Independence Ball, 1962 economic need and working-class ambition, this mass migration set in motion a shift in the demographics of most of these foreign cities and a reappraisal of their cultural identities. It also caused a paradigm shift in the domestic lives of many homes where husbands left wives, mothers separated from children and grandmothers became default heads of households. Photographs played a role once again in these dislocations. Those parents forced to leave their children behind, often for many years, sometimes forever, watched them grow in black and white. Such images taken in Jamaican studios mimic those of the metropole. Sometimes the backdrops are even more ostentatious, and there is the prerequisite prop, often a (white) doll as a silent witness to every scene that mocks our need for companionship and 'normal' family life. The dislocation caused by waves of Jamaican migration since emancipation, whether to Panama, the USA, Canada or the UK, represents the second wound to a family structure already made fragile by the legacy of slavery and plantation life. My father arrived in England carry- ing a letter signed by the then Jamaican labour leader Michael Manley that introduced him as a linotype press operator and a reliable worker. With this recommendation, he was able to get a job with the Birming- ham Post newspaper and send for my mother, brother and sisters. A photo of my parents at a gala ball to celebrate Jamaican Independence in 1962 shows their naive optimism about what that event might bring. The implied confidence helped them and thousands of Jamaican families adjust to the harsh realities of life in Eng- land. That all the other couples at that table would move on to Canada and the USA in a few years also suggests the difficulties of this transition, as well as an ingrained migratory restlessness typical of our people. Rather than uproot the family again, my father chose to stay in Birmingham, becoming a political activist in the black community. Our home became a hub for Communists, Trotskyites, refugees, and Black Power youth. My mother, who ran the West Indian women's group, cooked endless pots of food that fed the inevitable visitors who presented themselves at our family dinnertime. On Sundays, I would do the rounds with my father in his house-to-house campaigning, and, in the summer, attend the numerous protest rallies and marches. Over the years, my memory has not faded but grown more acute. I see events as clearly focused pictures, like my memory of the night Angela Davis's sister came to our home. Crammed into our tiny living room, an entourage of Afro'd and black-suited bodyguards considered ways to protest Angela's in- carceration. I remember such incidents so vividly that I hunt for the photos still, even though we kept too few. My sister and I sat at the top of the stairs listening to discussions like these, enthralled by their sense of urgency. Even as youngsters, these concerns were not lost to us. We felt the tensions and anxieties of our parents and what it meant to "seize the time". We knew also that these were life and death matters because we read Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X, whose books were stacked on the mantelpiece. In 1968, most discussions were to do with alliances, how to win the confidence of more complacent West Indians, whether to align with the white working-class Marxists, and how to deal with the more radical and impatient demands of black youths, like my oldest sister who had become a Black Panther sympathiser. But positions had become polarised by then, leaving little room for these grey areas of discussion. In the wake of assassinations and racial victimisation, black and white were the only two colours that seemed to matter. There are other memories of those years, remembered in colours too subtle TOP Terry's wedding, c. 1960 ABOVE My grandmother, London, c. 1956 for even the camera to record. These are usually visualised in tones of blue that come from pure spirit and a mixture of sadness and joy that only the hearts that have lived with the consequences of forced migration can share. How do you capture that moment at a house party at two o'clock in the morning when old and young alike are on their feet, united by strains of reggae, chanting, "For the wicked carried us away into captivity, requiring from us a song, how can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land ..."? These moments are mellow and less easy to depict. It is a feeling of belonging, even as one is estranged. It is a feeling that bears the weight of more than four hundred years of history and the sense that like the Israelites of biblical times, we find ourselves in a strange land. I have experienced that feeling just as strongly in Birmingham as I have in Kingston. Some black scholars have challenged the use and abuse of the term'diaspora', especially with reference to Caribbean people who chose to migrate for economic reasons. They consider the term to be used too loosely because it no longer bears the weight of its origins coined for the exiled Jews of the Old Testament, or the holocaust victims of fascism. On the other hand, cultural theorist Stuart Hall, referencing that large body of immigrants who found themselves adrift in urban centres in London, New York and Toronto, considers these immigrants "twice diasporized", linking the pain of our forced migration from Africa to the distressing displacement of West Indians because of economic constraints in the region. Perhaps only those who have lived through it can fully understand the sadness of these families huddled into small brick houses, working on buses and in factories, punching coins into meters for warmth, giving rent parties out of hardship but also a need for companionship, dancing the ska and the blues until our white neighbours complained. The cramped cities were like wildernesses. We all clung together for the memory of home. We danced to both calypso and reggae trying to sing the same song in a strange land? Predictably, the pictures of these families sent back home show little of this discomfort. Instead, they proffer images of false prosperity. Taken against the backdrop of a city studio, their neo-classical styling supports the sense of grace that their models wish to portray. For the working- class family, such depictions were an important record of their survival and improving status. So they dressed accordingly in best coats, dresses and church hats. Even so, it is difficult to conceal the sense of grim determination and sheer willpower required for life in a cold, inhospitable and sometimes racist environment. The photograph of my mother taken at a good friend's wedding shows how easily this scene of prosperity could be undermined in spite of their suitable garb. The group is crammed into a framing device too small and the faux design of its backdrop and curtains delineates fantasy from reality. There is a sadness and impoverishment to these images, despite the festive nature of such occasions. Compared to the smugness of the men in this photograph, the women look strangely serious, as if acutely aware of the perils of this step into a new domestic arrangement as a way of securing a new life in a new country. j Perhaps more heartening P are the informal snapshots from weekends and holidays when we came together to celebrate the smaller events of life. It is these moments that I remember as family gatherings, family being those who lived through an immediate experience. In this respect, family could be anyone close at hand, including a neighbour or a friend. A cousin could share more with you than an absent brother or father or even mother. Our ties were contingent rather than genealogical. Family was anyone who shared your pride in new flock-patterned wallpaper, gas central heating or a Christmas cake that had "so much rum". As teenagers, TOP Aunt Mavis, c. 1950 MIDDlE With the Philpotts, 1969 RIGHT The Van Vechtens, 1974 knew more about the characters ur favourite soaps than we did ut our own grandparents left back amaica. When we mourned the th of a character from television's ironation Street", it was like we had an old friend or an uncle. Looking at these photographs now, possible to see the formations of v family structures and new lives, the ways in which new faces show to redefine our sense of being black, amaican, or Caribbean, or African. re is the picture of Aunt Mavis who lived in London since forever. We rvelled at her ability to pass as white ur albums and in London where had settled and married an English ap' called Ron. Her St Elizabeth during provided easy passage tough the streets of Tottenham. That intil you heard her speak. Over the years, there has emerged rnse of a creeping miscegenation as children of our parents' generation *e chosen partners from there and elsewhere. Our identities shift and separate from frame to frame. We begin to look like the places and faces where we have settled. We come to see ourselves as diasporic and different. We question whether we might be more or less than those we have left behind. Death is perhaps that moment when such inquiry is uppermost. Where will I die? Who will attend my funeral? Where will they bury me? These are some of the questions that I faced this nmer. They are the questions that resent the uncertainties implicit hin a contingent way of being that typically 'diasporic'. They are at root of my family's existence and irger conversation that keeps our ones engaged. As I consider these series and the photographs from my st, I recognize that I am not ready lie because I am nowhere near e to answer such concerns. This is nothing that my diaspora family ms to understand also even at a tance. o All photos provided courtesy of the author. 71 II Eli! If i ...'4 ~'~~a* Vf I L rIEA IS TO ITR The SS Empire Windrush: Myths and Facts CECIL GUTZMORE June 1998 marked the fiftieth anniver- sary of the SS Empire Windrush's voyage carrying the first post-1945 Caribbean migrants to the UK. Celebrations took place that year in the UK, where the significance of the event was widely recognized as a way of acknowledging the Caribbean's contribution to that society over recent decades. But what do we really know of the Windrush, her passengers and the reactions on their arrival in the UK? Too much of what we think we know is myth. The SS Empire Windrush was a prize of war captured from the Germans and renamed. In 1948 she was owned by the New Zealand Shipping Company Limited. Early in 1948, the British government abandoned its powers to direct merchant shipping. Up to that point the Empire Windrush was a troop ship used to transport soldiers back to countries of origin and for other priority tasks of the British government. Before the Windrush's June 1948 voyage it had been almost impossible for civilians to get to the mother country from the colonies. There were hundreds, if not thousands, in the Caribbean who wanted to make this journey. Between 1945 and 1948, official discussions involving colonial governors and the British government took place about using "surplus" West Indian labour to ease the "labour shortage" in the UK. Studies of the official records show that the British government would have none of this, despite wartime use of thousands of men and women from the Caribbean colonies in the Royal Air Force, opposITE Windrush passengers, 22 June 1948. SOURCE: The Guardian Weekend, 21 June 1997. in factories on Merseyside and as woodcutters in Scotland. The British authorities had sexual-moral fears for the fate of British girls at the hands of black male workers. They also faced a practical problem. Black Caribbean workers, as British subjects with full citizenship rights, could not be told on arrival in the UK that they must work only in this or that industry or locality. So in the early post-1945 period, the UK government directly recruited as workers only white non-citizens from continental Europe, often former prisoners of war. Julius Isaacs's book British Post-War Migration (1954) is an early account of this 'European volunteers' scheme. In short, however great her labour needs, the British government was not ready to organise the mass entry of black, largely male labour into the UK. The Windrush voyage was emphatically not a government operation. It is a myth that this 1948 voyage is the first piece of evidence of that 'call' from the British to the children of the Empire to come 'home' and help rebuild the shattered mother country. Equally, it is a myth that the 1948 British Nationality Act was a legal signal that her black colonial subjects were welcome to rush to Britain. When, in April and May 1948, news of the coming voyage spread and the interest of prospective passengers mounted in Jamaica, the role of the colonial labour department was mainly to sound warnings to workers against going to the UK. They were told to abandon high expectations of employment and accommodation in Britain. The Windrush is thought of as a ship that carried 492 Jamaicans to the UK. In fact, it also conveyed people from British Guiana (picked up in Trinidad), from Trinidad and Tobago, from Jamaica (Kingston), from Tampico (Mexico), from Cuba, and from Bermuda. The total number of expectant souls on board was 1,027. It departed from Kingston's Royal Mail Wharf on Thursday, 27 May 1948. The passengers travelled in three classes that the UK Customs called A, B and C. The passenger list, compiled by UK Customs at Tilbury, suggests that a large number of British civilians stranded overseas travelled home on the Windrush, the first such transport available. They included a fair number of families. This is most strikingly so for the batch boarding at Tampico. To my mind, the most interesting A-class name is that of Ms Nancy Cunard, author of the massive 1934 publication Negro. The B-class passengers seem all to have been UK seamen and military personnel men of the Gloucester Regiment returning from a tour of duty. The C-class passengers were our people. Actually, there was a class below them, or rather a small non-class: that of stowaways. Considerable efforts were made at embarkation points to keep the stowaways from boarding. But, as was reported at the time, a waterfront habitue chirped: "The best system can be beaten." It was. The record shows two stowaways. One boarded in Trinidad, the other in Kingston and, remarkably, the latter was a thirty-nine-year-old woman, a dressmaker by the unusual surname name of Wauchape: Evelyn Wauchape. I would very much like to interview this woman if she is still alive. What would have been the mental and social processes by which a working- class Jamaican woman of thirty-nine prepared herself to stow away to the UK on the Empire Windrush? Daring it certainly took. In Caribbean cultural terms, among the most distinguished of the C-class passengers were the world-class master potter Mr Cecil Archibald Baugh, and Lord Kitchener, the Trinidad calypsonian, whose real name is Aldwin Roberts. Kitch boarded the Windrush in Kingston. This may be evidence of the pan-Caribbean practice of the early calypsonians. Looking further at the list, it is clear that quite a few of this class of passengers were cultural workers: perhaps ten musicians and three or four people describing themselves as artists and so on. The rest of the Windrush's C-class passengers were mainly artisans, skilled tradesmen: barbers, cabinetmakers, carpenters, chauffeurs, fitters, machinists, mechanics, a piano repairer, two welders. There were also salesmen, clerks and a chemist as well as the first of those farmers/cultivators who, with ex-cane cutters, were to leave the Jamaican countryside for the cold of the urban UK over the next fourteen years. The UK Customs list of the Windrush passengers does not indicate former Royal Air Force personnel, and it is an open question how many of these skills had been acquired in the British army. The age and sex breakdown of the C-class passengers is worth noting. The oldest passenger appears to have been forty-seven years old. A few, like Mr Baugh, were in their thirties. But the overwhelming majority were in their twenties. Without having actually done the calculations, I would estimate that the average age would have been no higher than twenty-seven or twenty- eight. Apart from that female stowaway, the list of Windrush C-class passengers does not disclose many women. My provisional search shows eighteen- year-old Lorraine Rochester as the only woman in this category. There are about three names that apply to either men or women, but their occupations suggest that they are men carpenters and the like. It is worth repeating that a very different gender profile prevailed elsewhere: in classes A and TOP Many of those immigrants who arrived on the 55 Empire Windrush were temporarily accommodated in Clapham Common underground shelter. LEFT Brixton, 1950s. SOURCE: loyce Egginton, They Seek a Living (Hutchinson, 1957). B, women and children were present in considerable numbers. Overall, on the ship there were 69 women accompanied by their husbands, 188 not so accompanied, 30 female children under twelve and one female infant. News of the coming of the Empire Windrush caused some consternation in the Labour government, civil service and media circles in Britain. We must not be misled by the warm civic reception put on by Lambeth Borough Council in Brixton Town Hall for some of the Windrush passengers a few days after they arrived. In Parliament it was said that "they would not last one winter". Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones submitted a memorandum to Cabinet on 18 June 1948. He spoke in worried tones of the interest being taking in the Windrush both in Parliament and the press. He explained the background. The voyage was "certainly not organised or encouraged by the Colonial Office or the Jamaican government". He confirmed that "on the contrary, every possible effort has been taken to discourage these influxes". He optimistically continued, "I do not think that a similar mass movement will take place again because the transport is unlikely to be available, though we shall be faced with a steady trickle." What was obviously a trickle was soon seen as a flood of "coloured immigrants". Labour and Conservative governments and the UK civil service constantly thought about how to devise both legal and non-racist ways to stop black Caribbean migration. When in 1961 the first Commonwealth Immigration Act was finally passed, it was indisputably racist since it was directed at black New Commonwealth countries and not the white Old Commonwealth. Finally, the criminalisation of the largely black Caribbean people began much earlier than social theorists have argued. By October 1948, the main local newspaper in South London (the South London Press) carried the headline "Jamaicans Drifting into Crime". A combination of local newspapers, the magistrates' courts and the police worked with diligent malevolence to ensure that black people were associated in the white public's mind with vice and criminality. It must be noted as well that Britain was, indeed, a land of educational GANG OF FIE BEAT-UP TWO COLOURED MEN LCE c ari oured Bt late on Saturday night and on L Suoda) Wrtching for any signs of racial riotligl Two West Indian had been beaten up within halt an hour "_ P at opposite ends of Brixton. The police think the same gang J3 I as responsible. In Du*ic h-rd fe %outh run s P kn(y jumped on cn Baptst 1 , Mo t s. a West Indian "ho uses in Roitlmo -rd. TuISe Around they sied and tOcko him uth a tholtl He "33 ta k5e E tond Ings (otlee lo"0p11 a "lO to nfi Bouth, ruon awae and jump n assrb tod pc '- area fl>"( sl % 1s ate ... p rd.. James N. antt hr Wer t tr'Ictt p Indian of Asylum-d. Peckham. %I%% akindck5liC The U. a-d atbl a waitgd nft tya Ico1re ws,:crk a -childrens, t'. ,\orok l a nurserN) h wer aTe Leant Once again five sOuthi lert a responsible and this time they C clubbed their victim %ith a lum p aCCotnt en tile ofwlood they %ere seen to arid sittro' anl board a bus going in the direction fel 9 n"; CrT ,If Billion c hu ate %lr acsa i,'. l ak,,n to Jarals c4k 1 The t ll' .ch rd iutilc. -1, ncINS Tce place t the time ,f 1w rcO rot I Ut disturbancs at' N0iting Hilt Tio' ef In Buxtion Watcrtane. nct colourcd mcn -etc A0ta.k t and many ,.Jndo-s Of houses of A an p rd. s.lon, .ere smashed.- opportunity for the early migrants, especially those who already had a sound educational base and high self- confidence. Many of them did fulfil their great expectations. But the full story of the 1948 Windrush voyage must take into account the ways in which Britain failed the children and grandchildren of that pioneering generation. * This story was adapted from the article "More Light on the SS Empire Windrush" which appeared in the Daily Observer, 21 July 1998 (p. 7). It was based on a presentation by Cecil Gutzmore at a ceremony held on 22 June 1998 at the University of the West Indies, Mona, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush's 1948 journey to the UK. 1FOL FASCISTS are believed to be about to launch a new cam- paign against the coloured people in Britlon. lere are scng that their tirades against Ihe Jews are being switched to West Indians. *rveral Rrllonn streets this week gters hearing c-idely-painted Viastkas were found on shop Widows and doors. Carried messages such as o o'otr--1o home" 'Britain a*e hltC People" and the the ar Keen Brizion White." L. re"" 4004 'Wouh -wC LlJ0 wh I0N1 SOUTUWARK Whites rSg jo tthe postrrs were patted resi f rom windows of Brimuam 55tua Part' offices. in Will- tell% b .err d on Wenlimday night Cati blJw, f Slaicus Lipton was WOrrqJ~f g., a ls coisiuentns Iw Li -ale~ was. S e" WetakLe the view H00Wf "l-" ed Uh Lod %** 4ple prnldtsiin thes dette ti'5t People a bo-it tthi livgg Oe to h..ngo " Whichytil, a U dotcn or C aat aus b a Jr. areb a as ,us1d a 1 1, 0 ed in the carly ter J2 Caused 11'ehc Off'*er of Publil rei io rv., r ot A- *-s.irk. it -as s.id Lilsed So ha be the e Cul Atr 'I -owam (Mdwp THE HONOURABLE CECIL BAUGH, Oj, Aboard the SS Empire Windrush LAURA TANNA Baugh's demonstration for BBC TV of the walk-around technique, 1949. Many readers of Jamaica Journal know that potter Cecil Baugh was one of the founders of the Jamaican School of Arts and Crafts in the early 1950s with Edna Manley, Albert Huie, Lyndon Leslie and Jerry Isaacs. Some even remember that when he first sought to go overseas for further studies in ceramics, the only way he could afford to do so was to join the British Army. In 1941 he saw an advertisement in the Gleaner, asking for volunteers, and later explained his reaction: I wasn't a mechanic. I was a potter, but I never thought anything was impossible ... There was something I wanted: more knowledge of pottery. One of my problems, the greatest problem then, was how to prevent a pot from leaking although it was well fired ... I couldn't get the knowledge I needed in Jamaica, so I gambled that if I should survive the war, I would perhaps be able to pick up something here or there in England that I could use.' I LFE ND ISTRY Baugh with friend Olga Barrett, both newly arrived in England, 1948. SOURCE: Laura Tanna and Cecil Baugh, Baugh: Jamaica's Master Potter (1986/1999), reproduced by permission. He did survive World War II, serving in both Egypt and Aden not Burma or South Africa as some have mistakenly believed. His one stop in South Africa was a port leave en route to Egypt round the Horn of Africa, while his return from Africa was aboard a ship en route back to the United Kingdom, bringing home troops who had served in Burma. Cecil got back to Jamaica in 1946 and soon made an impact, his pots splashed across the front page of the Gleaner after an Arts and Crafts Exhibition at the Institute of Jamaica in 1947. But since painter Albert Huie had already been awarded the British Council Scholarship for 1948, and even though Cecil was promised an award for the following year, his ambition was too strong to wait. With only a letter of introduction from the British Council, Baugh paid his own fare aboard the SS Empire Windrush and joined that first shipload of Caribbean civilians to reach the UK after World War II, the most notable of his C-class fellow passengers being Aldwin Roberts, better known today as the Trinidad calypsonian Lord Kitchener.2 Jamaica Journal readers appreciate the impact that studying at the Leach Pottery in St Ives with Bernard Leach had upon Baugh, and subsequently upon the world of ceramics in the Caribbean, as Baugh absorbed Leach's knowledge of both British and Japanese methods of building kilns and wheels, of clays, firing, slips, and glazes. But have you ever wondered what impact Baugh had upon the people with whom he interacted in England in 1948-49? Fifty-eight years ago England was a very different place. I got some inkling of just how different when I received a letter from Katrin FitzHerbert (nde Norris), who first met Baugh when she was just a twelve- year-old child in foster-care to Edith Hyne, an elderly widow who lived a few hundred yards from the Leach Pottery. Katrin had spent her childhood in Nazi Germany, while Mrs Hyne had lived an isolated life in Cornwall. Neither knew what to expect when, as a result of Mrs Hyne's son Reg being a talented artist and friend of David Leach, she was asked to provide lodging for one Cecil Baugh. With no television in those days, and hardly any cinema, neither woman had ever seen a black man, though tabloid depictions usually showed wild-haired black men clad in loincloths and wielding primitive weapons. Recalls Katrin: It must have been quite a shock to find on her doorstep a black man in a smart suit and tie, with a melodious voice, gentle manners and the sweetest smile imaginable. The softness of Cecil's voice and his immense sweetness is what I remember about him more than anything else.3 Baugh went on to appear in a presentation of the BBC Television in 1949, demonstrating to the British how large earthenware jars could be built using a traditional Jamaican free-form walk-around technique, while Katrin Norris eventually found her way to Jamaica to become a reporter for the Gleaner and author of Jamaica: The Search for an Identity (Oxford University Press, 1962). A* NOTES 1. Laura Tanna and Cecil Baugh, Baugh: Jamaica's Master Potter (Miami: DLT Associates Inc., 1999), 15. 2. Cecil Gutzmore, "More Light on the SS Empire Windrush", Daily Observer, 21 July 1998, 7. 3. Laura Tanna, "The Private Baugh", Gleaner, 10 August 2005, B14. (5) S A(ES OF P.SSENGCERS Adults of 12 'ears anl lupw., d, I I- -. a " 2 " .7 4 o u f .^ '# " a-- v~ ' H II S I N a * a II S I K a a a II r H N If I- I ii * CLASS BE2MAN BAUGkiEON SWHfISOI HAMILTON hAGUE IfENMY HOLNEBSS 4CMIMGS HiiaVKTE IIOLDSVWORTH HARRISON EERMIT'' JACKSON JACKSON JARR'.T"' JOhNSON CNE J".,2KJO N rKING LEVY Ljh'iiCO LMIOYD LYME LESLI 3 L'JE LUa LAING LINTOJT LECKY Country Pernianent Oaxlton William Edward Alphetau Martin Norman Floyd ABtlPay Reac Helond Barold Egeraen Roy Leonard Berctil lamuol Kenneth OArhibal j Glenford: Harold. Altcu Beeort Eamudl Kenneth Archibal Gleanordi Roy. . Bugene I Johi . Harold Lubrt I Proposed Address in tll United Kingdom Pemonitoa oa dadns, London.I 101,TownsnAd Av4L 'poo No address. Ashbrt rtonr foEsa=itS1@ 63,Wiclkbam Rd,S.E.4, 204,Bute St Oardiff. "Briar Nook& 1.Bi*oh kook P(olygon,M'chester No addreea. 19,Hlgh 8t,Bt.Petersp BroadsatEirs,Kent. 197 l Albany it,z. W.1. 59,,Laoautessd, Wll. 13a Tmpson St, -- Prsaootdnenos, -30All--6s nts-ao ...... Birainfbaa - 44,Ano-lq"-. ..- Ylieley,Mlid3i. 21.Grove Terrace,Leedf 77.\ltpop9 StW.1. No aLddress. 11,Albany 5t . Ltadon. Bast End Ottage, Nailsea,Bristol. i06,0a;ni-g ,L t*'pool. No Adli.:'es,. 22, Senovir -S, 'l,,l 58 Abboy t,DBrty, 109,Crow Stilipoel. 43.3it;aray StW.1. No address. 262,Carriasoon ane'h l5,Dontagus- t,. IRtene-ookffi : Hose Green,Kr.t)sognor. 3,B3ez.cd Avenue, Chich ester. SussQa. No address, 20,breamer St,M'cheast 27,Red Lion StW.E3l. 19,Howland St W.1. 24,Chiltern Vlw. Letchsworth.Herts. 57.aeoldgato St.;.l, 14,Dartmouth Rd,NW.5. 26a,Rodnoey StL'pool, Profession, Occupation, or Calling of Passengers o.cctataai. 1. Toolmaker. Glerk. --SHUaSaSS--" ,2 Meoobzdo. . Ch .it-t. Carpeatwor Enltneerie Cabinet Mkr Labourer. Projeotioni Cabin'o t I4, OarpeaitAr Ohauefefur. ,2. eochano. Printer, TAILOR, ianisith. Carpeate4r, a. ElfectricYia SWe..lor. CooLk. Mechanic. welado. CLfr'L. U '4 .4 N 1 a1 25. 22 .29 132 123 25 38 i 22 25 23 1 1 13d 34 . 133 122 j52 23 26 24. 27. 325 25 46 23 *-24 21 .36 22 f . ... . .. . .. . . - - -I -I~ n ( I I Turning History Upside Down HOW JAMAICANS COLONISED ENGLAND IN REVERSE HILARY ROBERTSON-HICKLING INTRODUCTION My interest in the life of the African- Caribbean population in Britain was first stimulated by a visit in 1972. I had just graduated from the University of the West Indies, Mona, and was filled with curiosity about visiting the seat of the former British Empire, meeting relatives there and acquainting myself with my kith and kin. This first visit was followed by several others, which eventually led to a sojourn of more than three years with my husband Frederick Hickling, a psychiatrist, between 1997 and 2000. We were engaged in providing mental health care for the African-Caribbean population in Birmingham, England. These visits gave me the opportunity to delve into notions of the ideology of Britishness civility, fair play, justice and other concepts which had been promoted by colonial educational and other institutions, almost suggesting that all things British were beautiful. The myth and the reality proved to be two different things. Each visit triggered deeper and deeper exploration of what it is to be black and in Britain as well as being black and British. There is a common myth that England "makes you mad". One of the most devastating aspects of these journeys was the recognition that something in that society did indeed seem to cause many black people to develop mental illness. During the last sojourn, I had many first-hand OPPoSIrE Section of passenger list for the SS Empire Windrush, 1948 Public Records Office /HIP experiences of the pressures which African-Caribbean people in the UK faced and their efforts to survive. I also struggled to understand the impact that Caribbean migrants had had on Britain. COLONISATION IN REVERSE I eventually realized that Louise Bennett in her famous poem "Colonization in Reverse" had been right when she suggested that the West Indians who had migrated there, "by de hundred, by de tousan... / by de ship-load, by de plane-load", had indeed turned Britain upside down. What a islan! What a people! Man an woman, ole an young Jussa pack dem bag an baggage An tun history upside dung!' "Colonization in Reverse" illuminated the process of Jamaican migration to Britain since 1948, which Bennett suggested was history being turned upside down. Her poem alluded to some of the ways in which history had been turned upside down; how Britain's carefully structured society had been infiltrated and transformed by Jamaicans who have had a history of subversion of the colonial order since 1655, the date of British conquest of Jamaica. So instead of the British being the only conquerors and colonisers, West Indians, and particularly Jamaicans, had become the colonisers in reverse. Indeed the very idea was audacious, outrageous and full of irony. Oonoo se how life is funny, Oonoo see de tunabout? Jamaica live fi box bread Out a English people mout. What a devilment a Englan! Dem face war an brave de worse; But ah wondering how dem gwine stan Colonizin in reverse.2 Jamaicans constituted the largest group of migrants from the English- speaking Caribbean to Britain and, as is noted below, their entry into Britain was historic. When four hundred and ninety-two Jamaicans disembarked from the SS Windrush in 1948 they may not have been aware that they had opened a new chapter in history. They were the beginning of the largest mass migration of black people to come to England. Although to be black and British is nothing new, since there have been Africans in Britain at least since Roman times.3 The mass migration of black people was most unwelcome, and the people who came from the West Indies were met with hostility. When they tried to find housing, they frequently encountered signs that said "No coloureds". My husband tells the story of his experience searching for a flat while studying at a prestigious medical school in London in the 1960s. His white friend and roommate would find the house, but when he turned up the landlord would apologise that the house was gone, a tenant had already taken it. This happened several times and they eventually settled on a grotty I LIFE AND HISTORY1 flat in London. He was to experience racism several times during his stay, from Teddy Boys who pursued him on the streets to an experience at church where an elderly woman refused to shake his hand and asked him if he lived in a tree in Jamaica. He had grown up in an Anglophile household in Kingston, and was completely unprepared for these racist experiences. A colleague recounted the experience of his father who hailed from the hills of Clarendon and had returned from England a broken man. He was a man who was in deep psychological pain, who told terrible stories of having to fight for his life on various occasions as he was pursued by Teddy Boys. He never recovered, and was unable to explain what had befallen him over the twenty years that he had lived and worked in London; instead he tried to drown his sorrows with alcohol, and became a burden to his family. Alas, the modem-day equivalents of the Teddy Boys have killed other black people in the UK in recent years, such as Stephen Lawrence, brutally murdered in London while standing at a bus stop, and Anthony Walker, another young man in Liverpool who was recently killed by an axe-wielding man for being in the company of a white woman. So many stories have remained untold because of the horror and trauma involved. Imagine a retired bus driver who still has not told his children of his experiences in the 1960s when he was continually spat upon and had faeces pushed through his letterbox at home. All of these experiences demonstrate that these people were punished for coming to the 'Promised Land'. TOP The 55 Empire Windrush SOURCE: South London Press/The Voice, Forty Winters On: Memories of Britain's Post-war Caribbean Immigrants (Lambeth Council, 1988). LEFT A black bus crew at Peckham garage SOURCE: South London Press/The Voice, Forty Winters On: Memories of Britain's Post-war Caribbean Immigrants (Lambeth Council, 1988). WE ARE HERE TO STAY There were other challenges. Many Jamaicans who had been steeped in their home country's classifications of skin colour, from 'jet-black' to 'brown' to 'red', now found that in the UK they were 'plain black'. The old ideas could not fit into the new context, and many made the adjustment with difficulty. On the other hand, describing people therefore became more straightforward as they were reduced to simply black or white. Meanwhile, people of mixed race became commonplace and the changes in Britain became more visible. The shade issue had to be addressed in the new setting. There was also a significant improvement in relationships between West Indians from various countries as they found themselves battling the common enemy of British racism and needed to organise themselves to address their problems collectively. Old island rivalries gave way to new levels of cooperation. The migratory experience has been bittersweet for most people. Although for some the positive has outweighed the negative, for others the experience has been filled with ambivalence. As Winston James states, In recent years ... many, having been made economically obsolete by a Thatcherite [and Blairite] Brit- ain, have become distinctly hostile and bitter about their rapidly de- teriorating social condition. Many more than hitherto are returning home. But even more feel 'trapped' within Britain because they are in- capable of mobilizing the financial wherewithal to resettle in the Carib- bean.'Trapped' in Britain during their lives, a considerable number make detailed plans and get rela- tives to promise that their bodies will be returned to their native land to be buried as soon as possible after their death... It is also worth noting that a considerable number have returned to the Caribbean and discovered, to their chagrin, that the meagre financial resources which they have scrimped and saved over the years in Britain were not enough to facilitate resettlement in the land they have loved and romanticized during their painful sojourn in Britain in circumstances of high unemployment and ram- pant inflation in the Caribbean.4 Yet there are people who have prospered and done very well in the process of migration. Colonisation in reverse does not entail the kind of conquest or subjugation that an imperial nation can undertake. Instead it represents an opportunity for getting employment, further education, exposure to the latest technology in a large metropolitan setting, and the experience of living in a much larger society than the small island from which you come. As James points out, Despite the horrors of their exile in Britain, It would be a mistake to believe that the first generation of Afro-Caribbeans regards their experience of living in Britain as an unmitigated disaster. They experience racism and they occupy in their vast proportion the lowest rung of the social hierarchy of Britain. Nevertheless, in material terms, the overwhelming majority enjoys a standard of living in Britain, which many would not have dreamt of back in the Caribbean.5 In Britain the black community has established itself as a permanent presence, in spite of its seemingly paradoxical nature. Stuart Hall observes: I've been puzzled by the fact that young black people in London today are marginalized, fragmented, unenfranchized, disadvantaged and dispersed. And yet, they look as if they own the territory. Somehow, they too, in spite of everything, are centred, in place: without much material support, it's true, but nevertheless, they occupy a new kind of space at centre. And I've wondered again and again: what is it about the long discovery-rediscovery of identity of blacks in this migrant situation that allows them to lay a kind of claim to certain parts of which aren't theirs with quite that certainty?6 CHANGING THE FACE OF BRITAIN: THE POPULAR CULTURE The contribution of Jamaicans to British popular culture has been very significant, in the arts, fashion, food, sports and religion. In spite of the small size of the Caribbean population, it has spearheaded the development of the Notting Hill Carnival, the largest street festival in Europe. Although the carnival is of Trinidadian origin, Jamaican music and Jamaicans have played an integral role. Writers such as Zadie Smith, Andrea Levy and Tony Sewell, poets such as Benjamin Zephaniah and Lincoln Kwesi Johnson, academics such as Stuart Hall and Harry Goulbourne are part of the recolonisation process. There are athletes such as Linford Christie, footballers such as John Barnes and those who came to enrich the Jamaican national football team to enable it to qualify for the World Cup in 1998. Music has provided opportunities for persons as diverse as the jazz musician Courtney Pine, the gospel choir Black Voices, and the reggae band Steel Pulse. The experiences of the artists, sportsmen and sportswomen have been plagued by many difficulties - there continue to be challenges for black people wishing to rise to the pinnacles of the professions they have chosen, for sportsmen and women wanting to become coaches and managers but they have found a way to survive and even thrive in Britain. They continue to struggle to achieve their goals. They are now representatives of Britain on the stage, on the track and on other platforms. Only a few of the successful Jamaicans and West Indians have been identified here, and there are many more. The fact, however, is that for a black person to succeed in Britain, he or she must surmount many hurdles. Although they were not welcomed to Britain, they have imposed themselves on that country to claim whatever is owed to them. Indeed, they have colonised that country against its will as colonisers are wont to do. The contradictory nature of the experience has meant that some want to stay in Britain while others have returned to the Caribbean. Some live between the two worlds and are now termed transnational. The trauma of the experience has resulted in mental illness, disappointment and loss, but with customary Caribbean resilience, many people have overcome the odds and have found their place in Britain. * NOTES 1. Louise Bennett, "Colonization in Reverse", in Selected Poems, ed. Mervyn Morris (1982; rpt., Kingston: Sangster's Bookstores, 2003), 106. 2. Ibid., 107. 3. Peter Fryer, Black People in the British Empire (London: Pluto, 1988), 77. 4. Winston James, "Migration, Racism and Identity Formation: The Caribbean Experience in Britain", in Inside Babylon: The Caribbean Experience in Britain, ed. Winston James and Clive Harris (London: Verso, 1993), 246. 5. Ibid., 244-45. 6. Stuart Hall, "What Is This'Black' in Black Popular Culture?", in Black Popular Culture, ed. Gina Dent (Seattle: Bay Press), reprinted in Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies, ed. David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen (London: Routledge, 1996). Grappling with British Racism A JAMAICAN PSYCHIATRIST'S STRUGGLES WITH MENTAL ILLNESS IN AFRICAN-CARIBBEAN PEOPLE IN THE UK FREDERICK W. HICKLII I3 Babylon system is the vampire INTRODUCTION Research in the UK has repe demonstrated increased rate psychotic illness among the population in Britain, and th have now been accepted as orthodoxy. The need for the to create separate concerns psychiatry based on a Eurocentric -BOB MARLEY paradigm is not a new phenomenon. Holliday' in 1828 suggested that mental illness was rare among the savage tribes of Africa, the slaves of the atedly West Indies and the Welsh and Irish s of peasants, but common in the civilised Caribbean nations of western Europe as a product iese reports of the stress of civilisation. In contrast, psychiatric Harrison and his colleagues2 in 1988, British one hundred and sixty years later, within were prepared to conclude that rates of schizophrenia for first- and second- generation African-Caribbean people were six to eighteen times higher than for white English people. A number of other issues affecting black and other ethnic minority groups in Britain have emerged through research during the past twenty years. Black and ethnic minorities (compared to the 'white' majority community) are more often diagnosed as schizophrenic. They are more often compulsorily I LFEAN HSTRY detained under the Mental Health Act, admitted to hospital as 'offender patients', held by police under a section of the UK Mental Health Act that authorises a police officer to remove from a public place someone thought to be mentally ill. Black and ethnic minorities are also more often transferred to locked wards from open wards of mental hospitals, not referred for psychotherapy, given high doses of medication, and sent to psychiatrists by courts.3 My own entry into this debate began in the late 1980s when I started collecting the admission data for schizophrenia in Jamaica in order to compare it with the admission rates that were being reported for African- Caribbean people in the UK. After an intense struggle, the British Journal of Psychiatry (the official publication organ of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK) reluctantly agreed to publish my findings. My study demonstrated that the admission rate for schizophrenia in black Jamaicans in Jamaica was considerably less than that which was being reported for African-Caribbean people in the UK.4 In a further study of black mentally ill returned emigrants to Jamaica which was published by the British psychiatric press only after a period of intense academic struggle back and forth by letters across the Atlantic, I reported that the vast majority of these patients who had developed schizophrenia, had done so after migrating to North America or Europe and not before leaving, or after returning to Jamaica.5 These emigrants also had much higher rates of schizophrenia than matched Jamaican control patients who had never migrated. It was also shown that a statistically significant number of these patients had a higher socioeconomic class status before migration from Jamaica, and had taken a step down in social class by migrating to Britain. They might have been earning more money from working on the buses and the railways in Britain, but this had been achieved only at the expense of taking a serious decline in social -and psychological status. The world-famous Jamaican neurologist Pamela Rodgers- e ." Johnson received a research grant in 1991 to study the causes of schizophrenia in Jamaica, from the Theodore and Vada Research Foundation in the USA, and recruited me to execute the study of this problem in Jamaica. The excitement which the incredibly high incidence rates of schizophrenia being reported in the UK held for international psychiatry grew out of the logic that, if the high rates in black Jamaicans in the UK were indeed accurate, then scientific studies of black Jamaicans at home and abroad would possibly reveal the root cause of this condition which afflicted people all around the world. We argued that if it were true that the cause of schizophrenia was genetic or viral, it would be expected that there would be a similar high rate of schizophrenia for black Jamaicans in Jamaica. Every month for the entire year of 1992, I examined personally every patient with acute first-contact psychosis that was reported by the islandwide system. Our findings showed the world that if there was a schizovirus, then Britain was the host. Our research led us away from the virus as a cause, but pointed to more profound issues of racism and colonisation, as we helped to chart a profoundly new understanding of the human brain's reaction to stress. David Ndegwa makes the point clearly: TOP Dr Hopetoun Bond (1884-1939), Acting Senior Assistant Medical Officer, Lunatic Asylum, 1915-1919. ABOVE LEFT Haverstock House Health and Wellness Centre in inner-city Birmingham, UK LEFT Connolley House, Kingston, Jamaica Studies in Jamaica (Hickling 1991; Hickling and Rodgers- Johnson 1995) show that admission rates for people diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia are in keeping with corresponding rates reported for the general population in Britain. These studies lend some credence to the argument that reported variations in rates of diagnosing schizophrenia in the UK and Jamaica might be due to a high rate of misdiagnosis in the former, or some other anomaly whereby schizophrenia is over- diagnosed among black people by British psychiatrists.6 The tragic case of Derek Morgan, a young African- Caribbean male who was sentenced to several life sentences in prison following his attack on fifteen white females at the Rackhams Department Store in Birmingham was the catalyst which led to this new phase of development of a mental health service for African-Caribbean people in the West Midlands. It was clear that Derek Morgan had been severely mentally ill for a considerable period of time and had not been provided with adequate mental health support from the national health services of North Birmingham Mental Health Trust. In the inquiry that followed, it became clear that Derek Morgan had sought professional help days before the attack from the North Birmingham Mental Health Services and received scant attention. It also became clear to all that the assessment service for black people with mental health problems in the Midlands and the UK in general was abysmally poor and seemed to be getting worse. AN AFRICAN-CARIBBEAN VOICE It was at this time that Nancy Johnson, a black British social worker of Jamaican descent, looking for solutions, came to Jamaica to observe its psychiatric facilities. She visited Connolley House, which was the home of Psychotherapy Associates in Kingston, a private community roP Birmingham City Centre BOTroM The Bull Ring, Birmingham mental health service developed by my wife, psychologist Hilary Robertson- Hickling, and myself. In June 1997 we moved to Birmingham from Jamaica to take up the work permit facility that had been granted to Psychotherapy Associates International Limited by the British Home Office. By doing so, we effectively bypassed the monopolistic role of the government- funded National Health Service (NHS) in mental health service provision to the black community. We joined Mrs Johnson to become the first professional employees of this company, and set about establishing the first African- Caribbean mental health collaboration in the UK based on transferred principles of mental health care from Jamaican initiatives. The transferred Jamaican psychiatric initiatives were fourfold. These included culturally appropriate psychiatric-led assessments and the development of private community health and development centres, fashioned off the Connolley House concept which had been developed in Kingston in the 1980s and 1990s. The techniques of socio-drama and cultural therapy, which had been developed in the Bellevue Hospital in the 1970s, were also offered. Aggressive community rehabilitation programmes, which had been developed with the Jamaican community's mental health service in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, were also a major programmatic. Finally, psycho-historiography, as an analytic technique and insight-giving process, formed the basis of culturally appropriate psychotherapy to be used by group and individual psychotherapy processes. The first project of this initiative was the development of the Private Community Health and Development Centre in Birmingham. It was quickly launched at Haverstock House, a facility in Handsworth owned and operated by a Jamaican general practitioner, Dr Kenneth McNeil Bartley, and his wife, Mrs Angela Bartley, herself a fully qualified nurse. The Private Community Health and Development Centre adopted the model of the primary care Health and Wellness Centre which had been developed at Connolley House in Kingston, Jamaica, in the 1980s and 1990s. Haverstock House is situated in Handsworth in the city of Birmingham. It combined the services of a general practitioner and mental health practitioners with dental care and other services, including a travel agency. The second project was the creation of the Voluntary Charitable Organisation to run parallel to the Private Community Health and Development Centre in Birmingham. It was recognized that within the context of the UK, the welfare state predominates, and medicine is primarily the preserve of the NHS. As a result, the Bond Hickling Institute was set up in 1996. The name acknowledged an important figure in African-Jamaican psychiatry: Dr Hopetoun Bond. Born in 1884 in Jamaica, he was the first black Caribbean psychiatrist, trained at Edinburgh University in Scotland and then McGill University in Canada, and was the first black senior medical officer at the lunatic asylum (now Bellevue Mental Hospital) in Jamaica. He practised as a general practitioner (GP) in the UK from 1920 until his death in 1939. The name of the institute was soon changed to the Bond Hickling Bartley Institute in order to acknowledge and recognize the twenty years of pioneering medical work of Dr Kenneth McNeil Bartley for black people in the UK. THE SMALL HEATH PROJECT The fundamental tenet of both the Bond Hickling Bartley Institute and Psychotherapy Associates International was that of a culturally appropriate psychiatric-led assessment. The major undertaking was the development of a collaborative project between Psychotherapy Associates International and the North Birmingham Mental Health Trust. Commencing in July 1997, Psychotherapy Associates International contracted my services as a psychiatrist to the North Birmingham wards of Aston and Nechells in the Small Heath area of Birmingham. Small Heath locality is a densely populated inner-city area of three electoral wards Aston, Nechells and Small Heath. Small Heath locality has a geographical population of 82,000 and a general practice population of 118,000. The ethnic composition of this general practice population is 45 per cent white, 41 per cent Asian, and 12 per cent African-Caribbean. Essentially an impoverished inner-city area, the Small Heath locality had severe levels of poverty and deprivation. The Small Heath Assertive Outreach audit of the work undertaken by my team was carried out in July 1999. The review of the outcome of forty-six patients seen between 1997 and 1999, of which thirty-three were male and thirteen female, showed that there was a statistical significant improvement in medication compliance and clinical health of the patients. There were stable housing and living situations, stable dietary and eating patterns, stable patterns of human social contacts, and stable patterns of living companion contacts over the period. There was a significant reduction in risks of suicide, violence to others and accidental self-harm. There was a reduction in hospital admissions of these severely ill patients by 73 per cent and a reduction of days spent in hospital by 75 per cent in the three-year period under consideration. The Small Heath Assertive Outreach Audit proved beyond doubt that the methodology that I had applied in this locality had been successful in managing all racial groups and genders of severely mentally ill patients, but was TOP Small Heath Assertive Outreach Hospital Admissions (p<0.0001) MIDDLE Small Heath Assertive Out- reach Mean number of hospital days (p<0.000 1) soTTom Aston Community Mental Health Centre, Birmingham particularly successful in the management of African- Caribbean mentally ill patients in this community. The success of the African-Caribbean psychiatric leadership emphasised the need for African-Caribbean consultant psychiatrists in the UK, and the need for greater collaboration in evidence-based cultural therapies within the British NHS. This project also helped to demonstrate to the British government that this model of care that had been proposed by North Birmingham Mental Health Trust was a viable model of community mental health care. The fact that the Small Heath locality won the coveted Nye Bevan Award of the British government for the best UK community project in 1999 is a testament to its proven efficacy. INNOVATIVE PRIVATE SERVICES Running parallel to the project with the NHS were the projects established in the Birmingham community on a private and not-for-profit basis. The Health and Wellness Centre is situated in the heart of the so-called inner city, where the majority of the African- Caribbean population in need of these services resides. This was the only centre of its kind in the UK, and there was no parallel service in the NHS in the UK. Many African-Caribbean people are terrified and suspicious of the NHS, and often refuse to access either the GP or mental health services until their condition is 'terminal'. Our service was able to provide a culturally appropriate psychiatric assessment for African-Caribbean people which pivots around the assessment of their condition by an African-Caribbean psychiatrist who understands the culture and speaks their language. Families brought their mentally ill relatives from different areas of the UK for assessment and treatment by a psychiatrist of their own cultural background, with the majority voicing dissatisfaction with the services provided by their local NHS facility. CASE STUDY A fifty-eight-year-old African- Caribbean old male born in Jamaica, who migrated to Britain forty years ago and who has worked in factories in the West Midlands, was referred to the psychiatrist in our service by our private GP. He presented with symptoms of severe phobic anxiety and depression and was treated with the appropriate anti-depressant and psychotherapy. He reported major incidents of racism during his time in Britain. His depressive illness had started some ten years previously when his marriage of thirty years broke down. As a result of the many racist experiences at his workplace, he was terrified about attending the GP to whom he was registered or the mental health services. He had suffered with his psychological illness for ten years until he learned of the existence of our African-Caribbean health service and was able to receive the appropriate assistance. Inappropriate psychiatric assessment and treatment of African- Caribbean people, especially young people, have been a widespread occurrence across the UK. The following case study mirrors the day-to-day operational finding of our service: CASE STUDY A twenty-two-year-old female with an African-Caribbean mother and white English father was brought privately by her parents to our service, having been referred by her aunt, and an African-Caribbean medical practitioner working in the UK who knew of our service. She lives in another part of the Midlands, and had been diagnosed by the NHS Trust in her area as having a depressive illness, and treated with anti-depressants with little success. Culturally appropriate assessment revealed a severe racial identity crisis and an early psychosis, which responded well to appropriate medication and psychotherapy. The NHS had not established an appropriate psychotherapy service meeting the needs of the African-Caribbean community. Our files are replete with case studies of psychotherapy requested, and provided to clients, by our service. This case study illustrates the problem: CASE STUDY An African-Caribbean female, aged twenty-three, presented at Good Hope General Medical Hospital for delivery of her first pregnancy. Dissatisfied with services and conditions after the birth of her child, she requested her discharge from hospital. The nurses refused her request. When she packed up her bags to leave, the nurses called the police. In the ensuing confrontation she slapped a policewoman. She was arrested and imprisoned, and her two-day-old infant was placed in care by the Birmingham social services. A prolonged dispute ensued, with costly care proceedings in the justice system. Psychotherapy Associates International provided her solicitors with an independent psychiatric report, recommending that her child and herself be reunited under appropriate conditions for assessment of child care, and the woman be given appropriate psychotherapy services. Also, there were a number of African-Caribbean people with severe mental illness in the Handsworth area of Birmingham receiving inadequate community mental health care. CASE STUDY A fifty-six-year-old African-Caribbean Jamaican woman has been living in Britain for forty-eight years. She has had a chronic deteriorated schizophrenic illness for over thirty years and presently receives care from the Handsworth Community Mental Health Service of North Birmingham Mental Health Trust. She has been banned from attending a number of local day care centres run by the social services, and she was receiving inadequate care from the NHS Mental Health Service. She attended our service on a daily basis where she was able to access supportive psychotherapy, and a place to stay for several hours per day in a culturally familiar environment, without charge. She is still not receiving the appropriate rehabilitative or follow-up care by the NHS Mental Health Service in spite of numerous attempts by our service to involve them with her care. YOUTH AT RISK At least 30 per cent of patients seen by our service were in the age group fourteen to twenty-two years. We identified that there is a major service deficiency to address the mental health of African-Caribbean young people who are casualties of institutional racism, young people with identity crises, young people in care, juvenile offenders and children of mentally ill African-Caribbean adults. There are no African-Caribbean child and adolescent psychiatrists working in the UK. There is a huge paucity of child and adolescent psychiatrists in the Birmingham area. There is a major need for the development of a culturally sensitive young people's service to meet the mental health needs of African- Caribbean youth. CASE STUDY A nineteen-year-old British-born African-Caribbean man was brought to our service by his mother, a single working parent with limited resources. His GP and psychiatrists at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital had previously seen him. He had been diagnosed as having depression, treated with anti- depressants and seen occasionally by a white psychologist who had completely ignored his cultural concerns. After one year of this treatment, his condition was deteriorating, and he started attacking his mother at home and destroying furniture. He was also seen for six months by the Early Psychosis Service of the North Birmingham Mental Health Trust without successful diagnosis or treatment. We made a diagnosis of acute psychosis and he was treated with the appropriate anti- psychotic medication. His anger about the racism that he had experienced was addressed in psychotherapy, and our psychologist addressed ongoing family therapy and personal development issues. He has made significant improvement. Options for Inclusion was a pro- gramme developed by Psychotherapy Associates International to promote mental health and well-being in young people with a potential for exclusion or already excluded from school, par- ticularly although not exclusively in the African and Caribbean communities in Britain. Some of the difficulties en- countered by young people who do not complete their education satisfactorily include problems with authority, inap- propriate social behaviour, negative labelling, bullying, low self-esteem, under-achievement, lack of challenge, alienation, untapped creativity, cultural conflicts, identity problems and offen- sive behaviour. Our approach was based upon recognition that the timing and appropriateness of the intervention can significantly affect the outcome. Even where a pupil had been expelled from one school, we saw the re-integration of such a pupil into another school and community as possible and desirable. Our main focus was on the secondary schools and the needs of children aged eleven to sixteen years, and we recog- nised that it was the age group eleven to thirteen years from which 83 per cent of those excluded came. CASE STUDY A fourteen-year-old African-Caribbean male was referred to our service from his school by his headmaster. He was constantly in trouble with the staff and other students and had been excluded before for short periods. He had been identified for permanent exclusion by the end of the current academic year. His parents were estranged; his mother acknowledged that she had had bad experiences at school and that she wished that her son would have a better time. After an assessment by Psychotherapy Associates International, we arranged a family therapy meeting which included the boy, his mother and younger brother, the psychiatrist, the psychologist, the social worker and a leading African councillor who is a solicitor. We addressed issues of male adolescence, aggression, gender, dealing with authority, parental roles, and career planning. He expressed the desire to become a solicitor. Therapy identified the deleterious effect of racism on his growth and development, and explored appropriate strategies for dealing with these problems. He made significant improvement. CULTURAL THERAPY We established a cultural therapy programme at Servol Community Mental Health Trust, a private black- owned and -run organisation. In 1997, Hilary Robertson-Hickling delivered a two-month training programme for Servol's staff and service users. Patients were trained in new methods of coping and sharing in the community, ways of channelling abnormal thoughts and behaviour into adaptive coping skills, acquisition of new skills training, reduction of anxiety, raising of self- esteem, improvement of self- and cultural identity. Based on the cultural therapy programme developed at Bellevue Hospital in Jamaica in the 1970s, the programme facilitated the expansion of the Servol Clubhouse's operations into regular large group meetings, physical exercise and sporting activities. There was increased client and staff participation in the clubhouse's catering programme, in working in the tuck shop, and in the hairdressing salon, which was expanded to include clients as apprentices. This latter service was extended and taken up by clients, staff and other members of the community. The craft and sewing programmes were restarted, and users were organised to engage in social activities with external community organizations. A regular Users'Newsletter was developed and published. Servol Community Trust Limited continues to provide an excellent service for the chronic and acute mentally ill. It is undertaking pioneering work in mental health and has much to teach others in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. The cultural therapy programme also realized the establishment of a popular musical band, the Servol Players, and the development of a performance component of the clubhouse. Since its inception, many users have been encouraged to play musical instruments and to write and create new poems and songs, and the group has been invited to perform in Stoke- on-Trent, London and other venues in Birmingham. The very process that had galvanised the Bellevue Hospital in Jamaica in the 1970s had crossed the Atlantic and was catalysing the mental health programme at Servol in Birmingham. After five years of operation, the Bond Hickling Bartley Institute and Psychotherapy Associates International had concluded that the mental health services for African-Caribbean people in Birmingham, though improved, were still woefully inadequate. Forensic mental health problems were another major area of concern. CHILD CARE My engagement with the British judiciary in a number of other child care cases prompted the West Midlands Court Service to invite me to make a presentation to their annual conference in 1999. Socio-drama exercises at Servol Clubhouse, Birmingham, 1998 CASE STUDY A twenty-year-old African-Caribbean woman, who had been born in Britain, was in court fighting for the right to have custody of her second child. She herself had been brought up in care and had experienced being excluded (expelled) from school as a teenager. Her first child, born when she was sixteen years old, had been removed from her care after one year by the British social services, and placed in foster care. She had been charged with breaking the child's arm, a charge that she vigorously denied, claiming that the child's father had inflicted the injury. She had her second child at age twenty. This child was also removed into care by the social services and fostered when he was one year old, after she had been accused of injuring the child. Again she denied the charge, claiming that she had left the child in the care of a friend who had inflicted the damage received by the child. The psychometric evaluation of the woman by a white psychologist suggested that she had borderline intellectual dysfunction and a psychopathic personality. I contested this vigorously at her court hearing. My clinical evaluation identified a high level of street awareness with culturally consistent intelligence out of keeping with the psychometric test scores. The presiding judge called me a crusader for African-Caribbean rights, implying that my evidence was more in line with political rhetoric than with professional evaluation. In his judgment, this court ruled in favour of the psychometric evaluation and the second child was again taken away from her and placed in foster care. I had argued strongly that this woman should be allowed the chance of being given a period of assessment by an appropriate agency of her parenting skills with the child, and suggested that culturally appropriate psychotherapy be provided for her. These were disallowed. The woman has subsequently had a miscarriage with her third child as she continues her mortal struggle with the British state for the right to have a family. The UK child care system has an appalling record in the rearing of black children that it places in care. Although there is a paucity of research in this area, the evidence indicates that there are proportionately many more black children in care than white or Asian children. Many end up tragically scarred for life. Black children in the care system are more physically and sexually abused, become mentally ill and have a forensic outcome. The UK child care system is often much more draconian and destructive than the parents from whom the children were removed. The gravity of the situation for African-Caribbean people in Britain is further highlighted by the Dr Frederick Hickling presents his findings to the West Midlands branch of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Staffordshire, 1999. problems that extend into the younger age groups and to the education and schooling system. The number of permanent exclusions of black pupils of compulsory school age is far in excess of that of the white population. African- Caribbean children were excluded four times more commonly than white children. This 'exclusion' policy extends to black children as young as age five. CASE STUDY An African-Caribbean male child aged six years old was excluded from his primary school. He was excluded because he was accused of being aggressive and dangerous, and of sexually harassing girl children at his school. His parents were both professionals, both in social class-one- level jobs. The family had migrated to England from Jamaica two years previously. Examination revealed a bright, almost precocious child, with an extremely creative and inquisitive mind. He was a physically big child, tall as well as ample. The child described that his white teachers would put him in punishment if he defended himself when other children pushed him or hit him. His mother explained that the sexual harassment charge had arisen out of an incident when the child went under the table to pick up a pencil which had fallen on the floor. A five-year-old Asian girl had accused him of looking up her dress. The boy had no understanding of the charge the girl or her teacher had levelled at him. He returned to Jamaica and spent six satisfactory months at a local preparatory school, which helped to rebuild his self-confidence before he joined a private preparatory school in England. Clearly, the concept of dangerous black males who are sexually threatening to females is applied to the youngest of boys in racist Britain. The comments of Fernando et al. about the construction of dangerousness in relation to black male behaviour in white Britain reflect deep-seated insecurities in white British people and have far-reaching implications for finding solutions for black mental health problems in this country.8 An increasingly common coping strategy of African-Caribbean parents in Britain today is to send their children to schools in the Caribbean. ISSUES OF RISK AND VIOLENCE My own clinical experience in the UK underlines the label of 'dangerousness' given to African-Caribbean males in the UK. My experience with the forensic system in the UK has demonstrated how quickly and how easily black men in particular are liable to be incarcerated for indefinite periods for relatively simple 'crimes', or for crimes that are circumstantially linked, and often not afforded any appropriate system of cultural assessment or justice. Black men also know this, and would prefer to face the criminal justice system and go to prison for a finite sentence, rather than face the indefinite detention of the forensic psychiatric service. The following case study illustrates the point: CASE STUDY A thirty-year-old African-Caribbean male presented with a history of multiple prison sentences for charges of grievous bodily harm. Three weeks after release from prison, he went to the welfare office to claim his income support. After a number of frustrating visits which failed to provide him with the financial support he was entitled to, he had an argument with a clerk at the welfare office. A white male onlooker remonstrated with him about his behaviour. He punched the man, breaking the man's jaw. He was adjudged to be suffering from a paranoid mental illness by a white psychiatrist, and found not to be mentally ill by an African-Caribbean psychiatrist. The judge ruled in favour of the white psychiatrist and sentenced him to a 37/41 Hospital Order, which is potentially a life sentence in a closed mental hospital. He is now incarcerated and is furious with his solicitors, as he claims that if psychiatrists had not been involved in his case, he would have received a finite prison sentence. This he could have coped with rather than the indefinite detention sentence placed on him by the Mental Hospital Order. Of course that raised a troubling diagnostic issue. Do the issues of risk and violence influence psychiatric assessment and diagnosis of psychosis in black patients, especially by white psychiatrists? One of the patients from the diagnostic study at the Institute of Psychiatry in 1993 was a thirty- seven-year-old black woman, born in St Thomas, Jamaica. She had been previously treated for thyrotoxicosis prior to her admission. She had had several racist experiences with the social services and the educational services about her daughter. Finally she kept the child at home to teach her herself, which is a common practice in her home country, Jamaica. A serious conflict and standoff occurred with the social services who eventually invaded her home with the police. During the confrontation that took place, she set a window curtain aflame and she was arrested for arson with intent, sectioned under the Mental Health Act and admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Amazingly, in spite of the diagnosis that had been made, she was on no medication when I saw her after she had been in the hospital for three months. She was detained under Section 3 (the six-month compulsory detention section) of the 1983 Mental Health Law. As good fortune would have it, she was seen and examined independently by another Jamaican psychiatrist, Dr Aggrey Burke, at about the same time. He had been asked to do an independent evaluation for the child protection issues in court, without either of us realising that the other had examined her. Independently we came to the same conclusion that this woman did not have schizophrenia. We were both forced to conclude that the diagnosis of schizophrenia had been based primarily on the history of violence, and the issue of risk. A similar situation presented itself in late 1999 at the Manchester Royal Infirmary: CASE STUDY I carried out an independent assessment on a thirty-year-old second- generation African-Caribbean male, for a mental health review tribunal. He was a six-foot-four-inch tall black male, a professional footballer and boxer, the stereotypical African-Caribbean man. Skilled also in judo, he was extremely intelligent and articulate. He had had a good job for several years as a computer graphic designer, then he lost his job, and he went into a very serious decline. For the first time in his life he had the problem of having no money, an accumulation of bills and other difficult stresses. He developed an acute manic illness and had three hospital admissions in nine months. Then he was well for a period of sixteen months. Suddenly his key worker decided that he was not well. He was brought into hospital forcibly by six policemen, accompanied by two psychiatrists, a social worker, and various other professional staff. He went quietly into hospital without any struggle or violence. When I examined him six weeks later I could find no clear evidence of mania at that time. He was only being treated with a mood stabiliser, but the medical staff was trying to persuade him to take a powerful atypical neuroleptic anti- psychotic medication. I could see no phenomenological indication for this latter medication. CONCLUSION So we really have to look again at these diagnostic questions. Can white psychiatrists and other health professionals in the UK distinguish between a well and an unwell African- Caribbean person? In the above case, it seemed as if all that was needed to certify him as being insane was a prior history of illness. The emerging conclusion is that diagnostic and therapeutic errors based on racial and ethnic issues greatly affect the outcome of the patients treated in England.9 Inappropriate assessment leads, in my view, to under-diagnosis and under- treatment in both white and Asian patients, and an over-diagnosis of psychosis in African-Caribbean people. White clinicians confuse illness and wellness in African-Caribbean people, leading to incorrect treatment, under- and over-medication, prolonged patient suffering, poor resource utilisation, increased stigmatisation and devalued mental health care, and eroding the family support system. A focus on clinical governance and racism within these institutions must play a primary role in the future, and may help to resolve these problems. It is hard to comprehend how European society successfully renders people with black skins 'invisible'. Melba Wilson argues, "In mental health terms, the invisibility engendered by the image, when combined with the overall tendency to portray people with mental health problems outside the bounds of normality, compounds the disadvantage experienced by black people in both the mental health and criminal justice systems."1' The stereotypical images of black men as violent rapists, black people as lazy and unproductive, and black families as unstable and pathological are clearly rooted in the experience of racism that pervades black mental health. These images are endemic in many white societies. As a medical student in London in the mid-1960s it was common for me to experience signs on the high street bulletin advertisement boards that read "Flat for rent: no dogs, no blacks, no Irish". Black people had extreme difficulty in getting rental accommodation. Racism was overt in the British society. Europe was the mother, the architect of racism in the Deep South of the USA, in Australia, in South Africa. With the passage of race relations laws in the USA and in the UK, racism has gone underground and is now covert. As a friend in South Carolina quipped to me, "White people have all attended the latest course, 'How to Deal with Niggers 101', but racism is alive and well!" Even now, racism is metamorphosing in white societies as the legal and political 'blacklash' intensifies. Today, to speak of race, of blackness in these white countries, is politically incorrect. Blacks are lumped together under the heading 'gays, lesbians and ethnic minorities'. The sad fact, however, is that as racism becomes more politically covert, the racist realities of these countries are becoming harsher and more overt. Black people are over-represented in the prison population in the UK." In 1995, the rates of imprisonment per 100,000 were: 1,048 for blacks, 134 for whites, 104 for south Asians and 280 for Chinese and other Asians. Excluding life sentences, 51 per cent of black prisoners over the age of twenty-one were serving sentences of over four years as compared to 35 per cent of their white counterparts.12 In the mental health arena, black people (especially males) are much more likely than white people to be incarcerated in regional secure forensic hospitals, and are much more likely to be the recipients of psychiatric evaluations that support the courts in applying Section 41 of the Mental Health Act (imposing indefinite intra- or extra- mural supervision of a mentally ill patient).13 My own experience in visiting African-Caribbean patients at secure forensic hospitals such as Ashworth or Broadmoor always filled me with the horror and foreboding of Dante's Inferno: "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!" No doubt, as black people struggle to explode the mythical concepts generated by European racism of black men and black women as 'other', which are linked with implications of inferiority and dangerousness, our experiences of the mental health systems designed by Europeans will continue to be draconian, and the system will continue to attempt to divide and rule us. The struggle for the mental health of black people must continue, therefore, to be a struggle against mental enslavement and social relegation, and a continued struggle for black and African liberation. + All photos courtesy of the author. NOTES 1. A. Holliday, A General View of the Present State of Lunatics and Lunatic Asylums in Great Britain, Ireland, and some other Kingdoms (London: Thomas and George Underwood, 1828). 2. G. Harrison, D. Owens, A. Holton et al., "A Prospective Study of Severe Mental Disorder in Afro-Caribbean Patients", Psychological Medicine 18 (1988): 643-57. 3. S. Femando, Race and Culture in Psychiatry (London: Croom Helm, 1988); S. Fernando, Mental Health, Race and Culture (London: Macmillan/MIND, 1991); S. Fernando, D. Ndegwa and M. Wilson, Forensic Psychiatry, Race and Culture (London: Routledge, 1998); R. Cochrane and S. Sashidharan, "Mental Health and Ethnic Minorities: Review of Literature and Implications for Services", in Ethnicity and Health: Reviews of Literature and Guidancefor Purchasers in the Areas of Cardiovascular Disease, Mental Health and Haemoglobinopathies, CRD Report 5, 105-26 (York, UK: NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, 1996). 4. F.W. Hickling, "Psychiatric Hospital Admissions in Jamaica, 1971-1988", British Journal of Psychiatry 159 (1991): 817-21. 5. F.W. Hickling, "Double Jeopardy: Psychopathology of Black Mentally Ill Migrants and Returned Migrants to Jamaica", International Journal of Social Psychiatry 37 (1991): 80-89. 6. D. Ndegwa, "Problems with Research: Issues of Bias", in Forensic Psychiatry, Race and Culture, ed. S. Femando, D. Ndegwa and M. Wilson (London: Routledge, 1998), 109. 7. Department for Education and Employment News, "Minority Ethnic Pupils in Maintained Schools by Local Education Authority Area in England", January 1997 (provisional), 342/97-30 October 1997. 8. Fernando, Ndegwa and Wilson, Forensic Psychiatry. 9. F.W. Hickling, F. Lolsa, E. Sorel and G. Hutchinson, "Ethical Issues in Psychiatry: A Caribbean Perspective", in Images of Psychiatry: The Caribbean, ed. F.W. Hickling and E. Sorel (Kingston: Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, 2000), 371. 10. Melba Wilson, "Public Perceptions: The Psychology of Image", in Forensic Psychiatry, Race and Culture, ed. S. Femando, D. Ndegwa and M. Wilson (London: Routledge, 1998), 148. 11. Home Office, Protecting the Public: The Government's Strategy on Crime in England and Wales, White Paper Cm 3190 (London: Home Office, 1996). 12. Ndegwa, "Problems with Research", 98. 13. Ibid., 85. Art and Society INTERVIEW WITH EDDIE CHAMBERS JONATHAN GREEN, IJD Eddie Chambers was born in Wolverhampton in 1960, the child of Jamaicans who had migrated to the UK from Hanover in the 1950s. Educated firstly at Coventry Lanchester Polytechnic then Sunderland Polytechnic, he completed his PhD, "Black Visual Arts Activity in England Between 1981 and 1986: Press and Public Responses", at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has lived in Bristol for the past twenty years. Since the early 1980s he has been involved in organising and curating a considerable number of artists' exhibitions in the UK, starting with Black Art an' Done at Wolverhampton Art Gallery in 1981. In 1989, Dr Chambers established the African and Asian Visual Artists' Archive (AAVAA), at the time the only dedicated research and reference facility in the country exclusively concerned with documenting the history, presence and work of British-based black artists. He coordinated AAVAA until autumn 1992. Over the past decade his exhibitions have included Black People and the British Flag; Eugene Palmer; Us an' Dem; Home and Away; Phaophanit and Piper; Frank Bowling: Bowling on through the Century; Tam Joseph: This Is History; and Mildred Howard in the Line of Fire. His most recent curatorial projects have included exhibitions by Avtarjeet Dhanjal, Denzil Forrester, Medina Hammad and Anthony Key. In addition to his exhibition work, he has written a large number of catalogue essays and articles which have been published widely in journals and magazines, including Race Today, Africa World Review, and Art Monthly. A collection of his articles and essays, Run through the Jungle, was published by the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA) as part of their "Annotations" series in 1999. As a visual artist he has also had a number of exhibitions of his own work in the UK. These have included The Black Bastard as a Cultural Icon, The Slaughter of Another Golden Calf, and Marcus Garvey, The Blackest Star. His work was also included in the major Hayward Gallery exhibition The Other Story Asian, African and Caribbean Artists in Post-War Britain. In 1986, in conjunction with the Watershed Media Centre, Bristol, he researched, collated and assembled an exhibition of local black history, called Black Presence. Eddie Chambers is currently visiting professor, History of Art, at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, teaching courses on the visual arts of the African diaspora. Dr Chambers was the curator of the exhibition Curator's Eye II, Identity and History: Personal and Social Narratives in Art in Jamaica shown at the National Gallery in early 2006. Here he discusses his work with Dr Jonathan Greenland, executive director of the National Gallery of Jamaica. How would you describe the theme of the Curators Eye II exhibition for a layperson? The exhibition explored the many ways in which Jamaican artists engage with and interpret Jamaica's history and their place within it. Of course, some viewers might be of the opinion that the theme of the exhibition applied to some artists more than others. But it was very important to me that it wasn't overly didactic. I hoped to keep the messages of the work open. Two good examples are Shosana Fagan and Tricia Gordon-Johnston. I see them as artists whose work has no single, explicit 'meaning' or 'idea', rather, their work is particularly open-ended in its readings. With Tricia's work that was displayed in Curators Eye II, its redness was strongly symbolic, to me at least, of blood, and that can evoke the violent history of Jamaica. Or maybe it is menstruation. In many ways the overwhelming redness could refer to either a womb or a wound. Now, with Shosana, I see her as disrupting our comfortable notions of domesticity. She had these sheets strung out across the gallery like laundry, but they were blackened, defaced and torn. Sheets remind me of bed and healing and rest, love and sleep... t 11 1% i~n A r 0 0 Ebony Patterson, Untitled Venus (Inverts), 2004 Christopher Clare, Blackboard #20: Untitled, 1999 And privacy... Yes, but she drove a coach and horses through all that! There was almost a suggestion of violence tied up in the work. The sheets looked abused or burnt. Do you think it was a feminist work? I think the feminist leanings were very strong. The sheets were covered in text but they were not legible. They evoked the sense of voices not being heard, experiences not being acknowledged. There was again, at least to me great violence in the work; it made me think of victims of violence. Then there were Keisha Castello's works: these hybrid creatures were displayed in cases all along the wall. I see them as a metaphor for Caribbean hydridity in visual form. Maybe they are a play on the motto "Out of Many, One People" as the pieces comprise so many different elements and forms. And although the artist had just recently made the work, they looked like they were dug up like that! Do you think you were projecting this theme onto the different works? There are many artists around the world working in similar forms and they are not necessarily reflecting the Jamaican experience. Maybe I was. But this is the job of the curator: to interpret. Like an art historian. This is not the only and absolute interpretation of the work. In fact, I dislike the idea of the art historian as being something like a dispassionate librarian or authority. For one thing, it causes all sorts of problems when curators are considered to be the arbiters of truth. It has a false implication of objectivity which I don't think the term 'art history' necessarily carries. As a curator I want, first and foremost, for viewers to know that what I'm presenting is my opinion and should not be seen as carrying any sort of factual objectivity. I respect this statement of openness and vulnerability very much. How can curators foster and encourage this sense of discourse and differing opinions? I think that in general, it's difficult for many people of influence in the art world to accept the notion of divergent opinions having equal intellectual or curatorial value, because the dominant culture within art history and the art gallery is to privilege the idea of the 'expert' or the 'learned authority'. It is of course correct that if someone has spent many years learning about a particular aspect of art history, then their opinion must count for something. But it is in my view wrong to suggest or imply that other opinions have an inherently lesser credibility. I believe that we should allow for multiple art histories, as well as multiple curatorial perspectives. But I don't think that the art world is necessarily comfortable with that type of openness or vulnerability. I think the problem is even more acute in environments in which positions of influence or professional opportunities are relatively few. In answer to your question, I would say that those in positions of influence need to actively be cognisant of the curatorial aspirations of others and to respect the idea that curatorial and art historical plurality is a good thing. What other links did you see between the works in Curator's Eye II? There were many cross-references: one strong visual link was that iconic image of the slave ship. You saw it repeated in many different ways in Charles Campbell's work and Christopher Clare's and also K. Khalfani Ra's. How did the work of those particular artists relate to your theme? It's clear from looking at the titles of the work in the exhibition by K. Khalfani Ra that he's keen, even anxious, to intervene into Jamaica's history and pass highly opinionated, perhaps even highly contentious, commentary on that history. First and foremost, I see his very distinctive use of nails as a powerful, yet surprisingly open- ended symbolism: nails as a symbol of suffering and pain and violence on the one hand; nails as a symbol of creativity, construction, production on the other hand. The nails in his work in Curators Eye II remind me in particular of slaves, packed into the holds and decks of slave ships. This is profound work by an artist clearly committed to engaging with history for the good of himself, and others living at the present time. Charles Campbell's work was also evocative of the slave trade. This artist manages to turn something particularly traumatic, murderous and brutal into art works that are almost beautiful. His very beautiful, very moving, very simple paintings of migratory flocks of birds in flight are amongst my favourite works by Campbell in this exhibition. Migration (or multiple processes of migration) lies at the heart of African diasporic sensibilities and this artist captures that sense of importance incredibly well. And you used some older work by Christopher Clare. I saw a reproduction of a painting by Christopher Clare some years ago. It was a re-presentation of the iconic image of the slave ship, crammed with its human cargo, like so many sardines in a tin. I was immediately struck by Clare's painting. It had an almost haunting beauty, despite the horror of what was being depicted. Christopher Clare was one of the first Jamaican artists that I wanted to see when I began my research into this exhibition earlier this year. I was delighted when the opportunity presented itself to include in Curator's Eye II one of his 'slave ship' paintings. This one, a sombre yet majestic work in four sections, again re-presented the slave ship. This time, the wretched inhabitants of the slave ship were transformed into a dignified shoal of humanity: liberated souls swimming with purpose and grace. The piece speaks of the seas as a merciful receiver of tormented people, choosing suicide by drowning over the relentless horrors of the slave ship. Whenever I walked past Khepera Hatsheptwa's installation I felt this intense, silent, brooding energy. Khepera's work was clearly to me at least about the need for and the importance of building sustainable Omari Ra, Reconstruction: Legbara in Space, 2004/5 TOP, MIDDLE AND BOTTOM Keisha Castello, Hybrid Realities, 2005 Charles Campbell, Maroon Mandala, 2005 Charles Campbell, Meditation Rack, 2005 African-Caribbean family units: units that are in turn nurtured and sustained by a supportive community. The work speaks of family units, and individuals within these families, needing to be acknowledged and supported and kept safe from harm. With so many people living broken, fractious and dysfunctional lives, progressive economic, political, social and cultural agendas need to be accompanied by healing processes that seek to bring an almost medicinal good to black people. Khepera's work spoke to me about these ideas. How did you choose the pieces by Omari Ra? I love oversized, cinematic images and I especially liked the blackness of the portraits. Even in Jamaica, an overwhelmingly black country, this stood out. In these portraits the people were wearing hats and one of them was holding what might be a rifle. I asked the artist if it was a reference to cowboys and he said, "Maybe." Omari Ra's not didactic. He never says, "This is what the work is about." I think these images of his are, in their own ways, quite confrontational. I am particularly intrigued by what the black image means in Jamaica, because in the USA and UK it comes with a great deal of baggage. If you see the black image in advertising or art, you seldom have the option of reading it in a race-neutral way. We tend to read it in a very different way to an image of a white person. Generally I am very interested in the ways in which the black image might be read, here in Jamaica: Might the black image be read in ways that are race-specific? Or race-neutral? Or both, perhaps? I see Omari Ra's work as confronting and visualising ideas of blackness. These are ideas that some people might find uncomfortable. I find Ebony Patterson similarly confrontational. She had these large images of naked black women in the exhibition. They definitely evoke nakedness rather than nudity. In many ways they are the antithesis of the conventional woman as depicted in advertising, the media, etcetera. Ebony's work in some ways might amount to a declaration of identity that flies in the face of proscribed and choking notions of femininity. The bodies in Ebony's work are deviant, naked, raw, and unvarnished, and we simply cannot ignore these monumental, imposing bodies. I could be wrong, of course, but it seems to me that to be black in Jamaica is not in and of itself entirely seen as beautiful or respectable. The image that Jamaica projects, the celebration of the 'browning', Jamaica's colour-coding (as I would call it), all these things imply that hybridity makes beautiful. This in turn implies that what is perceived as being 'undiluted' African is in some way less 'beautiful'. It seems to me that there is great beauty in the figures in Ebony's work. Not a conventional notion of beauty and perhaps not a mainstream Jamaican notion of beauty, but beauty nonetheless. How did Chris Irons fit in to the theme? I saw the two dogs as a metaphor of the JLP [Jamaica Labour Party] and PNP [People's National Party]: One body with two heads. For such a relatively young country, one thing that continually dismays me is the two-party system in Jamaica. They became entrenched so rapidly. I listen to the radio, read the newspapers, and the hegemony of the JLP and PNP is never, ever questioned. In a democracy the people deserve more than a choice between Tweedle-dee and Tweedle- dum. In the USA and UK it is the same, of course. You can either vote Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Labour, but the political tribalism is not such a problem. In Jamaica it is a problem and has caused the shedding of so much blood. I see the Chris Irons piece as symbolising a dysfunctional system at war with itself, with ordinary people, poor people as the victims of this constant political warfare. What about the work of Andrae Green? The strange thing is I've always found when I'm in Jamaica that Cuba and Haiti might as well be somewhere near Australia, even though they are near neighbours. Jamaica is isolated in its anglophilia. It is surrounded by Cuba, Mexico, and Haiti and yet there is a real language barrier. Andrae's work is all about Haiti. The painting in the exhibition explores a dialogue between a man in Jamaica and what is happening in a neighboring country. I like this work because it extends the pan-Caribbean dialogue. Is this why you chose the work of Remond Mangoensemito? Remond is from Suriname but he studied at Edna Manley College. His painting is of a huge red rooster and I have always found the rooster very evocative of Caribbean culture. It makes me think of voodoo, ritual sacrifice and mythology. One thing that struck a lot of people about this exhibition was how young many of the artists are. Yes, many of them are young. But it was never intended to be like this; that is, I didn't have a policy of picking younger artists. I picked them because they were new artists to me. I'd not seen their work before. But some are not new or emerging: Carol Crichton is a good example. Her work fits perfectly into the theme of the exhibition and her concerns resonate with those of the other artists: her focus on geography - physical, historical and psychological; her exploration of land, The Land, as she sees it. So, the answer is a lot are young, but I didn't exclude anybody on the basis of age. Some of Carol's work was as close as it comes to the more mainstream interest in Jamaican landscape painting. Did you consider this tradition to be of importance to the theme of the show? Yes, because questions about 'land' and 'landscape' are in my view at the heart of cultural and national identity. Access to land is obviously a highly political (or highly politicised) issue, especially in a country such as Jamaica. And ideas of 'landscape' are eternally fascinating because landscape is always such a constructed commodity. I think Carol's work subtly unpicks and reconfigures a sense of the Jamaican landscape. Carol Crichton, Land We Love, 1995/2003 K Khalfani Ra, Script(ure) the (Re)constitution of Arcahaie, 2003 Khepera Oluyia Hatsheptwa, Architecture ot Being, 20(u L d Oneika Russell is a very interesting young artist who explores different materials and technologies. Yes, one of her works in the exhibition was a series of pieces that explored Manet's painting Olympia. This is a very famous French painting of a young, naked prostitute lying on a bed. But Oneika took a long look at the black servant woman in the background who is almost always ignored by many people. Even art historians have ignored the black woman in writing about Olympia. She is mainly mentioned as being some kind of compositional colour balance to the white prostitute! There is hardly ever any mention of her. Oneika gave full life and sustenance to this woman and explored all sorts of aspects of her appearance. So in a general sense Oneika explored the role of the black woman and her invisibility. I think there is a link with Ebony Patterson in that sense. They both seem to give a platform and a voice to black women. Was there also a link with Oya Tyehimba? Oya's work in the exhibition related to a specific moment in Australian aboriginal history: the clearing in Tasmania of its native people. This reference to Tasmania reached far beyond the black diaspora; it exists as a symbol of white persecution, it exists as a symbol of resistance and defiance. What fascinates me is that the artist reaches into history and pulls this woman out of time and gives her a moder-day resonance. Can you tell us why you chose the Zawdie Reece painting? Well, Zawdie is something of a mystery to me. In fact, I never actually met him! But the work is a strong exploration of self. I find the concept of the 'self- portrait' to be fascinating. And given the history of Jamaica it has added poignancy. To confront one's physical nature is a powerful thing, but in the Jamaican context you are confronting so many things, not just weight or gender, but also slavery. What different factors have gone into creating your physical being: Africa, the Middle Passage, a plantation owner, a sailor, a member of the British Army who was stationed here ... It is never really addressed but it always there, and in a way that the sugar-coated gloss of "Out of Many, One People" does not really address. To confront one's self is always a profound act in Jamaica. From what you have said, many of the works in the show were very serious and strongly evoked the painful history of Jamaica, as well as the present; do you feel that it lacked some of the humour and playfulness of the way Jamaican artists deal with their lives? Absolutely not. I can't see how anyone can suggest that the show might have lacked humour or playfulness. We only have to look at the work of artists such as Keisha Castello and Oneika Russell to see an abundance of humour. Elements of Carol Crichton's work also resonate with subtle but distinct humour. Of course, if people insisted on seeing the exhibition as a grim and cheerless selection, that's their choice. But I certainly didn't see the exhibition in those sorts of terms. I saw it as being, in parts, very consistent with the humour and playfulness of the way Jamaican artists deal with their lives and their environment. What parallels, if any, do you see between the contemporary art scene and contemporary society in Jamaica? I'm not sure that we can speak of genuine parallels between the contemporary art scene and contemporary society in Jamaica. I think elements of contemporary society in Jamaica are in some ways deeply dysfunctional, as are, in my view, elements of society in countries such as the UK and the USA and elsewhere in the world. At the same time, of course, Jamaica is a confident and robust country, very much a part of the modem and contemporary world. But its art scene pretty much functions in a sort of parallel universe, so evidence of significant interplay between 'visual art' and 'society' is hard to convincingly pin down. However, in curating this exhibition I was keen to explore some of the ways in which artists in Jamaica offered unflinching or candid commentary on Jamaican society and history. Carolyn Cooper [guest speaker at the opening] took issue with your statement that it was impossible to talk of Jamaican art, in the sense of it being a national school, and this reminded me of something Stuart Hall has said: that the moment when everything can be defined in terms of territorially bounded Jamaica is finished because globalisation has finished it. Is that something you would agree with? I think that's a very interesting idea. In response to Carolyn's insistence that there ought indeed to be something particularly and peculiarly 'Jamaican' about the Jamaican art scene, the question then has to be, "What might those things be?" For the life of me I can't identify or even locate them. Non-Jamaicans (if I can use that term) have had a commanding influence on the notion of 'Jamaican art', much more so than in the areas of Jamaican literature, music or dance. In areas such as literature, music or dance, it's not difficult, in my view, to identify specific strands of Jamaicanness. But I think the world of the visual arts is an altogether different prospect. What would you say about the state of contemporary art in Jamaica? I'd say that generally, the state of contemporary art in Jamaica is healthy. And I think that opportunities such as Curator's Eye are good because they offer the possibility of different perspectives and different artists having a profile. In undertaking my research last summer, I constantly came across artists expressing the sentiment, the impression, that the Jamaican art scene is dominated by a limited and privileged number of practitioners. This may or may not actually be true, but it's a formidable impression. In theory, exhibitions such as Curator's Eye offer the prospect of a wider or a different, selection of artists to have their work seen. How did this exhibition fit in with your interests as an art historian and a curator generally? The exhibition fitted in very well. In my ongoing curatorial work I'm keen to work with artists I feel have not had, or are not getting, the exposure they deserve. I deliberately sought to bring this principle to Curator's Eye. It is, of course, for others to judge the degree to which I may have achieved this. How easy was it for you as a British-based curator to curate an exhibition in Jamaica? I think that any experienced curator with some knowledge of art in Jamaica would, whilst " respecting the challenges, be up to the task. I think one of the . biggest challenges I faced was seeking out the work of artists whose names and practice were, by and large, unfamiliar to me. I'd made a number of trips to Jamaica over the years, plus of course I'd read the art books and seen some of the catalogues. But I think for the casual observer, getting beyond the familiar names of Jamaica's art scene can be quite a challenge. In this regard, being able to catch the Edna Manley College [of the Visual and Performing Arts] painting degree show was a great help. That's where I came across artists such Shosana Fagan and Tricia Gordon-Johnston, whose work was new to me. Whilst I have enormous respect for all those artists who have established names and reputations for themselves in Jamaica, I wanted to curate something new, something different, at least in terms of my own grasp of art in Jamaica. That led me to a distinctly younger group of practitioners, though it did of course also lead me to Carol Crichton. Jamaica can be a challenging environment, though that possibly applies to residents and visitors alike. Having a familiarity with how things are in Jamaica was a great help to me in working on the exhibition. If my very first visit to the island had been to work on Curator's Eye II, I think I'd have had greater challenges. Did you face any significant cultural challenges? Having been to Jamaica a number of times before, including several periods of teaching at the Edna Manley College, I pretty much knew what to expect in Jamaica. Between 1993 and 2002 I made seven visits, so I really don't K Khalfani Ra, The Vicissitudes of Memory: Long Live the Maroon Killers, Death to the Maroon Traitors. For De Serras the Unsung, 2004. think I faced any unexpected cultural challenges, as you've termed them. I think by its nature, the art world can be S a very peculiar sort of thing. That goes for elsewhere in the S world as much as it goes for Jamaica. Understanding and S navigating such peculiarities will, in my view, always be the main challenge facing a visiting curator. Who or what has been your greatest influence? I'm not sure that I have a 'greatest' influence, but as a student, some twenty-five years ago, I was profoundly influenced by the work of an artist and writer named Rasheed Araeen. In his own way, he gave me a blueprint for how an artist could make strategic interventions, how an artist could be an activist, and how an artist could challenge accepted notions of art history. He was an enormous influence on me. Do you have any advice for aspiring Caribbean curators? I think opportunities for aspiring Caribbean curators are few and far between. Realistically, it's not possible for an independent curator to sustain his or her practice (let alone, a reasonable level of income) working only within a Caribbean country. My advice would be to seek curatorial training and gallery experience outside of the region. That will then put aspiring Caribbean curators in a commanding position to make interventions back in their respective countries. 8 The Lost Portrait HELEN RAPPAPORT It is every biographer's fantasy, particularly if there is a paucity of primary source material on their subject both visual and written to discover something new and which changes our perception of that person: a cache of letters, an unpublished work, or perhaps even better still, a portrait which, till then, no one knew existed. I counted myself extremely lucky to be one of those who have experienced that magical, serendipitous moment the day that I held in my hands a lost image of the Jamaican nurse and doctress Mary Seacole, a heroine of the Crimean War for her services to the sick and wounded, who has, in the last twenty years since her rediscovery, become an inspirational figure to many. But not only was I looking at the portrait of a woman for whom there was, up to that point, only one image (a small carte de visit) covering the last twenty-five years of her life till her death in 1881, but it was, to boot, an iconic, authoritative image of Seacole at the height of her fame and powers. And, by some miracle, it had landed in my lap. In the autumn of 2003, I was living the usual freelancer's nightmare of trying to get enough work coming in as a writer, women's historian and Russian translator to pay the bills. It is a habit of mine, when times are lean, to seek refuge in my favourite historical subjects and the endless fascination of other people's lives. I already knew Mary Seacole's extraordinary story, having written about her in my Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers.' From the first, I had been captivated by her wonderful idiosyncratic narrative voice and had found her feistiness and indomitable spirit inspiring. I decided to start researching her biography even though I had no publishing deal. Soon after, I discovered that thing all biographers dread: someone else had got there first.2 A biography had already been commissioned. I was disconsolate, but felt compelled to continue. I was determined to fill in some of the many huge gaps in Mary's life story, so I carried on regardless, as and when time and money permitted. But I needed the help of experts, especially military specialists on the Crimean War, in order to progress my research. The Web revealed to me the encyclopaedic knowledge and expertise of the members of the Crimean War Research Society and the Orders and Medals Research Society (OMRS), where I rapidly entered into a fascinating and sometimes heated online discussion on the contentious issue of Mary Seacole's medals and how she got them. It was now late December, and I was due to go away for Christmas. But I could not tear myself away from my computer; I was still bashing out email exchanges with military historians, when suddenly, almost as I was about to close down my machine and leave, an email arrived from one of my medals experts with a jpeg attached. I'll never forget the excitement, the wonder and the sheer shock, which simultaneously stopped my breath, when I opened that jpeg. For there, on the computer screen, was the face of the mature, dignified Mary Seacole. With her head held high, in profile, she was proudly displaying the emblem of her Creole identity a red neckerchief - and wearing a set of three miniature medals: the British Crimea; the Turkish Medjidie and the French Legion of Honour (as my medals experts later confirmed for me). On enquiring where the portrait had turned up and who had it, I was told that it had been bought by an art dealer "somewhere in Oxfordshire". He had contacted a friend, who in turn had passed on an enquiry to an expert in the OMRS on medals awarded to women, who in turn had forwarded the email to me as someone who knew about Seacole for confirmation of who the subject was. I've never been more certain of anything than I was then: that I was about to embark on a quest: first, somehow or other, to secure the portrait; and second, to ensure it remained in England, that it did not disappear into some air-conditioned collector's vault or a faraway US repository. Some might say that the portrait ought to be in Jamaica; but that would limit access to it to only a few. Mary had been so proud to be a British subject; she had served that nation during the Crimean War, and there seemed only one true and fitting place for her in London, in Room 23 of the National Portrait Gallery amongst the other famous personalities of that war, including Florence Nightingale. Trying hard to contain my excitement, if not my state of total panic that the painting might any minute disappear into an auction, and then God knows where, I sent a message asking whether the dealer was prepared to sell. I discovered that that he happened to live only fifteen miles away from me, just across the border in Warwickshire. But his answer was extremely disconcerting: yes, he would be selling the portrait, but not for another six months, after he had exhibited it in his local annual exhibition. But it was Christmas, and that was not until the end of next May. How could I contain myself till then or live with all the worst-case scenarios entering my head. The painting might be lost, damaged or stolen. The dealer might change his mind and sell it on without my knowing. There was only one thing for it contact the dealer directly and throw 39 myself on his mercy, explaining my passion about Seacole and women's history, in the hope that I could secure at least the promise of first refusal on the portrait. When I went to see the dealer, Jerry, at his home, he was so laconic about what, for me, was a big moment as he nonchalantly produced the painting for me to examine. Seeing it this time for real, I knew without a doubt that it was Mary. The painting's date and her visible, physical age seemed to coincide perfectly. And there was something about Jerry that immediately reassured me: here was a man who I somehow knew would empathise, who would be sensitive to my passion about Seacole, about saving the painting from being sold on and possibly out of the country. I knew that Jerry was far too canny to be deceived, so I laid my feelings bare. I told him I could only pay a limited amount; that it was of huge importance not just to me but to women's and black history that he let me buy the portrait. But he is also a pragmatist; on more than one occasion, Jerry told me, he had bought paintings and then sold them on for less than they eventually turned out to be worth. He knew he could have pushed the painting's price beyond what I could afford to borrow from the bank. But in the end money was not what it was all about with Jerry. He actually cared about 1 where some of his paintings went. I was lucky; Jerry agreed to sell the portrait to me but not until after his exhibition in May. We shook hands on it. I came away happy but still paranoid. Say someone saw it at the exhibition and stole it from me at the eleventh hour with a bigger and better offer? There was nothing I could do but wait it out. Meanwhile, I had to raise the money not an easy prospect, having been struggling without success for a couple of years to sell another biography idea, and, with work so intermittent and underpaid, even having to take occasional waitressing jobs to keep going. It seemed total utter madness to stretch myself even further financially at such a difficult time. But I had to do it. And Jerry kept his word. Eventually, one sunny Sunday in early June, I drove over to Warwickshire to collect Mary and brought her home. Meanwhile, I had to find out what I could about the painting and its artist. Although Mary was not named as the sitter (what might have been an identifying label on the back had long since been removed), the portrait was signed "A.C. Challen, 1869". Of the painting's provenance, Jerry could tell me frustratingly little. He had bought it in autumn 2003 at a small local auction, held regularly at the social club of an industrial works in Warwickshire. But it had been put in the auction by another dealer something of an elusive mystery man about whom nobody knew very much. All Jerry could ascertain, from asking the auctioneer, was that the portrait had apparently been part of an assortment of things from a deceased person's house that had been sold at "a posh boot sale in Burford". Even worse was to come: Jerry, of course, had no idea who the deceased person had been, or who had sold the painting at the boot sale. But what put the lid on all hopes of tracking backwards to the original owner was that, when it was sold at Burford, the vendor did not even know it was there. For the portrait, painted on board, had been used, turned face in, to back a print of some kind. It was the mystery dealer who had noticed something odd - the Challen signature and date on the back and had unsealed the frame and discovered the portrait hidden behind the print. So how and when had it happened that Mary's portrait perhaps considered unfashionable or even undesirable to be hung on somebody's wall in the changing social and racial climate of late nineteenth-century Britain had effectively been discarded by its owners? How long had it been lost to view in this way? How had it wended its way from London, where I now know it was painted, to Oxfordshire? The questions were endless and the chance of answering any of them unlikely. Soon afterwards, I took the painting to Peter Funnell, curator of nineteenth-century portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, for his opinion. The portrait was subsequently examined by a specialist, and pigment tests and X-rays were taken. Much to our collective relief the tests confirmed the dating which meant the portrait was definitely contemporaneous and not painted posthumously. But the National Portrait Gallery, despite the resources of its S wonderful reference library, the Heinz Archive, could tell me absolutely nothing about the artist A.C. Challen. For they had no record anywhere of a single other work by him. Freelance life creates many opportunities for pursuing side interests in imposed periods of unemployment, and genealogy had always been another passion of mine. Knowing where to look, I started searching and eventually found my man. There he was on the 1881 census: Albert Charles Challen, born Islington 8 October 1847, living at 5 Penford Street, Camberwell with his parents and siblings. And better still: under the heading "profession", was the magic word "artist". But when I searched the Society of Genealogists' library and its family name collections, the Victorian trade directories and reference sources on artists, as well as checking with the Royal Academy and other art schools, I drew a complete blank. It was as though Challen had never existed. Yet, here was a young man who, at the age of twenty-two, had unknowingly painted what I am sure will become the defining image of one of the most fascinating black women in nineteenth-century history. But one thing is clear this was no expensive studio portrait. For by the time of the 1871 census, two years after the portrait was painted, Albert Challen was living in Hammersmith and listed as being an "art student" studying painting, which suggests that if he was at art college in 1869, the portrait was painted as a student practice piece. Either that, or it had been done before Challen had even begun his art school training. Between 1867 and her death in 1881 Mary Seacole seems to have lived in and around the Marylebone and Paddington areas. It strikes me that Albert Challen must either have personally known her, or had lived near her and known of her lingering celebrity, thirteen years after the Crimean War, in order to ask her to sit for him. But did the portrait remain in the Challen family after it was painted or did Mary Seacole herself purchase it? And if so, where did it end up after Mary's death? From my research I knew that Mary had relatives in Brixton: her nephew William James Kent and his wife Sarah and children. Sarah Kent had been present at Mary's death and was a legatee in her will. Whilst leaving most of her important valuables to military and royal patrons and her sister Louisa in Jamaica, Mary had specified that all "her furniture deemed fit, pictures, prints, engravings, plate, linen and china" should go to Sarah. So if the Kent family did inherit the portrait, they either handed it down within the family or sold it after Mary's death and it somehow found its way to Oxfordshire. So far I have not come across another portrait by Albert Challen, but I have at least traced the short, sad trajectory of his life. And here is the most poignant coincidence of all. He died, unmarried, on 1 September 1881 at his home in Camberwell, of phthisis (a lung disease similar to tuberculosis) - only four and a half months after Mary Seacole (who had died in Paddington that May). After 1881, all three Challen, Mary and the portrait - were, together, lost to history. Shortly before going away on holiday in September 2005, I was overcome by an irrational sense of panic at the thought of leaving Mary's portrait hanging on the wall in my home. What if there was a break-in; a fire; a flood; an act of God? I couldn't bear the thought of her portrait being lost again. So I enveloped her in bubble wrap, phoned the National Portrait Gallery and took her there for safe-keeping. I recently went to pay my respects to Mary at St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery in north London. It's a forlorn place in the dead of winter especially its neglected nineteenth-century section, with its lopsided crosses and broken headstones interspersed only by patches of scrubby, boggy grass and mud. There's hardly a tree to offer shelter or solace and none of the romantic, enveloping Gothic serenity of that great Victorian necropolis, Kensal Green, next door. Yet in its newness and whiteness, decorated with plastic flowers and a toy Jamaican flag, Mary Seacole's restored grave stands out like a beacon in this disconsolate monochrome wasteland. As I stood there and pondered how she had inhabited my creative imagination for the last three years and how her portrait had been my good companion through some difficult times, it struck me that if she were alive today, she would, in response, no doubt take me into her ample bosom with her characteristic joviality and a big, warm Jamaican laugh. In her own way, metaphorically, Mary has taken care of me, and I in turn have been able to help restore her story and, more importantly, herface to history. Mary Seacole's portrait will not return to my wall again, except perhaps in reproduction. She is where she belongs now on indefinite loan to the National Portrait Gallery, as a part not just of our collective, British and Jamaican heritage but of black history too. And I am content; because even if I am never able to solve the many puzzles about her life and the painting's provenance, at least she is there for everyone to see, with a campaign in full swing to have a statue erected to her in London, and at a time when British schoolchildren are now learning about her as part of the Key Stage 2 curriculum. + ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My thanks to Norman Gooding and Mike Hargreave-Mawson. NOTES 1. Helen Rappaport, An Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers, 2 vols. (Santa Barbara and Oxford: ABC Clio, 2001). 2. Jane Robinson, Mary Seacole: The Charismatic Black Nurse Who Became a Heroine of the Crimea (London: Constable, 2005). Dusky Doctress A JAMAICAN PERSPECTIVE ON MARY GRANT-SEACOLE On the bicentenary of her birth, Mary Grant-Seacole was celebrated as "the greatest ever black Briton", a "charismatic black nurse", and a "notable black writer".' She has been described as "an unsung heroine", whose exploits as a nurse "have long been eclipsed by those of her more famous white contemporary, Florence Nightingale".2 The president of the Royal College of Nursing recently contended that "against all odds, Mary had an unshakeable belief in the power of nursing to make a difference".3 Mary Grant-Seacole was a remarkable woman. But these eulogistic characterizations are a re-invention, and fail to portray Mary's real greatness and importance as a role model for today. In particular, they ignore the Jamaican dimension of her life and work. At this time of celebration, when many adulatory books and articles are appearing, it is needful to answer six pertinent questions. Was Mary Seacole a "black" woman? Was she a "Briton"? Was she a "nurse"? Was she "charismatic"? Was she "an unsung heroine"? And was Mary Seacole "eclipsed" by her "more famous white contemporary Florence Nightingale"? WAS MARY SEACOLE A BLACK WOMAN? You might think that this would be the easiest of the six questions to answer. And in a sense it is, depending on one's point of view. There are eight known likenesses of Mary at various ages and stages of her life.4 Mary's own self-identification at age fifty-two was in these terms: "a motherly yellow woman"; "I am only a little brown a few shades darker than the brunettes whom you all [British people] admire so much"." There are many verbal descriptions by careful observers, friendly and unfriendly. An American at a celebration at Edward Embleton's Independent Hotel in Cruces, Panama said of Mary, "Providence made her a yaller [yellow] woman", and he called her "the best yaller woman [God] ever made... so many shades removed from being entirely black".6 A British army officer, Captain Hopton Scott, in a letter to his family, wrote that he bought cigars at a caf6 kept by a "well known old lady, Mrs. Seacoal, a nickname most probably, for she is black as any coal".7 Other attempts to describe Mary's colour include the following: "la mere noire" [the black mother]; "an old dame a few shades darker than the white lily"; "berry-brown"; "a coloured woman"; "a nigger woman"; and "a lady of colour".8 A News of the World reporter, present at a public banquet for army officers returning from the Crimea, commented that Mrs Seacole's "dark features were quite radiant with delight". In the popular February 2004 media poll in which Mary Seacole was voted the greatest of all black Britons, "black" seems to have had a wide genealogical connotation and included individuals with any non-white ancestry, however ft remote. Number five on the list was Philippa of Hainault, queen of Edward III, and number fifteen was Charlotte, queen of George III. These two ladies were of impeccably aristocratic European ancestry. Philippa was the mother of Edward, the Black Prince; but his blackness seems to have had reference to his treatment of the French rather than his physiognomy.' So "black" in a British context may sometimes be an apologetic social categorisation, and not a genetic or anthropological description. WAS MARY SEACOLE A BRITON? Until Tony Blair and New Labour's 'politically correct' multi-ethnic Britain arrived, Mary Seacole could never have been a real 'British' heroine. She was a Jamaican with 'a touch of the tarbrush', and was considered so by everybody who mattered. Officially, she was a British subject, but only in a subordinate, strictly colonial, sense. It was friendship with her British army 'sons', cemented through their illness Romantic portrayal of Horatio and Mary Seacole ALAN EYRE in Jamaica, rather than patriotism, which inspired her to go to war on the British side. "The inclination to join my old friends of the 97th, the 48th, and other regiments, battling with worse foes than yellow fever or cholera, took such exclusive possession of my mind that I threw over the gold speculation altogether."10 She stated clearly that her ambition was to be "a Crimean heroine" rather than a British heroine." For this reason she cared for Russians, Sardinians, Turks and French in the throes of the conflict, which she could never have done had she been initially accepted by Mrs Herbert as a British army nurse. "I attended to the wounds of many French and Sardinians, and helped to lift them into the ambulances ... I derived no little gratification from being able to dress the wounds of several Russians; indeed, they were as kindly treated as the others."'2 As for nationality and residence, in her seventy-six years of life, Mary spent seventeen months in Russia (now the Ukraine), a little less than two years in Colombia (now Panama), about a year at sea and visiting various Caribbean islands, five extended periods totalling eighteen years in England, and fifty- four years in her native Jamaica. It was mainly financial necessity that required her to spend her declining years in London. I consider that all this entitles us in Jamaica to consider Mary Grant- Seacole as "one o' we". Aleric Josephs believes that Mary saw herself as an Englishwoman."' Personally, I think that she was more ambivalent about both her nationality and, as might be expected in the nineteenth century, her race. As an upwardly mobile, coloured female of colonial provenance, it was clearly expedient to be seen as English, and loyal to the mother country and her great queen.'4 But there is no doubt that Jamaica was home. WAS MARY SEACOLE A NURSE? Now let us get the facts straight. Her modem gravestone in St Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green, describes her as "a notable nurse". But in her lifetime she was not a nurse in any formal sense. In fact, she had no professional qualifications in anything at all. As the daughter of a mulatto woman, she was seriously disadvantaged in that regard, as we would say today. And in 1854, when she went to the war front in the Crimea, nursing was not a recognized profession for lay people. It was simply one of the acts of mercy carried out by nuns or sisters in religious orders. At that date, Florence Nightingale's 'nurses' have been described as "an incongruous medley of women".'5 Only long after the Crimean War did Florence Nightingale's heroic work raise nursing to become a reputable and respected form of employment. When Seacole applied to join Florence's new nursing corps, in spite of excellent letters of reference she was turned down, probably because she was a brown woman just arrived from Jamaica. Another possible reason ABOVE LEFT Mary did much to alleviate the appal- ing privations suffered by the British troops in the Crimea as suggested by this cartoon in Punch. LEFT Mary Seacole. Drawing in Punch 1855. was that applicants were not to be attractive to men, which Mary certainly was. Mary Seacole was a physician- pharmacist-surgeon of the highest calibre in the Creole (West Indian) 'eclectic' herbal tradition, with a successful practice. There is abundant evidence to support this.'6 But she was unlicensed and operated 'illegally' according to the conventions of the time. There were three plain reasons for this. Firstly, she was a woman. In 1854, women were not admitted to the universities or to the professions, and certainly not to medicine. Three years after Mary's death, the male tutors of Oxford University told the women of Britain: "inferior to us God made you, and our inferiors to the end of time you will remain"." Nearly forty years after Mary Seacole's death, female medical students had to perform dissection of cadavers in a room apart from men, and were instructed in male anatomy only "down to the level of the umbilicus".' The only female to qualify as a medical practitioner in Britain in Mary's time was Dr James Barry, who graduated and practised disguised as a man (he/ she also practised in Jamaica). Mary was too feminine, independent-minded a person to attempt such a subterfuge, and in any case she was a widow who had married in Jamaica. Creole medicine was considered by the British medical establishment to border on voodoo. It followed the 'eclectic' school, widely recognized in Seacole's lifetime in the Americas, but not in conservative England. Secondly, she was coloured and from Jamaica, a British colony. Most Jamaicans who 'made good' in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century were Creole white ('red men') from the wealthy plantocracy or were Jewish. One of her letters of reference from a British diplomat commends "her professional zeal and ability in the treatment of aggravated forms of tropical diseases ... at a time when I am apt to believe the advice of a practitioner qualified in the North [i.e., Europe] would have little availed".19 A lieutenant in the West Suffolk Regiment wrote: "She was a wonderful woman. All the men swore by her, and in case of any malady would seek her advice and use her herbal medicines in preference to reporting themselves to their own doctors."20 Thirdly, we have to understand that Mary's international reputation as a successful doctresss' was in large part due to the appalling standards of medical care (read, ignorance) during her lifetime. During most of Mary's life, it was the academically qualified medical professional, however famous and well paid, who was the 'quack'. This was the popular perception of a leading physician, Dr John Lettsom: "When patients come to I, I physics, bleeds and sweats 'em; / Then if they choose to die what's that to I I lets ,em."21 Mary as doctress To understand Mary's unassailable confidence in her medical knowledge and skills, and her extraordinary success and fame, we must appreciate the appalling ignorance and sheer quackery that reigned supreme in the medical profession in her day. "I can scarcely think of a single disease that the doctors actually cured," states one medical historian. There were "too many worthless medicines, too few remedies, insecure doctors and ignorance everywhere. Unlike today, doctors were not likely to be held legally accountable for their failures and mistakes". Medicine was really a form of benevolent homicide.22 The most famous English physician contemporary with Mary was Dr James Clark, LRCP, FRS, of St George's Hospital in the heart of London.23 In 1839 he prescribed opium, camphor, rhubarb and ipecacuhana for Lady Hastings, to treat her for "derangement of the bowel and possible pregnancy", although he admitted that she appeared to be a virgin. She died of tuberculous peritonitis.24 Dr Clark then went on to treat Queen Victoria's weakling firstborn infant child with mercury and a diet of ass's milk and chicken broth. It must be said that her father firmly, and accurately, contended that she was being poisoned by the doctor. Dr Clark made sure that the queen herself was never without her chlorodyne, a mixture of chloroform, ganja and morphia.25 Dr Hyppolyte Blot, one of the most notable French physicians of the mid-nineteenth century, treated ophthalmic gonorrhoea with "cautery, belladonna, opium, and violent purgatives".26 The poet William Henley, in 1861, developed tuberculous osteomyelitis. He was "pricked with rods of caustic, taken to a slaughterhouse and his feet plunged into the offal of a newly slaughtered cow". Then (not surprisingly) his left leg was amputated below the knee.27 Here is a treatment prescribed by a serious, fully qualified and therefore wealthy doctor of the time: a quart each of rum and lime juice, simmered over an easy fire, to which are added iron filings and coal cinders, and bottled. Malaria, which was hardly a problem to Mary with her tropical potions, was treated with "opium, brandy, mercury and muriatic [hydrochloric] acid".28 Hospitals were death traps, where "gin and brandy were freely available, and many patients were in a state of inebriated stupefaction". Patients quarrelled constantly and fought with one another on the wards. Patients were not washed, and it was forbidden for a patient's genitals to be examined or Sinkle Bible Physic Nut (Aloe vera) (latropa curcas) COURTESY OF THE ELSA GOVE/A MEMORIAL LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES, MONA Quassia (Quassia amara) even observed except in an emergency, far less to be kept clean. Even during cholera epidemics, "a new patient was put into the same sheets used by the last occupant". Wards were "saturated with organic matter".29 While Mary Grant "gained a reputation as a skilful nurse and doctress", using "Creole medical art", Dr Richard Warren treated a royal patient thus: blistering of his shaven scalp to coax out the poisonous matter from his brain, mustard plasters to draw the humours from his legs, leeches to his forehead, purges, emetics and sedatives in quick succession, rounded off with mercury and opium.30 At the same time Dr William Knighton was treating gout with cherry brandy, opium, arsenic and copious bleeding. Seven bloodlettings were typical for a bad cold, sixty-four for rheumatism. In 1835 Dr Graham promoted mercury as the wonder cure-all in his bestseller Modern Domestic Medicine: "no other drug can soothe and tranquillise the disordered system quite as successfully as mercury".31 Mercury, opium, arsenic, antimony, copious bleeding, "terrible" purges, blistering, cupping, emetics and sweating: this was the inevitable fate of any patient who consigned his or her body to the 'care' of an academically trained physician. No wonder the death rate was so high. No wonder there were so many invalids in Europe, especially women. And no wonder the Grant's Blundell Hall sanatorium in Kingston did so well. Midwife Still in the medical field, Mary also excelled as a midwife. During Mary's early and mature years as a practising doctress, a medically assisted confinement was typically (as described by one keen observer) "a horrid scene of human butchery".32 As childbirth drew near, obstetricians insisted on copious bleeding and violent purging. Charlotte, Princess of Wales, expecting to birth, was "bled profusely" and purged "so successfully" that when labour commenced, she was so weak that "uterine inertia" was noted. Mother and child both died.33 Babies were fed opium from birth (to quieten them), and a study of inquests in 1838 showed that twenty-eight out of every hundred neonatal infants died because of the use of opium.34 Mary reports very simply of her experience as a midwife during a serious fire in Gorgona, Panama: "a poor young creature, borne in from one of the burning houses, became a mother during the night; and a stout little lassie opened its eyes upon this waesome world during the excitement and danger of a Gorgona conflagration".35 Not surprisingly, among many distinguished women, Lady Campbell, wife of Sir John Campbell, entrusted her confinement to Mary. This was despite the fact that Mary had no official licence to practise. I was told that Mary once boasted that she had never lost a mother or child, at a time when such an achievement was exceedingly rare, but I have not been able to verify or document this claim. Physiotherapist to royalty Mary was the chosen physiotherapist of Alexandra, Princess of Wales, later the queen of Edward VII. Renowned pharmacist For several periods and in various locations she owned and ran what we would now call chemist's shops, stocking them with an exceptionally wide range of pharmaceuticals, many of which she concocted herself. Indeed, in life-saving pharmacology she was decades ahead of her time. Veterinarian Mary's skills and compassion were lavished upon animals as well as on humans, and she appears to have been a successful vet. One orphaned and badly wounded colt, discovered alive beside its dead mother and Russian owner, was restored to health and taken with her from the Crimea to England. It is intriguing to imagine what fifty- year-old Mary Seacole would do with a young pet Cossack horse in the busy streets of London. In other, non-medical, fields Mary excelled as: Chef and restaurateur of international repute The most famous French chef of the mid-nineteenth century, Alexis Soyer, considered her an equal. Mrs Seacole's cuisine at the front in the Crimea was "prodigious: course after course made its appear- ance, and to soup and fish succeeded turkeys, saddle -- - of mutton, fowls, ham, tongue, curry, pastry of many sorts, custards, jelly, blanc-mange, and olives".6 Businesswoman She owned and ran several diverse business enterprises, most of them successfully. Some of them were in 'pioneer' regions for business, such as the interior of Colombia, Haiti and Cuba. She was a successful itinerant trader or 'higgler' in the true Afro- Caribbean fashion. How she kept her store far away in the Crimea well stocked and supplied in the middle of a war was her undivulged secret. Sutler It was recognized that during the Crimean conflict Mary Seacole gave new dignity to a previously disreputable 'profession'. Hotelier Mary was a supremely successful hotelier in what are now Jamaica, Panama and the Ukraine. These were not 'temperance' establishments, but she managed to keep them up-market and respectable, and they were popular and well patronised. Entertainer At her hotel, to quote Mary herself, "laughter and fun re-echoed through its iron rafters"." 'Entertainment' in Caribbean parlance also includes genteel, upscale prostitution and personal service. She was the love child of such a liaison, as was her mother before her. The global sex trade is not new. But it seems that she confined this to the Caribbean, and there is scarcely a hint of it in her British or Crimean Two famous chefs of haute cuisine Mary Seacole and Alexis Soyer at the British Hotel in the Crimea. days. She quickly absorbed British respectability. Bestselling author Mary's very personal and moving account of her adventures is one of the more lucid and readable books of her century. It went through two editions within a year. It is acknowledged to be a splendid piece of philosophical autobiography. A few of her enterprising economic activities were rather less successful. At the age of forty-nine, Mary became a gold prospector and miner in a serious way. She travelled by sea to the operations of the Fort Bowen Mine of the West Granada Gold Mining Company. Jane Robinson treats this period as "a pleasant interlude", which is surprising, perhaps because this episode is only of peripheral importance to her British readers.3 But to Jamaicans, with their long business associations with Panama, it is of great interest, and was far from being an interlude. Mary was in earnest. She caught the worldwide gold fever of the early 1850s, and did prospecting with a male companion and two girls, along with some Amerindian guides. She expressly stated that she went exploring the Palmilla River "for the purpose of prospecting a mine said to be obtainable at an easy price".39 That is to say, she led the party up the river by canoe and other means in search of an abandoned mine that was up for sale. She had by this time learned the hard lesson of fool's gold at Fort Bowen, and seems to have convinced herself that this Palmilla Mine had serious prospects. She joined with other investors in London to purchase it. She must also have invested heavily in another mining venture in the Escribanos area, also financed in the City of London, and which went bust. In this particular case, Mary mentioned three years later that her claim on this syndicate had never been honoured. Mary was compelled to go to London for pressing financial reasons connected with her gold fever. No doubt some disillusionment with mining in the remote tropical rainforest dampened the enthusiasm for speculating in precious metals on the part of both Mary Seacole and Thomas Day. They both used their respective and necessary visits to Britain to go off on a totally new venture together. As Robinson vividly expresses it: "Late in August 1854, widow Mary Jane Seacole (forty-nine), quadroon, of Kingston, Jamaica, left Escribanos ... for London. She was going to war."" In her book, Robinson has got the details of this gold mining venture of Mary's completely wrong. The location of Escribanos on her map on page xvi is incorrect by more than 200 kilometres. This is curious, since Mary gives precise details as to location, and her own Palmilla mine can be identified exactly today, more than 150 years later.41 The Palmilla mine is 120 kilometres west of Navy Bay (Colon), not east as Robinson states. Then, it was in one of the most inhospitable and difficult regions in the world, and it is even more so today. The area receives more than 7 metres of rainfall annually. As in Mary's time, it is inaccessible except by very small coastal vessels, and then only at great hazard through notoriously rough seas. In terms of present population, there is only one person to every 10 square kilometres, and no one lives permanently anywhere near Palmilla. The entire area has not been inhabited since the last weary gold prospector carried off his shovel and sieve more than a century ago, and remains an impenetrable rainforest. In following Mary Seacole's travels, nowhere else was a more riveting revelation of this indomitable businesswoman's character than Seacole and Day's Palmilla gold mine. She invested in gold mining shares, notoriously volatile, and lost. Some of her other investments in real estate, for example were modestly successful. She may have "defied poverty", but certainly she was never poor at any time in her life. She was much too shrewd for that. In later life she was a woman of means, both in Jamaica and in England. In fact, throughout her life she had an international financial network of support. WAS MARY CHARISMATIC? In my opinion, Mary's autobiography and Jane Robinson's Mary Seacole unite in presenting her as a charismatic individual. To be charismatic is to "possess a gift or power of leadership or authority, the capacity to inspire devotion or enthusiasm, and endowed with 'special grace' for the fulfilment of a given mission".42 Without question, Mary "inspired devotion". She had no formal or legal authority whatsoever, yet she undoubtedly had a natural gift which amounted to authority in a multitude of real-life situations. In crises, and not only medical ones, she was magnificently charismatic. We only have to picture Lord Rokeby, who was stiff, formal British imperial authority Lord Rokeby personified, happily feting a dusky illegal doctress from Jamaica, sitting beside her in the Surrey Music Hall, to appreciate the extraordinary charisma Mary had over important personalities, especially prominent men. Lord Rokeby even managed Mary's investment portfolio for her. Or we can remember Mary in Escribanos ordering around the local magistrate: "When I heard Alexander give his men instructions to shoot the culprit if he resisted, I started off to his hut, and reached in time to prevent bloodshed ... we got him off for a fine of five hundred dollars."43 Or think of her raising "great laughter" in the boring bewigged bankruptcy court in London with her easy hauteur and her shafts of wit.4 WAS MARY SEACOLE AN UNSUNG HEROINE? Low describes Mary Seacole as "an unsung heroine of the Crimean War".45 This is a singularly unfortunate turn of phrase, since few Jamaicans in history have ever been more spectacularly feted in music and song than Mary Seacole. A century ago, in 1902, twenty-one years after her death, she was publicly honoured as "historic by right of good deeds. In an enlightened century [the nineteenth, of course], [she] stands out pre-eminent".4" As an impecunious and miserable student, fifty-five years ago I lodged not far from the Royal Surrey Gardens. The Music Hall and the menagerie have long gone. But fifty-eight years later I just had to revisit this tiny patch of green in the concrete jungle of inner south London, and write down these thoughts as I sheltered from a chilly drizzle and imagined the "gigantic four-day musical tribute" exactly 147 years earlier. There were a thousand performers, eleven military bands, and a huge orchestra. "On no previous occasion", bubbled The Times reporter, "have the Royal Surrey Gardens been thronged by a greater multitude. The Music Hall was literally crammed, many hundreds of persons being compelled to remain in the grounds, unable to penetrate into the interior of the building".47 The Illustrated London News in slightly more muted tones referred to "the nation's gratitude" towards Mrs Seacole as akin to that due to Miss Nightingale. "Mrs. Seacole, as soon as she was recognized, was greeted with loud cheers and every demonstration of enthusiasm." The "showman-conductor" and founder of the Promenade Concerts Monsieur Roch-Albert Jullien (he had thirty- five other Christian names) was the master of ceremonies. And there on the stage was the virtuoso pianist Johann Sebastian Bach Mills. Jullien conducted the extravaganza with "a magnificent maplewood baton, richly inlaid with gold, and almost covered with diamonds. A large diamond surmounts it, and flashes when used, being a pure, flawless brilliant." As might be expected from the number of performers, Jullien's music was described as "noise, noise and always noise". The monstrous event was an unqualified success, with rave reviews, and vast sums collected. But for unworthy reasons that Jane Robinson makes clear in her biography, Mary got ABOVE Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall, scene of the "Grand Military Festival for the Benefit of Mrs. Seacole". (Robinson, Mary Seacole, 175.) lEFT Roch-Albert lullien, conductor of the "Colossal Orchestra". (Robinson, Mary Seacole, 176.) a great deal of adulation but almost none of the money. Perhaps even the lions and tigers in the gardens outside roared their approval. It was men who sang Mary's praise. To some 'respectable' women, such as Mrs Herbert and Florence Nightingale, and even Elizabeth Blackwell, she was biblically frowardd' or, as we would say, 'out of order'. Mary had more than merely a medical interest in her patients, who were overwhelmingly male. She was known as the soldiers' friend. But she was everybody's friend. She felt that she was following the example of Jesus Christ in her own sweet way, and was a role model of genuine morality. She showed, by example, that a woman can be as strong as any warrior in the face of the savagery of war and bloody death. Everything we know about Mary Grant-Seacole tells us that she was a very fulfilled woman. She deliberately chose a life rich and wide with friendship, rather than 'romance' or erotic intimacy. So it is difficult for our over-sexed age to understand Mary Seacole. That a healthy woman should enjoy a full love life without climaxing with a man in bed is almost inconceivable. But I have no doubt in my mind, having followed Mary into all sorts of situations, that she enjoyed every moment of her life, even the rough patches. In its own wonderful way, to me her biography is a true thriller. So Mary was not an "unsung heroine" in her lifetime. She basked in popular adulation for her "medical triumphs". Indeed, in 1867, Queen Victoria herself, along with peers of the realm and many military chiefs, established the Seacole Fund in her honour and towards her financial support, an absolutely unique distinction for any Jamaican, black or otherwise. "Unsung"? No way. Mary Grant-Seacole was feted and celebrated as no other Jamaican and few Britons have ever been. So why was Mary Seacole forgotten in Britain for most of the twentieth century?48 She was never forgotten in her native Jamaica. In 1932 a commemorative book was published in Jamaica on the fiftieth anniversary of her death.49 A hall of residence at the University of the West Indies was named after her half a century ago. There are four possible reasons. Firstly, because she was an amateur and had no academic or formal qualifications or a professional career, she could not possibly be honoured with a place in Britain's imperial meritocracy, based as it was on gilt- edged certificates in Latin. Unlike Florence Nightingale, a blue-blooded British aristocrat who deserves her museum at St Thomas' Hospital and is the greatest alumna of King's College London, Mary Seacole was a nobody. Nevertheless, she went to her rest in Kensal Green personally loved and mourned by thousands, from royalty to medically rehabilitated army privates. Secondly, she was a Jamaican whose ancestors on her mother's side had been slaves. Colonialism and racism in Britain were much worse in the twentieth century than in the nineteenth. Thirdly, in her later years Mary returned to work in her native Kingston and purchased property there. When she had enough and to spare, she was content with the crumbs from the master's table. She was happy simply to be appreciated and befriended. Fourthly, and, to me, most importantly, "in the professions, it is a law of nature that the eccentric shall not survive"." And, for sure, Mary Seacole was eccentric. She successfully challenged the medical establishment where it mattered most in the trenches, in pandemics of cholera, dysentery, typhoid, typhus, malaria and yellow fever. She cured multitudes who would have certainly died within days or hours if left to academically qualified doctors. But people like that do not easily get into the history books. WAS MARY SEACOLE ECLIPSED BY FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE? Florence Nightingale was fifteen years younger than Mary, and lived twenty- nine years after her death. So they were not really contemporary. Moreover, in the crucial period after the Crimean War, Mary was back home in Jamaica, so it was a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'. As we have already discussed, Miss Nightingale was socially acceptable to the British establishment, even if her ideas seemed a bit weird, and therefore she was revered. She had friends in very high places. But Mary broke all the official rules, and her fame was based upon simple personal affection, which is not historically sustainable. To call Mary Seacole "a black Florence Nightingale" is unfair to both women. In no sense were they rivals, nor is it possible to consider them as complementary. Indeed, they cannot be compared at all, as their motivation, their educational background, their social outlook, and even their concepts of 'nursing' were poles apart. Florence was an intellectual, steeped in European culture, and at heart a combination of transcendentalist mystic and lover of Western art. She told her friend Dr Benjamin Jowett, the vice- chancellor of Oxford University, that "it is a religious act to clean out a gutter and to prevent cholera"."' She had an exalted, almost metaphysical, concept of her chosen vocation: "nursing is an Art; and if it is to be made an art, requires an exclusive devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold marble compared with having to do with the living body the temple of God's Spirit. It is one of the Arts; I had almost said, the finest of the Fine Arts".52 At least in theory, Florence believed in human perfectability, and expected her nurses to be saints, or better still, angels, doing all to the glory of God, and with little thought of earthly reward. Of course, in the real world of her age, only well-read and pious gentlewomen with a private income (like herself!) could rise high enough to grace the nursing profession. Nightingale nurses were expected to be exacting (especially upon themselves), cold, clinical and unemotional. And, of course, academically trained physicians provided the medication. Mary's outlook was altogether less aesthetic, and much more practical and down-to-earth. Her concept of nursing was essentially medically skilled "mothering", with a warm heart and medicines that she had either manufactured herself or proven to be highly efficacious. Moreover, to Mary 'nursing' involved not just clinical attention, but providing lots of creature comforts, good food and cheering company. She treasured letters like one from "General B-", which began, "My dear Mrs. Seacole, I am very much obliged to you indeed for your pork."5" At the battle of the Tchernaya, Mary attended a Russian, "a handsome fellow", who took a ring off his finger and gave it to her, kissed her hand, and as she explained, "smiled more thanks than I had earned". Mary specialised in smiles, "that one common language of the whole world". "I thought," she wrote afterwards, "that my knowledge of human ills would enable me to be of use to the overworked doctors."54 The key phrase there is "be of use". Mary was essentially a utilitarian, not a mystic. Florence Nightingale was so puritanical and neurotic about gender and the human body that her nurses were not allowed to show any tenderness or to behave in a way that might conceivably be interpreted as immoral. They had to look at the ceiling when performing some duties. Reports reaching her about Mrs Seacole convinced her that Mary was a woman of loose morals, as she was actually "very kind to the men", and offered them liquor and "persons". Florence spread around a salacious rumour that the beautiful teenager Sally Seacole was the illegitimate daughter of Mary and a certain Colonel Bunbury.55 SO WHAT WAS MARY GRANT- SEACOLE? How should we recognize and honour her? First and foremost, Mary Seacole was a shrewd, successful super- higgler, Jamaican style. This enabled her to follow her real vocation, a successful, popular and immensely respected doctress. That is to say, to quote Elizabeth Brooke, "she was a skilled and practising physician and surgeon" of mixed race, without any European academic qualifications, and therefore technically practising illegally in Jamaica and every other country she visited."6 Nevertheless, she had an extensive and grateful international clientele. "She doctors and cures all manner of men with extraordinary success", was the evaluation of war correspondent Billy Russell.57 Her bedside manner was idiosyncratic, deliberately feminine in ethos and therefore defiant of convention, and derived from her African and Afro- Caribbean roots. This endeared her to multitudes of sick folk, especially wounded soldiers. Mary felt her skills, her self-confidence, and her particularly West Indian 'brand' of Christian love would do more to triumph over racial and gender prejudice than agitation and confrontation. And, as we all know now, and can commemorate, she was absolutely right. My late wife, Mary, worked in Kingston hospitals most of her professional life, and Mary Seacole was one of her role models. She was known to hundreds as "Mom". She was much more proud of that than of her certificates or medical reputation. This was much more the case with Mrs Mary Grant-Seacole. None of her many accomplishments meant nearly as much as one simple title in which she revelled throughout her long life: "Mother Seacole". Childless herself (assuming we discount Florence Nightingale's unkind innuendoes), she had an enormous extended 'family' and bestowed mother love on a multitude of men and women of many nationalities and languages across the world. That is where her true greatness lies, and she knew it. + NOTES 1. Valentine Low, "Poll Celebrates Contribution of Black Britons", Evening Standard, 9 February 2004, 15; Jane Robinson, Mary Seacole: The Charismatic Black Nurse Who Became a Heroine of the Crimea (London: Constable, 2005), title page; Jeffrey Green, "Before the Windrush", History Today 50 (2000): 34. Robinson knows well the readership she is writing for. The front cover of her splendid, deeply perceptive biography, a definitive work on Mary's life, has the blackest of the available portraits, and the subtitle "the charismatic black nurse who became a heroine of the Crimea". Get going inside, and we soon meet the real Mary. Gently and tortuously, Robinson leads us to conclude for ourselves that she was not really a Great Black British Nurse after all, but a much more complex and fascinating person. Indeed, Robinson has drawn a compelling word picture of a Jamaican woman that we can instantly recognize and with whom we can readily empathise. 2. Low, "Poll Celebrates", 15; Danielle Demetriou, "Nurse Tops Poll Recognising 100 Greatest Black Britons", Independent, 10 February 2004, 25. 3. Cited by Demetriou, "Nurse Tops Poll", 25. 4. These consist of four portraits, two drawings by Punch, a photograph and a bust. One portrait has recently been discovered by Helen Rappaport. It is hardly true to say that Mary was forgotten. 5. Ziggi Alexander and Audrey Dewjee, eds., Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (Bristol: Falling Wall, 1984), 124, 58. 6. Ibid., 97. 7. Alastair Massey, The Crimean War: The Untold Stories (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 2004), 237. 8. Alexis Soyer, Soyer's Culinary Campaign (London: Routledge, 1857); Punch, 6 December 1856; Douglas Reid, Memoirs of the Crimean War, 13-14; Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 106; Morning Advertizer, 19 July 1855. 9. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Philippa was the daughter of William the Good, Count of Hainault, and Jeanne de Valois, granddaughter of Philip III of France. It was said of Queen Charlotte that her facial features did not look very European, but I have failed to find the slightest 'taint' (sic) of non-white ancestry, as some have darkly hinted. Of course, 'inconvenient' facts about the ancestry of both ladies could have been suppressed; there is now no way of knowing. 10. Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 121. 11. Ibid., 123. 12. Ibid., 203. 13. Aleric Josephs, "Mary Seacole: Jamaican Nurse and Doctress", Jamaican Historical Review 17 (1991): 49. 14. Although of Scots paternity, and ready to admit it, Mary never seems to have shown any affinity at all with Scotland. In 2006, it seems odd that her father's nation has not yet claimed her as a great Scot. 15. Cecil Blanche Woodham-Smith, Florence Nightingale 1820-1910 (London: Constable, 1950), 176-77. 16. See Elizabeth Brooke, Women Healers (Rochester: Healing Arts, 1995),117-22. 17. Michael De-la-Noy, Exploring Oxford (London: Headline, 1994), 30. 18. Paul Weindling, "The University's Contribution to the Life Sciences and Medicine", in The Illustrated History of Oxford University, ed. John Prest (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 286. 19. Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 123. 20. Peter Fryer, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto Press, 1984), 249. 21. Barbara Griggs, Green Pharmacy (Rochester: Healing Arts, 1970), 142. 22. C.D. O'Malley, The History of Medical Education (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970). 23. Dr Sir James Clark, according to George Villiers, Lord Clarendon, was not fit to attend a sick cat. 24. For these and other details of Dr Sir James Clark's doctoring, see Raymond Lamont-Brown, Royal Poxes and Potions (Stroud: Sutton, 2001), 95-147 passim. 25. This ferocious and addictive compound long survived Queen Victoria. My own mother swore by it and insisted that I take it regularly as a child seventy years ago. 26. Julia Boyd, The Excellent Doctor Blackwell (Stroud: Sutton, 2005), 109. 27. Lamont-Brown, Royal Poxes, 177. 28. Boyd, The Excellent Doctor, 31. 29. Guy Williams, The Age of Miracles: Medicine and Surgery in the Nineteenth Century (London: Constable, 1981), 87-91 passim. 30. Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 59-61; Lamont-Brown, Royal Poxes, 51. 31. Thomas J. Graham, Modern Domestic Medicine (London, 1835). 32. Samuel Thomson, A Narrative of the Life and Medical Discoveries of Samuel Thomson (Boston, 1825), 25. 33. Ida McAlpine and Richard Hunter, George III and the Mad Business (London: Pimlico, 1995), 241. 34. Williams, The Age of Miracles, 87. 35. Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 105. 36. Robinson, Mary Seacole, 146. 37. See Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 175-85 for details of the entertainments Mary put on at the British Hotel. 38. Robinson, Mary Seacole, 73. 39. Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 117. 40. Robinson, Mary Seacole, 74. 41. With the kind assistance of the Geography and Map Division of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, I was able to identify the location of the mine from the map archive of Panamanian gold deposits within ten minutes. The location was also confirmed from old maps at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. 42. The Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). 43. Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 115. 44. Robinson, Mary Seacole, 161. 45. Low, "Poll Celebrates", 15. Although deserved distinction is a matter of individual opinion, I am puzzled at not finding anywhere in the media's list of one hundred "black Britons" William Hall, VC, of HMS Rodney, the first black Briton to receive the Victoria Cross. Like Mary Seacole, he was also awarded the Crimea Medal. 46. T. Kelly, From the Fleet in the Fifties (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1902); see Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 40, 44. 47. For descriptions of "The Seacole Festival" see Robinson, Mary Seacole, 175-80; The Times, 30 July 1857; Illustrated London News, 1 August 1857; Simon Schama, A History of Britain, vol. 3 (London: BBC Worldwide, 2001), 218-23; Adam Carse, The Life of Juillen (Cambridge: Heffer and Sons, 1951), 58-93 passim. 48. Sue Carpenter, "The Forgotten Angel of the Crimea", Times Analysis, Hidden History (London: BBC, 2004). 49. T.S. Phillips, Mary Seacole (Kingston: the author, 1932). 50. Jeanne Peterson, The Medical Profession in Mid-Victorian London (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), 251. 51. Florence Nightingale, Letters and Reflections (Evesham: Arthur James, 1996), 41-56. 52. Ibid., 64. 53. Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 162. 54. Ibid., 123. 55. See Robinson, Mary Seacole, 155, and the letter on 191. Robinson discusses in some detail Miss Nightingale's jaundiced opinions of Mrs Seacole. 56. Brooke, Women Healers, 121. 57. Quoted in Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 173. ILIFEAND H STOY More Than a Nurse MARY SEACOLE AS WIFE, 'MOTHER' AND BUSINESSWOMAN ALERIC J. JOSEPHS Mary Seacole has recently been voted Britain's greatest black person.' Her claim to fame rests in the feats she performed on the battlefield of the Crimea as a nurse and doctress.2 What is not usually focused on is what gave this woman her rounded personality and what made it possible for her to serve so well outside of the official institutions and offices3 established to manage the Crimean War for Britain her role as 'mother' and businesswoman. Seacole's other roles beyond nurse and doctress marked her as being both conservatively woman and yet one who rejected the conventions of her day. She managed to challenge the Victorian view that a woman's place was in the home while satisfying the ideal vocations of being wife and 'mother'. Her liberation as a nineteenth-century coloured woman went far beyond the use of her skills as nurse and doctress in situations where no Victorian British woman should have been found. She was wife and surrogate mother, satisfying the Victorian norms while being a businesswoman of note. It is this latter untraditional occupation which facilitated her activities as nurse. WIFE AND WIDOW At thirty-one years of age, Mary Seacole became a wife. On 10 November 1836, Mary Jane Grant married Edwin Seacole4 in Kingston and moved to Black River in St Elizabeth. By November 1844 she was widowed. So she was only a wife for a few years, but her marriage allowed her to satisfy the Victorian ideal of women's ultimate vocation as being a wife serving sovereign man. From her own account, her major role as wife was to be her husband's nurse. Of him she said: Poor man! He was very delicate: and before I undertook the care of him, several doctors had expressed most unfavourable opinions of his health. I kept him alive by kind nursing and attention as long as I could; but at last he grew so ill that we left Black River, and returned to my mother's house at Kingston. Within a month of our arrival there he died.5 She had known that he was in poor health when she married him but had probably seen it as a challenge to nurse him back to health. She had desired since childhood to find "human patients" to practise her skills in Creole medicinal art.6 No doubt she cared for him, as she expressed her distress at his death,7 but she certainly could not have married him for the usual protection and subsistence expected of a husband. He was a merchant, but she had had experience in that area of business before the marriage8 and would have brought invaluable knowledge to the merchandising necessary in keeping the store they established in Black River.9 Marriage would have changed her status. It was unusual in Jamaica for mixed marriages to take place, even in 1836 after the removal of the civil disabilities for coloureds.'0 The common practice during and after slavery was for a coloured woman to be the mistress of a white man." So Seacole could not have been unaware of her changed status not only as a married woman, but especially as a coloured woman marrying a white man, and one, furthermore, with links to the elites of England.12 The marriage thus allowed her to live with Mr Seacole in respectability while she nursed him." Seacole became a widow R at an early age she would have been under forty. Yet she chose to remain a widow, although there seem to have been suitors for her hand: "I do not mind confessing to my reader, in a friendly confidential way, that one of the hardest struggles of my life in Bust of Mary Seacole by Count Cleichen Kingston was to resist the pressing candidates for the late Mr. Seacole's shoes."14 Her decision not to remarry speaks of her independence. Of this she said, "It was from a confidence in my own powers, and not at all from necessity, that I remained an unprotected female."'5 This liberated woman did not see herself as being in need of the usual protection provided by marriage. And unlike many widows in Jamaica in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, she did not find herself destitute on the death of her husband,16 although she suffered many setbacks and challenges, including "many promising speculation proving a failure" and the destruction of her home, burnt by the 1843 fire in Kingston." The potentially devastating situation, which could have made her vulnerable, was an opportunity for Mary Seacole.1 Her escape from destitution was due to the fact that she was an astute businesswoman. This she was before her marriage and no doubt continued throughout her marriage. In widowhood she continued what she had always done well business. In widowhood she carried the status that would have allowed her some protection and elevation in some circles. The title of 'Mrs' must have facilitated her as an unchaperoned woman as she resumed the life of travel she enjoyed before marriage,19 for she was now a respectable Mrs Seacole. She rejected the Victorian concept of being housebound. And being no longer a wife and having no biological children, she was free to roam as she willed. She demonstrated that the Victorian woman could be independent, active outside the home yet remain quite feminine. She saw herself a "stout female" and "a hearty strong woman" with a soft heart.20 She was right womanly. MOTHER SEACOLE Being right womanly for Seacole included surrogate motherhood. To date no evidence has been found to support the view that she was a biological mother. She always had a female companion on her travels who might have been mistaken by some as being her child. At about the age of fifteen years she went on her first visit to England and "a very dark companion" accompanied her.21 On her trip to Panama she also had a young girl to whom she referred as her "little maid" Mary.22 The practice was not unusual; women who travelled in the Atlantic World often took a companion with them. From Jamaica the companion was often a black slave.2 Though Seacole did not mention her in her autobiography, a young girl named Sarah accompanied her to the Crimea. She was said to be of lighter complexion than Seacole and was fourteen years old in 1854.24 Was she Seacole's daughter? This would mean that she had this child when she was still married to Mr Seacole.25 It is understandable if Seacole did not acknowledge an illegitimate child. She herself was illegitimate and would have been keenly aware of the stigma attached to such birth. On the other hand, Seacole seemed quite forthright, and her reputation, from those who truly knew her, does not support the type of impropriety which the date of birth suggests. While it may have been unusual for persons like Florence Nightingale, one of Seacole's detractors, to understand the nature of 'family' relations in the Caribbean, it was quite normal for non-whites to 'mother' the children of others and even take them into their own families. White missionaries of the nineteenth century 'adopted' children of those they wished to convert and called them their 'sons' and 'daughters'.26 Seacole herself was brought up by a patron: When I was a very young child I was taken by an old lady, who brought me up in her household among her own grandchildren, and who could scarcely have shown me more kindness had I been one of them.. .27 While Mary Seacole's biological status as mother is still uncertain, she styled herself as "Mother Seacole".28 She mothered the men in the army she served. She had 'adopted' the soldiers from the West India Regiment whom she served at Up Park Camp. ~' MAl E GIANTIZACU T"WRAORNUMK AN TO Wall plaque, National Library of Jamaica, East Street She saw them as her "sons".29 Going to the Crimea for her was to continue the process of taking care of these her sons: "The authorities ... would not listen to the offer of a motherly yellow woman to go to the Crimea and nurse her 'sons' there, suffering from Cholera, diarrhoea, and a host of lesser ills."3 Her projection of herself as 'motherly' and her embracing of the name "Mother Seacole" speaks of the "submerged motherhood"31 recognized in many Caribbean women. Coloured women were noted for being affectionate mothers who were very attached to their children.32 As with other non-white women, they served as mothers to white children, even breastfeeding them, a prevalent feature of slave society. The resulting bond was quite obvious to the point where visiting whites feared the consequences.33 Seacole was therefore not only reflecting one of the characteristics of Victorian womanhood, but she was being typically coloured. Her image as Mother Seacole might have been a necessary strategy to protect her femininity and possible chastity in a man's world. With such an image she distanced herself sexually from the men she served and deflected any possible accusations of impropriety. For her "the strong men" were but children, made so from "illness and weakness".3 What better way to serve them than to be their mother, giving them a taste of home in the meals she provided and taking care of them as she treated their wounds? Hotel-keeping provided the means through which she served her "sons", channelling the domesticity of Victorian womanhood. BUSINESSWOMAN While her hotel-keeping activities and her merchandising reflected her domesticity in many ways, Mary Seacole's life reflected the contradictions of the nineteenth- century concept of women. She had to be employed in income-generating activities to support herself from her teenage years.35 Up to age thirty-one she was unmarried and clearly did not choose to follow the usual path of being the mistress of any man.36 She was not unaware of the difficulty in being an independent, self-supporting woman in the nineteenth-century Caribbean, but she seemed unwilling, or was unable, to depend on any man to support her: "Although it was no easy thing to make ends meet, I never allowed my self to know what repining or depression was, and so succeeded in gaining not only my daily bread, but many comforts besides from the beginning."37 So she chose to be a business- woman, and emerged as such during a turbulent economic period in Jamaica's history. From early in the nineteenth century there were signs of decay and stagnation. By 1865 the economy was in crisis.38 It is against this background of economic adjustment that Seacole showed her prowess in business, taking risks and overcoming a number of setbacks. This remarkable woman was one of the coloured population of Jamaica who after 1830 were able to set aside the earlier social disabilities imposed on them. Seacole was an astute businesswoman, resourceful and independent. While most of her business activities were centred on hotel-keeping, she demonstrated the Medals awarded to Mary Seacole for work done in the Crimean War. ability of Caribbean women to be multi-skilled and to carry out multiple tasks in unison.39 She emerged in the post-slavery era as a prosperous businesswoman, even sharing in a small part of the export trade.4" EXPORT TRADE AND MERCHANDISING Seacole seemed able to sniff out opportunities for business ventures and to carry on trading activities of one kind or another. She recognized quite early that there were Caribbean products which were in demand in England, and that Jamaican products were desired around the Caribbean and vice versa. Like many of her Jamaican sisters, she recognized that her homemaking skills could be put to good use as income- generating activities.41 Her second trip to England was not only a holiday, it was a business trip. She was about eighteen years old at the time. She recalled the trip in her autobiography: "Before long I again started for London, bringing with me this time a large stock of West Indian preserves and pickles for sale."2 This was her first independent business activity. Her other trips were within the Caribbean: "Before I had been long in Jamaica, I started upon other trips, many of them undertaken with a view to gain. Thus I spent sometime in New Providence, bringing home with me a large collection of handsome shells and some rare shell work which created quite a sensation in Kingston and had a rapid sale. .."43 So when at marriage she joined her merchant husband in opening a store in Black River,4 she was already a businesswoman in her own right, involved in the export/import trade. These 'business trips' reflected her astuteness and her independence of spirit. The pattern continued on her trip in 1850 to Panama.45 She went to Panama ostensibly to visit her brother who had gone there earlier that year to establish a store and hotel,4 but she refused to go as a dependent woman. She no doubt knew of the need for a variety of commodities in the frontier conditions of the Isthmus in the mid- nineteenth century as many railway and hotel workers were from Jamaica.47 The knowledge of the consumption patterns must have filtered back to Jamaica and so she capitalised on it: she carried those goods that would fetch good prices.48 So her trip was carefully planned and she used the resources at her command to prepare for it: I allowed no grass to grow beneath my feet, but to set to work busily, for I was not going to him empty- handed. My house was full for weeks, of tailors, making up rough coats, trousers, etc., and sempstresses [sic] cutting out and making shirts. In addition to these, my kitchen was filled with busy people, manufacturing preserves, guava jelly, other delicacies, while a considerable sum was invested in the purchase of preserved meats, vegetables and eggs.49 Other Jamaican women had also gone to Panama not only to work but also on business ventures; they were shopkeepers and sellers of agricultural produce.50 Seacole's enterprise was different in that it was varied: she offered several services from her table d'h6te operation, which she established after finding the most suitable site.51 Her base for business was, as in Jamaica and later in the Crimea, a hotel. STOREKEEPING AND GOLD PROSPECTING Seacole was always on the lookout for investment, a way for earning, though she claimed that she "never thought too exclusively of money".52 Her business ventures included storekeeping and gold prospecting. Seacole's first venture in store- keeping had been the store that she opened with her husband in Black River,53 a venture which ended prematurely when her husband fell sick and they had to return to Kingston. She again tried her hand at storekeeping while in Panama, opening a store in Colon/Navy Bay. This was a response to observed needs: Navy Bay was the terminus of the Panama Railway and an important transit point for travellers on their way across the Isthmus en route to California (it was the time of the gold rush), and so a store was a strategic business supplying the needs of oft- stranded travellers." Although business was good, Seacole seemed deterred by the "endless quarrels, often resulting in blood shed ... between the strangers and the natives",55 so she abandoned the business for another risk-taking venture. It would have been surprising if Seacole had not invested in gold mining, since she was exposed to so many persons involved with the venture and had an eye for good investment. It must have been risky, as she herself was unlikely to be directly involved in the operations of the business. However, she did spend some time in the area of the mine in which she invested.56 She probably took the risk because the superintendent was "a distant connection of [her] late husband"." Seacole left the mining community of Escribano in New Granada before she "found gold", but she wrote in 1857 that she "had claims on a Mining Company that [were] still unsatisfied"."8 There is no evidence to suggest that she ever received a return on her investment. HOTEL-KEEPING A major part of Mary Seacole's business activities was built around hotel-keeping. It was not by accident that she chose this occupation. She was intimately involved from an early age in her mother's boarding house activities.59 She inherited her business acumen from her mother who, like many other coloured Caribbean women in the age of plantation slavery, operated a lodging house. Lodging houses were the forerunners of the hotel industry and provided accommodation in the towns of the Caribbean for travellers. They provided the best accommodation for travellers in Kingston and other towns." They sometimes served as convalescent homes for European travellers, including army and naval men who succumbed to tropical diseases.61 For Mary Seacole, her lodging house benefited from such patrons: "My house was always full of invalid officers and their wives from Newcastle, or the adjacent Up Park Camp. Sometimes I had a naval or military surgeon under my roof."62 Seacole inherited Blundell Hall located on East Street in downtown Kingston from her mother. She gives no specific date as to when she took over Blundell Hall, but at the time of the 1843 fire in Kingston63 she was already proprietress of this boarding house. What is remarkable is that this woman was able to rebuild her hotel and expand her activities in a time of economic recession." Hotel-keeping in Panama was a good business decision for Mary Seacole. With the gold rush in California, the Isthmus was the transit point for traffic from America's east to west coasts.65 Seacole had the skill in this area already. She also had the benefit of her brother's experience on which to draw; and while she was very alert to economic potential in a number of areas, the risk involved in others she avoided. So in Cruces, she did not provide lodgings in her hotel, only board, and in following her brother's example "closely", she "forbade all gambling in [her] hotel".6 Her keen business sense led her to set up a badly needed barbershop and to move from Cruces to Gargona, when the route to California shifted in the dry season.67 Her resourcefulness and astuteness are exemplified in her building of her hotel in Gargona and her careful selection of the clientele: I at last found a miserable little hut for sale, and bought it for hundred dollars. It consisted of one room only, and was, in its then condition, utterly unfit for my purpose; but I determined to work and build on it ... The alcade's permission to make use of the adjacent ground was obtained for a moderate consider- ation ... The building process was simple enough, and I soon found myself in possession of a capital dining-room some thirty feet in length... a store-room, a bar and a small private apartment for ladies ... the whole building did not cost more than my brother paid for three months' rent for his hotel.68 Having secured a place for her new hotel, she selected her services and customers carefully. She opted to serve women only: "I gave the travelling world to understand that I intended to devote my establishment principally to the entertainment of ladies, and care of those who might fall ill on the route, and I found the scheme answer [sic] admirably ... the speculation paid well."69 Given the frontier conditions of the towns in which she did business and the propensity of men in those areas for violence, her decision to focus on service to women was a wise one. She was very much aware that she was a woman in a man's world. Seacole loved the idea of hotel- keeping and was naturally skilled in it. It is not surprising, then, that on arrival in the Crimea she would set up a hotel and that in some ways she modelled this hotel on Blundello Hall in Jamaica and on her table d'h6te operation in Panama. Her British Hotel in the Crimea did not offer lodgings, but it was a base from where she could offer her services as a nurse and doctress. It was a 'store' from where she distributed a variety of products and a place where she offered table d'h6te meals reminiscent of home to her clientele. It was one of her most daring ventures and the only one in which she had a partner. It was the one that could most ruin her reputation as a woman. And it was the only one which left her bankrupt. The partnership, the Seacole-Day Company, which she formed with her cousin-in-law,70 had some difficulty in setting up their establishment, which was called the British Hotel. Even before Seacole's arrival in Balaclava, her partner informed her of the untenable circumstances there, but Seacole was not deterred by the bad news she had received. As far as she was concerned, her plans were "perfected" and her "purchases were made", so there was no turning back.71 She made use of any contacts and names of persons she knew from Jamaica, and even secured the aid of the Turkish Pasha for securing goods, material for building, builders and protection for thieves.72 The strategic placing of the British Hotel at Spring Hill, Balaclava, near the army headquarters and near the railway station, ensured good business and facilitated access to much- needed supplies. Good business was guaranteed, especially as the British Hotel was a variety store where one could obtain anything "from an anchor down to a needle".73 The services of the hotel were many: it was a convalescent home, surgery, store, restaurant and grog shop. Clothing, boots, foodstuffs, bandages and other nursing appliances were sold there. There Mother Seacole gave a taste of home in her sponge cakes and rice puddings.74 If Seacole's operation in the Crimea is closely examined, one can only conclude that it was essentially philanthropic and would most likely not have made a profit. The likelihood of the business not succeeding was even greater when the motivation was not primarily for profit, but was Seacole's way of overcoming the official rejection of her services as nurse. Yet, the solution she found to her dilemma on her rejection by the War Office, the Quartermaster General's Department and the Nurses' Enlistment Centre was a business decision reflecting her expertise as a businesswoman. The service she offered was badly needed. The army ration was limited in quantity, in kind and in nutritional value. Seacole's fare filled a major gap in a way the army could not.75 As a storekeeper in a war zone, catering to the soldiery, she was a sutler. Seacole's decision to become a sutler was a risky venture in terms of her reputation as such persons were reputed to be worthless and mercenary.76 From her own account, it can be seen that she maintained high standards and demanded good behaviour in her establishment; drunkenness was discouraged, no gambling was allowed, and it was closed on Sundays." Fortunately for her there were those whose integrity was known, such as William Howard Russell, war correspondent for The Times, and Lady Alicia Blackwood, who testified that she did not just follow the British army to sell goods at substantial profit. Her actions were often philanthropic as she offered goods and services free of cost to the needy.78 She did charge those who could pay and at times the price was high because it was costly to supply the need.79 She was very much involved in the business of philanthropy. Given the unpredictability of war, to have gone to war to do business was a seriously risky undertaking, and to have combined that with philanthropy funded from a business that was at best temporary, added greatly to the risk. So with the Crimean War ending unexpectedly, the Seacole-Day Company ultimately had to declare bankruptcy.8 Seacole attempted to establish a table d'h6te operation at Aldershot, a military town in England, and a coffeehouse at Tavistock, London with Mr Day, but was unsuccessful.8' In 1857 Seacole wrote that she considered herself beggared.82 Did she recover from this beggared state? We know she worked as a masseuse to Princess Alexander. But before that, she published her biography, which may have been an income earner. The first edition of Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands was published in 1857, and there was a second edition in 1858. Her philanthropy in the Crimea paid some dividends as her friends rallied to her cause and established a fund for her.83 By the time of Seacole's death in 1881 she owned two houses on Duke Street, Kingston and her estate was valued at 2,615 11s 7d.8 She was no longer beggared. CONCLUSION Mary Jane Grant Seacole broke the gender divide in occupational pursuits. She demonstrated that she had the perseverance and acumen required to be more than a nurse, an acceptable occupation for women of the nineteenth century. She was wife and 'mother' and a risk-taking businesswoman. As a wife she was self-sacrificing, as Mother Seacole she gave herself to Britain's sons in their times of suffering, and as a businesswoman Mary Seacole made use of her multiple skills, faced many challenges and operated under frontier conditions beset with diverse dangers. In Panama she encountered the skilful thievery of some residents and the attempts of less scrupulous travellers to outwit her.85 In the Crimea, her economic well-being, her reputation and her life were at stake. She was in danger from the diseases which characterized the communities in which she operated and offered her service, but she was resilient. She faced bankruptcy, but bounced back to end her life with some resources. Her own words sum up her life: "How slowly I gradually succeeded in life, need not be told at length. My fortunes underwent the variations which befall all. Sometimes I was rich one day, and poor the next. I never thought exclusively of money, believing rather that we were born to be happy, and the surest way to be wretched is to prize it overmuch."8 From the title of her autobiography published in 1857, her life was full of wonderful adventures and her business activities were very much a part of those adventures. She must be remembered in all her dimensions, for she was more than a nurse. + All photos courtesy of the National Library of Jamaica. NOTES 1. BBC News Online, The International Version, 11 January 2005. I would like to thank Paul Kerr of Octoberfilms, UK (BBC) for pointing me to these online news items as well as providing me with an extended chronology of Seacole's life. His timeline aided me in the discussion on Seacole as mother. 2. October Films has produced a recent video, Mary Seacole: The Real Angel of the Crimea, which focuses on her role in the Crimea. Since the 1930s, several articles in daily newspapers and magazines have been written about her which have sought to compare her with Florence Nightingale and have emphasised her role as nurse. 3. Seacole attempted to go to the Crimea as a nurse through application to the War Office, Quartermaster General's Department, the Medical Department and the Nurses' Enlistment Centre. She was rejected by all. 4. Index for Marriages in Kingston Parish Register, volume 1, folio 65 1836, p. 65, no. 92. 5. Mary Seacole, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (London: James Blackwood, 1857), 5-6. 6. She had leart these skills from her doctress mother. Ibid., 3. 7. Ibid., 4. 8. Ibid., 4-5. 9. Ibid., 5. 10. W.J. Gardner, A History of Jamaica (London, 1873), 5. 11. Patrick Bryan, The Jamaican People (Kingston: The Press, UWI, 2000), 101. 12. Edwin Horatio Seacole was the godson of Viscount Nelson. Seacole's Will, p. 2, BN Files National Library of Jamaica. 13. The marriage of Seacole to a white man has to be interpreted in the context of the Jamaican society in which coloured women had a reputation of licentious behaviour. Both Seacole and her husband had to guard against violation of the mores of the society if they wanted to keep their reputation. For Mr Seacole, the lesser evil was to marry Mary Jane Grant, though it was unusual. He gained a nurse and a highly domesticated woman who was yet quite a businesswoman. That was the fortune brought by Mary Jane Grant to the marriage. For Mary Seacole she retained her respectability. As cited by Campbell, "an Englishman who visited Jamaica in 1823, was appalled when he discovered that he could not travel in the same carriage with his brown nurse without contravening one of the mores of the society" (Mavis Campbell, The Dynamics of Change in a Slave Society [London: Associated University Press, 1976], 55). 14. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 8. 15. Ibid. 16. Letters of L. Street, 1881, USPG D Series Rhodes House Library, Oxford University. 17. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 7. She lost the boarding house owned by her mother by fire a year before her husband's death which probably accounts for the records stating that her husband was living at East Queen Street at the time of his death. Register, volume 4, folio 1844, p. 350, no. 541. 18. It was not unheard of for widows of white men to be reduced to charity in Jamaica. Letters of L. Street, 1881, USPG D Series Rhodes House Library, Oxford University. 19. Seacole had travelled to England, Bahamas, Haiti and Cuba. 20. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 7, 89. 21. Ibid., 4. 22. Ibid., 12, 45-46. 23. Geraldine Mozely, Letters to Jane from Jamaica, 1788-1796 (London: West India Committee, 1938); Lucy Watt Records, JA4/56. 24. Ziggi Alexander and Audrey Dewjee, eds., Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands (Bristol: Falling Wall Press, 1984), 26, 46. 25. The age of Sarah and the claim to her illegitimate birth fathered by Colonel Bunbury seemed to have originated from Florence Nightingale who was one of Mary Seacole's detractors. 26. Quaker Papers, JA 5/8/10; Letters of Lucy Woodcock, Oberlin College Archives, RG30/81. 27. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 2. 28. Ibid., 8 passim. 29. Ibid., 8, 75, 84 passim. 30. Ibid., 78. 31. Edward Brathwaite, Contradictory Omens (Kingston: Savacou, 1974), 17. 32. R. Renny, A History of Jamaica (London, 1807), 190. 33. Brathwaite, Contradictory Omens, 17-18. 34. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 88. 35. Ibid., 4-6. 36. Campbell, 51-56. 37. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 7. 38. Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (London: Longman, 1967), 32, 151-53. 39. Blanca Silvestrini, Women and Resistance: Herstory in Contemporary Caribbean History (Kingston: Department of History, University of the West Indies, 1990). 40. Gad Heuman, Between Black and White (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1981), 74- 75; Jerome Handler, The Unappropriated People (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974), 131; Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 4, 5, 9. 41. Censuses of Jamaica, 1911-1931; Aleric Josephs, "Female Occupation in Jamaica, 1844-1944: Becoming Professional Women" (MPhil thesis, University of the West Indies, 1995). 42. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 4. 43. Ibid., 5. 44. Ibid. 45. Ibid., 9. 46. Ibid. 47. L.S. Lewis, The West Indian in Panama (Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1980), 17; F.N. Otis, The Isthmus of Panama (New York, 1867), 36. 48. W. Nelson, Five Years in Panama (London, 1891), 20; Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 21-22,39. 49. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 9. 50. R. Tomes, Panama in 1855 (New York, 1855), 58-59. 51. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 37. 52. Ibid., 7. 53. Ibid., 5. 54. Otis, Isthmus of Panama, 75; Collin's Panama Guide, 9; Willis J. Abbot, The Panama Canal (New York: Syndicate, 1914), 28. 55. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 54. 56. Ibid., 66. 57. Ibid. 58. Ibid., 71. 59. Ibid., 2. 60. John Bigelow, Jamaica in 1850 (Westport, Conn.: Negro Universities Press, 1970), 2; Anthony Trollope, The West Indies and the Spanish Main (London, 1859). 61. Handler, Uappropriated People, 134; Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 8. 62. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 7, 8. 63. Frank Cundall, Chronological Outlines of Jamaican History (Kingston: Institute of Jamaica, 1927). 64. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 7; Gad Heuman, "White Over Brown Over Black: The Free Coloureds in Jamaican Society during Slavery and after Emancipation", Journal of Caribbean History 14 (1981): 63; Bigelow, Jamaica in 1850,14; William G. Sewell, Ordeal of Free Labour (London: Frank Cass, 1968), 174. 65. Tomes, Panama in 1855, 60; Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 37. 66. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 39-40. 67. Ibid., 48-49. 68. Ibid., 49. 69. Ibid., 49-50. 70. Ibid., 82. 71. Ibid., 93. 72. Ibid., 146-55. 73. Lady Alicia Blackwood, Narrative of Personal Experience in the Crimea (London, 1891), 263; Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 157. 74. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 139-41. 75. Blackwood, Narrative of Personal Experience, 263; C. Hibbert, The Destruction of Lord Raglan (London: Longman, 1961), 213; P. Warner, The Crimean War: A Reappraisal (London: Wordsworth, 1972), 250; Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 89. 76. Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 25. 77. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 146. 78. William Howard Russell, preface to 1857 edition of Seacole, Wonderful Adventures; Blackwood, Narrative of Personal Experience, 263. 79. Blackwood, Narrative of Personal Experience, 263. 80. London Gazette, 28 October 1856, 352; Feb. 6, 1857, 459. 81. The Times, 5 July 1856; notes by J. V. Webb, B/N File, National Library of Jamaica. 82. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 198. 83. The Times, 24 November 1857, 27 and 28 July 1857; Alexander and Dewjee, Wonderful Adventures, 34. 84. Daily Gleaner, 29 August 1939; Will of Seacole, B/N File, and National Library of Jamaica, 4. 85. Lewis, West Indian in Panama, 14; Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 20, 39. 86. Seacole, Wonderful Adventures, 7. The Most English Town in Jamaica MYTHS, MEMORIES AND OTHER RETURNING RESIDENT DILEMMAS HEATHER A. HORST Mandeville has long claimed the title of "the most English town" in Jamaica. Noting the.prvalence of "fair", "colotid" or "upper-class" residents living inMandeville, Femando .Henriques described Mandeville as !Jrica's Cheltenham",1 and Jamaican h <.,isiadaHli .P,acobs observed that S nchiMte. as ithe only area in S.wf~dlhthe Eiish ever came anywhere o; b achievingAheir original idea of ;a tropical New England".! 'nv jpiicans and others, the s an estimated umigrats who S95Os.and a deville Made ille A, Harr\ Goulbourne describes in an article focusing on the police\ implication-, ot return migration the hill trow\n ot Mande ille has acquired the reputanon ot being a desirous destinahton for returnee- who create a prosperous ghetto characterized b\ ,omne English pastime.s tea in the afternoon, the cultiation and display\ of \\ell manicured lan ni and gardens ordered for more aesthenc pleasure than pracncal use. which stand in sharp contrast to the utilitarian kitchen and fruit gardens of rural lamaica Some would see an irons here because the town ot Made\ ille in the parish ot Manchester like Smmla in the Himala\ an foothills, used to be the retreat tor British administrator, in the colonial past during the hottest months ' In both popular and academic discourse. the decision of migrants ot the post-w\ar generation to return to Mandeville is often read as self- evident. Indeed, in an edited volume highlighting the contributions of the Windrush generation, Rex Nettleford noted that many English returnees decide to return to Mandeville because "it is England".5 Yet my ethnographic research6 among returnees in Mandeville throughout 2000 and 2001 led me to reconsider the notion that Mandeville, as an 'English place', naturally resonates with returnees' sense of being an 'English people'. Recognising place as a geographical location as well as a particular location within a social hierarchy,7 this essay explores the production of Mandeville as an English place, locating Mandeville's origins as a British hill station and relating it to the arrival of returnees, often referred to as 'the English', and the ways they interpret and resituate their identification with Englishness and, in turn, being Jamaican. THE ENGLISH HERITAGE OF MANDEVILLE Located 628 metres above sea level on the Manchester plateau, Mandeville and its surrounds remained isolated until the English and Spanish contest over the island. The parish of Manchester and Mandeville, its capital, remained relatively uninhabited until 1814 when the freehold landowners of the parishes of Vere, St Elizabeth and Clarendon appealed to the House of Assembly for the creation of a new, centralised administrative centre. The measure (approved in Act 55 George III C 23) resulted in the establishment of Manchester, named after the governor of the island, the Duke of Manchester, Williams Montagu who was governor between 1808 and 1827.8 Two years later Mandeville, named for Montagu's eldest son Lord Mandeville, was appointed the capital. The vestry (six vestrymen and two magistrates) determined that, in order to purchase land in Mandeville, a person should hold British nationality and own at least ten slaves or alternatively earn a salary of 160 per annum in 1819." The next year the vestry raised the requirements to 200, or twenty slaves, a condition which continued to increase annually. Once the capital was established, the vestry planned four buildings in the town which today still symbolise the image of law and order associated with British colonial rule: the courthouse, parsonage, gaol/workhouse and church. The courthouse, noted today as an historic monument, was completed in 1817. Based on a Georgian design and ornamented with Doric columns and a double staircase, the courthouse was built by slaves out of limestone bricks. The courthouse still stands today as a symbol of the law and order established under British rule. Across the village green (now a park named after former mayor Cecil Charlton) stands the Anglican Church of St Mark, completed in 1820.10 The accompanying rectory, the first official house built in Mandeville, was rented out as a tavern by the first rector, the controversial Rev. George Wilson Bridges. In the mid-nineteenth century, a number of English troops living at the garrison in the town centre were buried in the parish churchyard after a yellow fever outbreak. Unlike the rest of the island which was dominated by large sugar (and later banana) estates, the parish of Manchester became known for the presence of small coffee plantations which were established after the prohibitions were lifted on coffee importations to Britain." Due to the rocky limestone soil and the cooler climate enjoyed throughout Manchester, coffee thrived and was the primary source of income.'2 Barry Higman suggests that "the organization of labour was less strictly regimented" and more flexible occupationally on the coffee estates.13 The structure of coffee plantations resulted in two other distinct features of colonial Manchester. In contrast to the predominance of absenteeism on sugar estates, two-thirds of the proprietors lived on or near their coffee plantations. Verene Shepherd attributes this pattern to the small size of the plantations as well as the expense of employing others to oversee the property, which made living abroad less feasible for the coffee proprietors who did not share the wealth, prestige or political influence of the absentee sugar estate owners who could afford to return to Europe.4 However, coffee plantation owners possessed greater status than pen owners due to their ability to export the coffee.'5 This residence pattern resulted in closer supervision of the slaves by the estate owners, and many of the owners married and brought their wives to the area. In addition, coffee plantations in Manchester primarily used young African slaves rather than the more established creole population of slaves born on the island who traditionally dominated the large sugar estates. Higman suggests that the near majority of African slaves (49.2 per cent) present in the newly settled parish influenced the process of creolisation on the plantations, although the degree to which this influenced integration or division varied.'6 For example, Kamau Brathwaite contends that the newly imported African slaves were more prone to rebellion than the creole populations, who were often preferred due to their knowledge of the plantation system and previous contact with whites.17 In contrast, Jacobs argues that Manchester proprietors encouraged their African slaves to conduct themselves in an English manner by introducing marriage, European family patterns and participation in religious life. He further notes that in 1950, the parish of Manchester showed the third lowest illegitimacy rate on the island, behind the Kingston-St Andrew Metropolitan Area and the parish of St Ann.'1 After emancipation in 1838, the large upheavals occurring across Jamaica between ex-slaves and planters were relatively absent in Manchester,'9 and many of the freed slaves became independent farmers who grew coffee and other small crops. In contrast to other parts of Jamaica, then, Manchester was an area of stability. During the Crown Colony government, Manchester developed citrus products and Mandeville continued to be a leisurely retreat for British officers, planters and wealthy Kingstonians. Hotels such as the Waverley Hotel, the Mandeville Hotel, the King Edward Hotel and the Newleighly Hotel became the centres of social life in Mandeville, and Marshall's Pen established its reputation as a preserve with a large number of endemic birds and animals. In addition, the Manchester Horticultural Society, one of the oldest horticultural associations in the world, was founded in 1865 with twenty- seven members, and in 1927 the society became affiliated with the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain. The Manchester Club also constructed a nine-hole, eighteen-par course in the image of St Andrew's Golf Course in Scotland, which was completed in 1895. CHALLENGES TO THE MYTH One of the issues which emerged over the course of my research was the question of the 'natural' affinity of UK returnees to Mandeville, particularly because returnees consistently denied the idea that Englishness played any role in their decision to return to the town. When talking to returnees about their decision to move back and live in Mandeville, their primary motivations revolved around the attainment of a retirement lifestyle, proximity to family and the presence of a returning resident community. For example, the Thompsons20 represent a typical example of people who made decisions to relocate in Mandeville based upon lifestyle. When they first started making preparations to return to Jamaica, the couple contemplated living in Hanover where Mrs Thompson's family originated. In Hanover, they envisioned a life at the seaside, enjoying the ocean breeze surrounded by extended family members. The couple also considered living in the hills of Kingston where they had easy access to shopping, cultural events and aspects of urban life to which they had become accustomed in London. However, they disliked the need for extensive security systems, and the traffic and pollution in Kingston itself. The Thompsons eventually decided upon Mandeville because it possessed cultural events, was only a short (two- to three-hour) drive from Kingston, and had all of the modem conveniences such as health care, water and electricity, without the crime of Kingston. In addition, and after living so many years in England, they had become accustomed to the climate and found that the north coast and Kingston made their hands and feet swell, an uncomfortable physical side effect of the heat which could potentially restrict their ability to enjoy life in Jamaica. Mr and Mrs Brown went back to their home parishes in eastern Jamaica only to discover that very few of their family or their friends were still living there. Mr Brown, who was more reluctant to return to Jamaica than his wife, worried that he would feel lonely and trapped in the parish of their birth. He also managed to convince his wife that Mandeville would be a better place to move to because they could make friends with other returnees who had shared their experience of living in England. In addition, two of their close friends moved to Mandeville as they were contemplating their return. The ease of attaining land and a building contract while living in London solidified the Browns' choice. Notably, not one returnee I interviewed or encountered suggested that Mandeville's supposed similarity to England or English heritage played a role in their decision to return, and appeared quite puzzled by the association between a decision to return to Jamaica and the idea that they were moving back to some version of England. Although some returnees admitted to being somewhat amused by this reference during the early years of their return, many expressed frustration with the "locals" (their words) who, on the streets and in the shops, referred to the returnees as "English" and the clusters of returning resident homes in Mandeville as "little England". Returnees indignantly stated that just because they possessed an English accent, sipped tea, donned English clothing or held a British passport, they were no less Jamaican, let alone English. Other returnees, who clearly felt uniquely qualified to identify authentic Englishness, explicitly contested what I came to know as the 'myth' of Mandeville's Englishness. Noting the dramatic changes in the town over the last thirty to forty years, returnees contended that what remained were mere vestiges of English life captured in the chimneys and buildings of old Jamaica. In the place of Englishness were strong North American influences. In 1942, a Canadian company commenced bauxite mining, followed a few years later by an American company. Subsidiaries of North American multinational firms have been the key players in the bauxite industry for most of its life. With bauxite came other beacons of North America and of globalisation, such as McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken (the latter of which could be argued now to be as 'Jamaican' as rice and peas), arriving alongside Dodge Rams, Escalades and other American imports. There were also a large number of individuals, both retired returnees and otherwise, who regularly travelled between Canada, the USA and Mandeville for family, commerce and education. Many returnees were therefore ambivalent about the Englishness of the town; over one-third of the returnees I interviewed explicitly stated that Mandeville had become a "little America" with all of the shopping malls and fast food chains, the quaint country town destroyed by modem consumerism. In other words, and in contrast to earlier suggestions that returnees move to Mandeville because "it is England",21 for many returnees North America loomed large in 'English' Mandeville. PLACE AND IDENTITY The questioning of Mandeville's Englishness also reflected another, often very personal transformation in returnees' own historical and racial consciousness. On a bright February morning, I travelled to one of Mandeville's many Sunday worship services with four returnees. Our journey commenced in the rolling hills on the outskirts of Mandeville through neighborhoods where returnees lived in their bright white homes, and proceeded past the closed and grilled businesses on Main Street. As we made our way up the road to the roundabout in the centre of town, everyone looked towards the village green and St Mark's Anglican Parish Church. We then turned and passed the bright yellow and royal blue Courts store, yet another visible indication of Mandeville's British heritage. Shortly thereafter, our attention shifted to the steep, narrow road in front of the Mandeville Hotel, the same road which leads to the Baptist church. Interrupting the appreciation of Mandeville's aesthetic environment, the brown-skinned Sister B suddenly asserted, "All these [English] buildings were built by our people during slavery days." Sister B's comment, particularly the recognition of Jamaican heritage and claim to building spaces commonly attributed to the British, signals an important transformation in beliefs about place and English heritage among many returnees. It indicates an important shift in perspectives, an explicit recognition of Jamaica's African heritage and the role that African and creole slaves played in shaping the local landscape - an awareness which may well have arisen out of the years of living in the UK. Sister B's acknowledgement and embrace of Mandeville's African and creole heritage effectively destabilise the dominant trope of English Mandeville. Moreover, a questioning of the town's English heritage reflects returnees' struggle to assert and situate their own'place' in Jamaica. As geographer Doreen Massey argues, place can be understood as particular moments in such intersecting social relations, nets of which have over time been constructed, laid down, interacted with one another, decayed and renewed. Some of these relations will be, as it were, contained within the place; others will stretch beyond it, tying any particular locality into wider relations and processes in which other places are implicated too."2 Within the national arena, Jamaicans emphasise Mandeville's clean, orderly streets and cool climate which they translate into the character of its 'English', 'white' or 'rich' people, Mandeville's residents being noted for their law-abiding nature and cool, but civilised detachment. Returnees, on the other hand, assess Mandeville's importance in terms of the climate, sense of community, economic prosperity and status. Living in the salubrious hills of Mandeville signals achievement and a feeling of accomplishment, and returnees are keen to realise a lifestyle associated with Mandeville, particularly by maintaining a proper house as well as participating in the community through church, voluntary and charitable associations all those symbols of middle- and upper-class realisations of respectability. This is not, of course, to say that returnees do not 'play' with the notion of Englishness. Certainly, returnees enjoy identifying the beauty of their large, modern homes alongside the vestiges of the English past such as bricks and chimneys, or the green hills of the surrounding countryside and the occasional fog of the winter mornings which remind them of their days in England. They also seek to develop their new status as returnees by playing upon the value of Englishness in colonial and postcolonial Jamaica, for example emphasising their British accents and dressing in the brands and styles of clothing that, in their eyes, symbolise British superior quality and craftsmanship - such as Marks & Spencer. They also socialise with others who share their same cultural experience and spaces. But in many ways this engagement with Englishness has less to do with an overwhelming sense of being English or performance of an inherent or ascribed Englishness and a related sense of English superiority than it does with their attempts to reframe their symbols of success in a place where the value accorded to the purchase of their large homes and other more traditional symbols of success seems to be decoupled from the years of hard work and thrift which have underwritten their acquisition. Anthropologist Deborah Thomas has argued that the recognition of creole symbols of status and success namely land and education which were sponsored by the state and elites in the era of creole nationalism has gradually shifted to what she refers to as a sensibility associated with "modern blackness" which is marked by a radical consumerism (often tied to American consumer items) and urban rather than rural sensibilities.23 So the tension, then, is over whether or not returnees' symbols of success become recognized appropriately which, in turn, allows them to realise their desire to be recognized as proper Jamaicans, the migration and return migration being one trajectory of Jamaican personhood. NOTES 1. Fernando Henriques, Family and Colour in Jamaica (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1953). 2. H.P. Jacobs, "Manchester: Roots and Branches", Mandeville Weekly, 2 June 1994, 8. 3. Exact numbers are difficult to determine due to the transient nature of 'returning resident' status and the requirement of only one returnee per household having to register with customs; however, 20,085 individuals enrolled for returning resident status between 1993 and 2003 (Economic and Social Survey 2004, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade 1997). While only 250 individuals joined Mandeville's two returning resident associations in the year 2000, estimates suggest that there are enough returning residents in Mandeville to create at least six active associations. Moreover, the membership of 250 does not count spouses or those returning residents who did not wish to formally enlist in the associations, but often participate in the group's organised activities (personal communication, 2001). 4. Harry Goulbourne, "Exodus? Some Social and Policy Implications of Return Migration from the UK to the Commonwealth Caribbean in the 1990s", Policy Studies 20 (1999): 164. 5. Rex Nettleford, interview by M. Phillips and T. Phillips in Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain (London: Harper Collins, 1998), 396-97. 6. Between August of 2000 and 2001, I carried out ethnographic research with return migrants in Mandeville, Jamaica. Research included participant observation in returning resident neighborhoods, Playing with the symbols and idioms of Englishness becomes a way of shifting the focus to returnees' life projects and their attainment of status rather than signalling an identification with or expression of being English. Yet, unlike many of the other towns where returnees might resettle, Mandeville because of its association with Englishness exacerbates rather than resolves their desire to return and be recognized as Jamaicans. In moving back to Jamaica, returnees want to experience the positive aspects of Jamaican culture which they remember and imagine while abroad, aspects of Jamaican culture homes, funerals and churches as well as returning resident association meetings and special events. In addition, I developed case studies of twenty returnees which focused specifically upon the material culture of home. 7. Doreen Massey, A Place Called Home? Space, Place and Gender (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 157-74. 8. Edward Brathwaite, The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica, 1770-1820 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971). 9. J.T.G. Grant, "Address on the Early History of Manchester, 1816-1838" (Mandeville, Jamaica, 1946), 11. 10. G. Bowen, "An Intriguing 170 Years", Sunday Gleaner, 16 November 1986, 11A. 11. See Douglas Hall, Free Jamaica, 1838-1865: An Economic History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959); B.W. Higman, Slave Population and Economy in Jamaica, 1807-1834 (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 1995); Braithwaite, Development of Creole Society; Jacobs, "Manchester". 12. See J.A. Delle, An Archaeology of Social Space: Analyzing Coffee Plantations in Jamaica's Blue Mountains (New York: Plenum Press, 1998). 13. Higman, Slave Population, 26-27. 14. Verene Shepherd, "Land, Labour and Social Status: Non-Sugar Producers in Jamaica", in Working Slavery, Pricing Freedom, ed. Verene Shepherd (Oxford: James Currey, 2002), 153-80. 15. Ibid., 159. 16. Higman, Slave Population, 77. 17. Brathwaite, Development of Creole Society. 18. Jacobs, "Manchester". 19. There is some controversy over which were ignored or denied in British media depictions of Jamaican culture, such as the association with drug running and violence carried out by 'yardies'.24 Carrying the material and cultural symbols of success resulting from their migration, many returnees arrive in Jamaica only to find that those Jamaicans who stayed behind appear to possess the authority to define who they are. Unless returnees re-work the meaning of Mandeville as a place, the myth of English Mandeville effectively leaves them in the position of being cultural outsiders in the very culture they identified with and attempted to retain while living abroad. + the extent to which the large- scale rebellions were experienced throughout Manchester. Hall argues that the Moravian churches of Manchester actually initiated what later became known as the Baptist Revival. While Hall presents the spread of the revival throughout the island as reasonable, he is perplexed by its Manchester origins. As Hall queries, "It is difficult to explain why the movement began where it did. Manchester contained no sugar estates. It was a relatively prosperous parish of small settlers. It is unlikely that the religious feeling arose as a reaction to any peculiar economic distress. In part, it may be described as a desire to break away from the rather hum-drum routine of daily labour. Social amenities and recreational facilities were limited. The chapel was usually the social centre. An intense emotional appeal by the local preacher might well sway a congregation, and the response, as well as the appeal, might prove infectious" (Free Jamaica, 237). 20. All names have been changed. 21. Nettleford, interview, 396-97. 22. Massey, Place Called Home, 120. 23. Deborah Thomas, Modern Blackness (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2004). 24. Paul Gilroy, There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack (London: Routledge, 1987); Tracey Skelton, "Doing Violence/Doing Harm: British Media Representations of Jamaican Yardies", Small Axe 2, no. 1 (1998): 27-48; Geoff Small,"Do They Mean Us? A Reflection on the Making of the Yardie Myth in Britain", Small Axe 2, no. 1 (1998): 13-25. ISI C AN TEHOLG A Really Little Fish Story AN UNUSUAL FISH PHENOMENON IN THE YALLAHS RIVER, ST THOMAS KARL AIKEN INTRODUCTION "Nuff fish inna di Yallahs!" was the cry for at least two weeks in January 2006 from people in the area around the major fording of the Yallahs River in St Thomas (Figure 1). It had been reported that large numbers of what appeared to be tiny fishes could be seen coming up the river from the direction of the sea. For a number of days in early January 2006, the normally tranquil Yallahs River was continuously filled with millions of the 2- centimetre fishes wriggling their way up to the culvert on the western side of the fording (see Figures 2, 3, 4 and 5) and appearing to get stuck there for a period. During FimuE II Caribbea Sea T*-------- USA. Caribbean Sea ; Jamaica .o this time, dozens of persons per hour converged on the site to take a look. What were they, people wondered? "Is really fish dat?", "Is a sign dat, man!", "Is where dem really going?" were just some the comments that I heard. WHAT ARE THEY? They have been identified as two species of diadromous (species whose life cycle takes place partly in fresh water and partly in sea water) gobies Sicydium punctatum and Sicydium antillarum (formerly lumped together as forms S. plumieri),1 both from the family Gobiidae, and subfamily Sicydiinae. Called 'suckstone' fish, they are two of about twenty freshwater fishes found in various Jamaican rivers. They are a group of secondary freshwater fishes. This means that they evolved from marine fishes and consequently have a part of their life cycle in the sea, but live in fresh water for most of their lives. They are found in the tropical and subtropical fresh waters of Central America and the West Indies.2 A SMALL SEASONAL TRADITIONAL FISHERY These passing hordes of tiny larval fishes used to form the basis of a brief, but lucrative, traditional small-scale fishery in the Buff Bay and Swift rivers on the north coast in the not too distant past. My research on these fishes in the 1980s revealed that older persons recalled the use of dipnets, sieves, kitchen strainers, finely woven baskets and even bed sheets to collect hundreds of the tiny fishes as they swam upstream from the sea. Several kilos of these fishes, called 'fry' or 'tiki- tiki' (derived from a West African word for 'very small'), can be collected by a persistent fisher in one to two hours. FIGURE 3 Masses of gobies almost completely cover a boulder in the Yallahs River at the western side of the fording as they attempt to swim upstream in a mass migration from the sea, January 2006. FIGURE 4 Masses of tiny gobies on the side (dark zone) of the culvert which forms the western side of the Yallahs River fording, St Thomas, and some of the persons observing the fish run in January 2006. FiGRE 5 So many migrating gobies swarmed up the river that they appeared to observers to be masses of inanimate or vegetable matter on the edge of its banks. Close examination reveals masses of wrig- gling fishes slowly moving upstream. They are found in many other islands around the West Indies where they also form the basis of small seasonal traditional fisheries that go back many years. In St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica they are called 'tri-tri', while in Puerto Rico they are called 'ceti' and are collected (Figure 7) and sold live in plastic bags in the marketplaces. In islands such as Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe and Dominica, they may be either fried, made into a soup or sun- dried for later consumption. Related goby fishes in the Philippines also constitute fisheries for persons living near those rivers where the fishes make their 'run' upstream. Here in Jamaica, it was said to be much the same with the small 'suckstone' or 'fryers'.3 But since - about the 1950s, the fishery in Jamaica has all but disappeared. Gobies are not the only fishes that make migrations in Jamaica's larger rivers. In November 2005, an event described as an eel migration came from the Great River in Hanover.4 Photographs of specimens taken from that migration showed that they were in fact young eel, called elvers, of the Atlantic eel Anguilla rostrata of the family Anguillidae. These eels perform long-distance oceanic migrations as adults. The first larval stages drift and swim towards the continental shelf area where they change into a transparent ribbon-like stage called a leptocephalus FIGURE 6 Sicydium antillarum, suckstone gobies col- lected from the mass migration at Yallahs River ford- ing on 16 January 2006 showing their small size, vertical banding and the small ventral sucker almost under the head, formed by modified ventral fins. This sucker enables them to climb over obstacles, while their oily, evaporation-retarding mucus cover- ing slows their drying rate, allowing them to remain exposed out of water, e.g., while climbing rocks, for several minutes. Ruler below fishes is in centimetres. FIcuRE 7 Collecting the wriggling gobies in a bucket for human consumption was not as easy as it seemed. Many of them fell to the ground by the Yallahs River and were wasted. In a few Caribbean countries today they still are collected for eating. Irac, 'I : FIGURE 8 Life cycle of Sicydium antillarum, the suck- stone goby, showing the unusual pyriform (pointed eggs), their brief sojourn in the sea and their return to the rivers at about 80 days on average (Bell and Brown, "Active Salinity Choice"; Bell, Pepin, and Brown, "Seasonal, Inverse Cycling"). or 'glass eel', becoming pigmented as they reach coastal waters.5 The eel at this pigmented stage is an elver. The elvers swim upstream into rivers and spend between eleven and fifteen years feeding and growing to maturity, at which time they migrate to spawn in the Sargasso Sea (near the Bahamas). The young eels return to certain ancestral streams in sometimes large numbers, whereas gobies like Sicydium do so in large numbers simultaneously over several days. Jamaica's National Clearing House Mechanism website, which is maintained by the Natural History Division of the Institute of Jamaica, mentioned two migratory events for gobies, the first in November 2005 in the Great River, Hanover and the other in January 2006 in Yallahs. The fish species was identified in the both events as a goby called Sicydium plumieri. But this is a synonym of S. antillarum.6 BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR Gobies are from a large family of marine and estuarine fishes that inhabit much of the tropical and sub- tropical zones worldwide. Their main identifying feature is a circular fused pelvic (ventral) fin forming a sucker (see Figure 6). This is one of their several adaptations to life in flowing water and can be used in climbing obstacles such as rocks. Their bodies are long, slender and subcylindrical with paired fins, with slightly dorsally placed eyes and a ventrally opening mouth. They grow to about 14 centimetres and probably live for an average of four or five years, but related species are known to live to twelve years. Both species (S. antillarum and S. punctatum) have a vertical banding on them but with S. antillarum having more pronounced barring: vertical, parallel pairs of brownish-green bars on a lighter yellow-brown background. Researchers in Dominica7 described S. punctatum with oppositely angled, crossed black bars in pairs. Close examination of specimens collected from the Yallahs River west fording site showed that nearly all of them are S. antillarum (Figure 6). A few have another pattern that may indicate some S. punctatum are present but at less than 1 per cent. LIFE HISTORY These gobies do not inhabit all Jamaican rivers and may have been eliminated from some streams due to manmade interference. Generally, they appear to prefer clear, fast-flowing, relatively shallow streams and rivers with stony or rocky bottoms, and avoid muddy or silty substrates. Thus, they are always found in permanent, stony streams and rivers, like the Yallahs, which open to the sea, so they can complete their life cycle. The life cycle was studied in Dominica8 and found to involve both fresh water (for the adults, eggs and larvae) and the sea (larvae and postlarvae). Adults live in rivers from the coastal zone to altitudes of at least 1,000 metres in the Blue Mountains, up to 20 kilometres inland. Spawning occurs throughout the year. The eggs are adhesive and deposited on the underside of stones. The eggs of S. antillarum which are attached to the underside of stones were described from Dominican examples as pyriform9 (tapered to one point) and stalked (Figure 8). Larvae are just 2 millimetres in length at hatching and are actively swimming soon after hatching, and as they swim up and down vertically in the water column, they are swept into the sea by the river currents. These larvae are thought to live near the surface of the sea water and begin the return to river mouths at a size of 2 centimetres, whereupon they metamorphose into benthic juveniles. It was that found that the larvae stay in nearshore coastal waters for about eighty-four days on average. How far out from shore they live in this period is presently uncertain. Other gobies also have similar life histories. It is these multitudinous postlarval gobies that are seen and collected from the lower reaches of the rivers. They have short intestines suggestive to me of a carnivorous diet. But as they grow they eat algae from the surface of stones, and for digesting algae the intestines metamorphose into a long coiled structure which is typical of herbivores. This type of metamorphosis is also seen in a similar species of Sicydium in Hawaii.10 The fishes that survive the odyssey of the upstream migration feed each day on the epilithic flora (algae and diatoms that grow on the stones on the river bottom) and slowly grow to maturity. They then spawn near the mouth of rivers such as the Yallahs, and the life cycle repeats itself. 181800 Pan i 058d POSTLARVA ADULT (yolk absoprtion to (ileropeaoon) veonntentl) JrJUVEN L ITRI R --K-- nekn to a,14 km from coas i _50- 50d, 22mm 91Y~il~ TRANSMON CA OCEAN :.-oceenic dflancee unk-on- 40a 0e0e HOW OLD DO THESE GOBIES GET? WHY SUCH A LARGE MASS Estimates of age have not yet been made on local species of Sicydium, but work on a Hawaiian relative has yielded information that suggests they may grow to just over five years old on average and that a large specimen measuring 13.3 centimetres was twelve years old. Suckstone gobies of about that size are known from the upper Swift River, Portland. SPECIAL CLIMBING ABILITY It is quite remarkable that in the upper reaches of the Swift River in Portland, they were observed by myself in the early 1980s on the northern side of the Blue Mountains above several waterfalls each with sheer vertical drops not less than 20 metres." They could only exist above these falls by having climbed the falls! Yet, how would they have achieved this feat? The answer is, by using their suckers and their mucus-covered bodies to cling to and climb over the wet exposed rocks. The mucus slows the rate of drying out while they are exposed to the air. This is quite an achievement for a very small freshwater fish. The oily mucus they exude from their bodies enables them to survive the 'fish run' where millions of fishes clamber over each other in an effort to go up small streams simultaneously. MIGRATION? The cause of the Yallahs River fish run or upriver migration is thought to be related to several of the characteristics of the river itself. Jamaica is characterized by dominant central highlands running east to west, with adjacent coastal plains. Our tropical maritime climate has a bimodal rainfall pattern, with peaks in May and October and dry seasons between February and April as well as June to about September. These seasons have great impact and consequences for riverine fishes. The Yallahs River is part of the southern watershed of the Blue Mountains, which lie in the path of the trade winds and thus receive the highest annual precipitation in the island, in excess of 330 centimetres.12 Significantly, the Yallahs River is supplied by several tributaries draining the southern slopes of the Blue Mountains. But the lower Yallahs River only periodically has sufficient water for surface flow to reach the sea. This is due to the diversion of water for Kingston and St Andrew's water supply via the Mona Dam and for agricultural purposes. Thus movement of fishes to and from the sea is prevented except in years when there is exceptional rainfall. It is likely that if fishes are unable to reach the sea for several consecutive years, then their adult populations would slowly FIGURE 9 By the end of anuary 2006, the migration had dwindled to significantly smaller numbers. fall in size due to natural mortality. This reduction would be due to a lack of new recruits to the population as the gobies would be unable to complete the life cycle providing young that have recently hatched in the sea. During the last quarter of 2005, the eastern end of Jamaica received higher than normal rainfall. This is believed to have been responsible for sweeping many millions of newly hatched fish larvae down into the sea via the mouth of the Yallahs for the first time in several months. The large sand bar blocking the mouth would have previously prevented fish larvae from entering the sea. It may be recalled that the Yallahs fording was damaged by heavy runoff in this same period, and this runoff would have likely broken the sand bar. It is probably these events that produced a larger than usual number of larval gobies from mid-October through December 2005. Roughly ten weeks later, these larvae would have completed their compulsory 'sea-time', living and feeding in waters close to the Yallahs River delta. Importantly, they would have metamorphosed to postlarvae (Figure 8) and have started to feel the instinctive urge to migrate up their ancestral river, the Yallahs. Thus the migration would have started in January 2006. This exactly matches both the known life cycle and periodicity observations made in nearby Puerto Rico.13 The migrants in north-coast Puerto Rican streams were two types of transparent postlarvae and pigmented juveniles. These were found between November and January, when heaviest rainfall occurs. As in Jamaica, in Puerto Rico it was also found that there was no significant migration in their secondary rainy season in May. In Jamaica as well as other Caribbean islands, the migration lasts only for a few weeks; thereafter, it gradually becomes successively smaller until the following year at about the same period. What was really unusual about the January 2006 migration or fish run of suckstone goby was the very large numbers involved, and such a phenomenon had not been seen anywhere in Jamaica for many years. So many fishes were present at the site at the Yallahs River fording that sea birds such as brown pelicans and cattle egrets gathered and gorged themselves on the unaccustomed feast. Another observation during this fish run at the Yallahs River fording was the migration upstream of large numbers of juvenile Mountain mullet, Agonostomus monticola, moving in single file along the edges of the river alongside the gobies. But that is another story. CONSERVATION PROSPECTS What does the future hold for these fishes? It appears that they rely on regular flow of river water to the sea at least every few years in order to successfully maintain populations. Thus it would seem that we need to pay more attention to factors such as FIGURE 10 Although present in significantly smaller numbers, they were still an attraction to passersby. deforestation and lack of re-forestation on the slopes of the Blue Mountains, expanded coffee farming, excessive coffee pesticide spray usage, and pollutants from rapidly growing hillside communities. All of these factors, along with larger-scale climatic change, impact on the regularity, volume and quality of runoff in the Yallahs River and other streams that drain the upper watersheds. If we lose the battle to properly regulate most of these factors, then the future may not be very bright for these gobies, other riverine fishes and generally for freshwater biodiversity in eastern Jamaica. Further ecological studies on gobies of the genus Sicyidium will also assist in developing integrated national management plans for the eastern watersheds. 4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Anita R. Pal for her invaluable assistance during the various field trips to observe and photograph the Yallahs River migration of January 2006. I also thank Dr Kim Bell, Canada, for permission to use the life-cycle illustration. I am also grateful to the two anonymous reviewers of this article for their useful comments and suggestions. NOTES 1. K.N.I. Bell and J.A. Brown, "Active Salinity Choice and Enhanced Swimming Endurance in 0 to 8 Day- Old Larvae of Diadromous Gobies, Including Sicydium punctatum (Pisces) in Dominica, West Indies", Marine Biology 121 (1995): 409-17; K.N.I. Bell, P. Pepin and J.A. Brown, "Seasonal, Inverse Cycling of Length- and Age- at-Recruitment in the Diadromous Gobies Sicydium punctatum and Sicydium antillarum in Dominica, West Indies", Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 52 (1995): 1535-45. 2. K.A. Aiken, "Sicydium plumieri (Bloch) A Migratory Goby Fish From Jamaican Rivers", Natural History Notes (Natural History Society of Jamaica), new issue, 1, no. 10 (1985): 35-39. 3. K. John and A. Bailey, "The Aquatic Exodus: An Overview of Migratory Species in Jamaican Freshwater Systems", http: /www.jamaicachm. org.jm/Articles/ aquaticexodus.asp (2006). 4. M. Hepburn, "Migrating Eels Spark Renewed Interest", http:/ / www.jamaica-gleaner.com/ gleaner/ 20051125/ news/ news9.html (2005). 5. John and Bailey, "Aquatic Exodus". 6. Bell and Brown, "Active Salinity Choice"; Bell, Pepin and Brown, "Seasonal, Inverse Cycling"; Hepburn, "Migrating Eels". 7. Bell and Brown, "Active Salinity Choice". 8. Ibid.; Bell, Pepin and Brown, "Seasonal, Inverse Cycling". 9. Bell and Brown, "Active Salinity Choice". 10. M.T. Tomihama, "The Biology of Sicydium stimpsoni, a Freshwater Goby Endemic to Hawaii" (MSc thesis, University of Hawaii, 1972). 11. Aiken, "Sicydium plumieri". 12. Ibid.; A. Gupta, "Stream Characteristics in Eastern Jamaica: An Environment of Seasonal Flow and Large Floods", American Journal of Science 275 (1975): 825-47. 13. D.S. Erdman, "Spawning Patterns of Fishes from the North-eastern Caribbean", in Cooperative Investigations of the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions II, ed. H.B. Stewart, 145-70 (New York: Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO Fish. Rep. 200, 1977). All photographs the author. SILVER MUSGRAVE MEDALLIST 2005 Linton Kwesi Johnson On 3 April 2006, Lynton Kwesi Johnson, Silver Musgrave Medallist 2005, was presented with his award at a ceremony held at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library. The citation read at the ceremony is reproduced below. The Institute of Jamaica recognizes Mr Linton Kwesi Johnson for outstanding merit in the field of poetry. Born in 1952, Linton Kwesi Johnson spent his early years, until the age of eleven, in the bustling rural township of Chapelton, in the hills of Clarendon. Like his literary predecessor and fellow Clarendonian Claude McKay, he in turn wended his way down from the hills of that parish, leaving the green hills of Jamaica on a journey that would, in 1963, take him to join his parents in England. He would also be following in the footsteps of many of his compatri- ots, who travelled across the Atlantic to Britain or rather "Inglan", as he would later inscribe it, in the hope of a bet- ter life. There he completed his formal education in the British secondary school system, at Tulse Hill Secondary School and later at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he read sociology. The Britain that greeted Linton Kwesi Johnson in 1963, and that would be his main place of residence for the future, presented the now longstand- ing resident of Brixton in south London with a set of contrasts that would have a profound impact on the boy from Chapelton. He now found himself in an environment that was at best ambiva- lent towards the immigrants who came in the post-war period. "T'ings an' times" would tell, however, as in this environment was nurtured the creative impetus that would later emerge from the lips and writings of this Jamaican, now ensconced inna "Inglan". The artist and activist in him were aroused while he was still at school in London. There he joined the Black Pan- thers, and within the movement played a role in organising its literary activism through poetry. At this time, too, he began to hone his own craft, working with a group of poets and drummers dubbed "Rasta Love". In time, his activism was to lead to his involve- ment along with Darcus Howe in the establishment of the journal Race Today, which in 1974 published his first collection of poetry, Voices of the Living and the Dead. This was to be the beginning of a long and prolific public presence in the literary world. This was to be no ordinary presence, however. Credited by some as being the world's first dub poet, Linton Kwesi Johnson has proved an indefatigable writer and performer, whose incisive analyses have sought to address con- temporary life and issues emanating from the inherent tensions of a multi- ethnic and multicultural environment. These have found accommodation in a number of publications, among them Voices of the Living and the Dead, Dread Beat an'Blood, Inglan Is a Bitch, and Tings an' Times. They have also found accom- modation in recordings of his perfor- mances, including Forces of Victory, LKJ in Dub, Bass Culture, Making History, LKJ Presents, LKJ A Cappella Live, More Time, Independent Intavenshan, Straight to Inglan's Head and LKJ Live in Paris. In 2002, a collection of his poetry, Mi Revalueshanary Fren, was published in the Penguin Classics series, making him the first black poet and second liv- ing poet to be published by Penguin Classics. Among his many accomplishments, Linton Kwesi Johnson has had the dis- tinction of being listed among the top one hundred great black Britons, in the company of such other personalities as Mary Seacole, Bill Morris and Johnny Barnes, also Jamaican by birth. From performance stage to ivory tower, the calibre of Linton Kwesi John- son's contribution has been recognized, Linton Kwesi Johnson, flanked by 101 chairman Barry Chevannes (right) and 101 council member Rex Nettleford, with his Silver Musgrave Award. and internationally so. The forcefulness of his lyrical commentary has reverber- ated on stage in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. In the mid-1980s, his album LKJ Live in Concert with the Dub Band was nominated for a Grammy. In 1985, he was made an associate fel- low of Warwick University. In 1987, he was conferred an honorary fellow of Wolverhampton Polytechnic, and in the same year received an award for his contribution to poetry and popular music from the city of Pisa. In 1998, he was again honoured in Italy. In 2003, his alma mater, Goldsmiths College, be- stowed upon him an honorary fellow- ship. In 2004, he became an honorary visiting fellow of Middlesex University, London. Poet, performer, activist, political theorist, broadcaster Linton Kwesi Johnson has undoubtedly and emphati- cally made his mark as one of the liter- ary giants of the twentieth and twenty- first centuries. For his contribution to poetry, the Council of the Institute of Jamaica is pleased to award Mr Linton Kwesi Johnson the Silver Musgrave Medal for outstanding merit in the field. * 001=1_~IL3C -I-O S AN'D WRITEI' Poems LINTON KWESI JOHNSON The following poems have been excerpted from Linton Kwesi Johnson's collection Mi Revalueshanery Fren: Selected Poems (London: Penguin, 2002), with the author's permission. INGLAN IS A BITCH wen mi jus come to Landan toun mi use to work pan di andahgroun but working pan di andahgroun yu don't get fi know your way around Inglan is a bitch dere's no escapin it Inglan is a bitch dere's no runin whe fram it mi get a likkle jab in a big otell an awftah a while, mi woz doing quite well dem staat mi awfas a dish-washah but wen mi tek a stack, mi noh tun clack-watchah! Inglan is a bitch dere's no escapin it Inglan is a bitch noh baddah try fi hide fram it wen dem gi you di likkle wage packit fus dem rab it wid dem big tax rackit yu haffi struggle fi mek enz meet an wen yu goh a yu bed yu jus cant sleep Inglan is a bitch dere's no escapin it Inglan is a bitch fi true a noh lie mi a tell, a true mi use to work dig ditch wen it cowl noh bitch mi did strange like a mule, but, bwoy, mi did fool den awftah a while mi jus stap dhu owevahtime den awftah a while mi jus phu dung mi tool Inglan is a bitch dere's no escapin it Inglan is a bitch yu haffi know how fi suvive in it well mi dhu day wok an mi dhu nite wok mi dhu clean wok an mi dhu dutty wok dem seh dat black man is very lazy but if yu si how mi wok yu woodah seh mi crazy Inglan is a bitch dere's no escapin it Inglan is a bitch yu bettah face up to it dem have a likkle facktri up inna Brackly inna disya facktri all dem dhu is pack crackry fi di laas fifteen years dem get mi laybah now awftah fifteen years mi fall out a fayvah Inglan is a bitch dere's no escapin it Inglan is a bitch dere's no runin whe fram it mi know dem have wok, wok in abundant yet still, dem mek mi redundant now, at fifty-five mi getin quite ole yet still, dem sen mi fi goh draw dole Inlgan is a bitch dere's no escapin it Inglan is a bitch fi true is whe wi a goh dhu bout it? NEW WORD HAWDAH di killahs a Kigale' mus be sanitary workaz di butchaz a Butare2 mus be sanitary workaz di savajiz a Shatila' mus be sanitary workaz di beasts a Boznia mus be sanitary workaz pra-pram-pram inna di new word hawdah like a dutty ole bandige pan di festahrin face a humanity ole hawdah anravel an reveal ole scar jus a bruk out inna new sore primeval woun dat time wone heal an in di hainshent currency of blood tribal tyrants a seckle de score di killahs a Kigale mus be sanitary workaz di butchaz a Butare mus be sanitary workaz di savajiz a Shatila mus be sanitary workaz di beasts a Boznia mus be sanitary workaz pra-pram-pram inna di new word hawdah an is di same ole cain an able sindrome far more hainshent dan di fall of Rome but in di new world hawdah a atrocity is a brand new langwidge a barbarity mass murdah narmalize program rationalize genocide sanitize an di hainshent clan sin now name etnic clenzin an so di killahs a Kigale mus be sanitary workaz di butchaz a Butare mus be sanitary workaz di savajiz a Shatila mus be sanitary workaz di beasts of Boznia mus be sanitary workaz pra-pram-pram inna di new word hawdah NOTES 1. Region in central Rwanda where Hutus car- ried out genocide against Tutsis in 1994. 2. Region in southern Rwanda where Hutus carried out genocide against Tutsis in 1994. 3. Palestinian refugee camp where refugees were butchered by Phalangist Christian militia in Lebanon in 1982. The area was under the control of the government of Israel at the time. That Polite Way That English People Have ANDREA LEW I was sure my coat would be the finest coat in England. Oh, everyone would stare everyone would admire my long black coat and my black hat with its netting trim set at an angle on my head. There, they would say, there is high- class woman from Jamaica. She is a woman who has one of the finest coats. I bought my coat from my employer, who had only just returned from England after settling her two sons into a boarding school in a place called Dover. "Blossom," she said, in that polite way that English people have, "you will need a coat in England and I have a coat that you may purchase." It cost me a great deal of money, but Mrs Roberts informed me that since the war the cost of coats in England had become very high and that this coat I was purchasing from her was the best quality money could buy. I would have, she assured me, no regrets. I was travelling to England to train as a nurse. And as I would be arriving in England in the month of November, a coat, I felt, would be necessary for keeping out the cold. It was very amusing that the day I purchased the coat from Mrs Roberts was one of the hottest days I had ever encountered in all my living. Mrs Roberts allowed me into her bedroom to view the coat in her dressing-table mirror. And there was I on the hottest day God had ever sent wrapping myself in this thick woollen coat. My employer assured me that it fitted and suited me as if it had been made for I alone. I did not keep on the coat very long because the day was too hot. Later that afternoon I was carrying eggs home for Mamma and as I walked from the shop one of the eggs slipped from the bag and landed on the road. I was surprised to see that as it hit the hot ground the egg started to cook. I had no chance to bend and scoop it back into the shell. All I could do was watch it turn white. Mamma had shouted at me, as I was afraid she would. But I did not pay it any mind. "Mamma," I said, "when I get to England I will send you money enough to drop as many eggs as you so desire." But Mamma was not as convinced as I that travelling to England was the best thing that I could do to secure a good future for myself. She said that leaving Jamaica because the weather was too hot was no reason at all. But I told her that was only something that was in the back of my mind. It was true the weather was too hot for me and I could no longer stand the hurricanes that swept the island and rid us of all the food from the trees. It was true that I trembled in my bed when the earth moved under my feet and flung our pictures from the walls. But that was not why I was going to England. I was going to train as a nurse. Mamma said I could train as a nurse in Jamaica, that I did not have to go halfway round the world to wear a fine starched uniform. But I told her I was going for better opportunity. "Mamma," I said, "I will live in a nice house with a garden smelling of sweet roses. And I will take tea in the finest teahouses in London where they drink from china cups and eat cake by slicing it with the side of the fork." Mamma thought I was spending too much money on my passage. But I had worked hard for that money I was a nanny to three English children from the age of sixteen. And I saved. Every week a small portion of my wage was placed in the building society so that one day I could travel to England. Mamma thought I could have gone on the SS Windrush ship, with the 28 pounds and 10 shilling passage. I laughed. "Mamma," I said, "that ship was for men." Could she see me on a ship with nowhere to lie down or place my things? Could she see me on a troop ship amongst all those men with their cards and gambling and carrying on? "No Mamma," I told her, "I will travel to England in style." But she did not understand. All she could see was the money she said I had wasted. Mamma was a country girl. She was not what English people would call refined. She had not been as educated as I. She had not had the benefit of living for almost ten years in the household of one of the foremost English families in Jamaica. She had not seen how high life can be. Which is why Mamma kept coming to me with food to pack into the trunk I was taking with me on my journey. She told me that she had heard from a woman at her church that there was no food in England. "Blossom," she told me, "English people are starving - they are still on rations from the war." And she came to me with her arms full of onions, sugar, rice, guava, limes, mango, pawpaw and enough ginger for everyone I would meet. "Mamma," I had to say, "stop! Where am I to put all my warm clothes, my pictures from home where am I to put my coat?" But still she tried to make me take some eggs. "Mamma," I told her, "I would never get to England with the eggs unbroken." Mamma wanted to come to see me off. "Let me come to the dock with you, Blossom," she said, "help you carry your things." But I told her she was too old to travel so far. The dock was in Ocho Rios and she was in Kingston. And it was too hot. She said the heat did not bother her. "But the noise and the crowds, Mamma, the noise and the crowds!" No, we said goodbye in the room Mamma and I had shared for the past two years. I went to the ship on my own a first-class passenger amongst English travellers. My trunk was carried on to the ship by a man who was rough and uncouth. He made me glad to be leaving the island. He sucked his teeth as he showed me to my cabin. And as he threw my trunk down he started to scratch himself, on his backside, on his head. Well, it was so hot in the room that I fanned my face a little with the back of my hand. And this man looked at me, leaned his breath into my face and said, "Remember you're a nigger." But I paid him no mind. That class of people are so jealous that the high class of us have a chance to better ourselves in England while they are left in the sun scratching out a living and waiting for the pumpkins to grow after the hurricane. I had the luxury of having a cabin for two all to myself. Two beds one on top of the other a wash basin, a lavatory, a light that worked with a flick of a switch and a round window that looked over the sea. The ship was so big, bigger than I had seen in my mind's eye. I had thought of toy boats with paper sails and little wooden stick masts boats I used to make and play with on the river when I was a girl. But this gigantic metal ship looked too heavy to stay afloat on something as unsteady as water. And the wooden deck seemed to stretch as far as I could see. They were loading up the hold with bananas, oranges, lemons, and crates and crates of I know not what. But the passengers? Oh, they were mostly English people returning from a holiday or going to England to visit a relative or to do a little business. And as they came on board they said "Good day" and "Good morning" in that polite way that English people have. I wished at that moment that there was someone there to see me on this ship: a first-class passenger among English people. Someone to say there is Blossom Hunter, a high-class woman waiting to voyage on an adventure to the Mother Country. As I walked on the deck I ran my hand along the cool of the rail and thought I saw Mamma. Down on the dock. I thought I saw her looking up at the ship. Standing in her yellow floral print dress with her white church hat sitting low on her head. I raised my hand to shield my eyes against the sun and looked again. But there was no one there. It was then that a man came up and stood beside me. He said, "Excuse me," in that polite way. "Excuse me, Miss, but have you lost something?" And I looked up into the face of the most handsome English gentleman I had Andrea Levy ever seen. His jaw was square and firm. His slim moustache traced his top lip and his dark hair that was parted to one side was slicked down like a movie star. I had to catch my breath. He spoke again in that deep English way, "I am sorry, did I startle you?" I did not know what to say. "Oh no, sir," I said. "I am not startled. It was just that I thought I may have seen K~~I t, II~ w- b ERROLSTENNETT 'L~~ ,I' `Si'%lljaprrr I-i It) I% somebody who was familiar to me on the dockside." He looked out to see where I was looking and I had to tell him, "But I think I was mistaken." He had enjoyed a holiday in Jamaica and was now returning home, he told me. He asked me if I was travelling to England and whether I was travelling alone. I nodded my head politely. Oh, he looked like a doctor or a lawyer or the manager of a good bank. As he left he held out his hand for me to shake, "My name is Philip Keyes. May I have the pleasure of your acquaintance?" "Of course you may," I said and shook his hand. He asked, "May I ask you your name?" It was at that point, as he waited for my reply, that I decided Blossom was not a name to carry to England. Blossom was a name that was yelled from doorways in the hot sun. Women called Blossom fanned themselves with banana leaves and drank coconut water straight from the nut. No, I decided I would use my real name. The name I was christened with a name which would allow me to blend with teatime and croquet on the lawn. "Hortense," I told him. "My name is Hortense Hunter." "Well, Hortense," this proper English gentleman said, "I have done a lot of travelling in my time, so if you have any problems, please do not hesitate to ask my advice." He bowed his head to me as he said, "I hope we will meet again at dinner." I watched him walk tall and erect along the smooth deck. And I began to feel a breeze ruffle through my dress, caressing and cooling me. But then I thought I saw Mamma again. As the ship slowly moved away from the dockside I thought I saw her. Half hidden behind a truck. Her yellow dress, her white hat. As the dock drifted backwards I thought I saw her step out from behind the truck, raise her arms into the air and call, "Blossom, Blossom." But it could not have been Mamma. It was too far and too hot for Mamma to come. That night everyone got dressed up in their fine clothes and went to dinner. The room was full of chatter. English chatter, about the weather, the ship, the food. Everywhere was "How do you do" and "Please come and join us" and "Waiter, waiter, do you have tea?" Women with their hair neatly waved and sparkling jewels round their neck. Men with crisp white shirts and bow ties. I had on my best dress, a dress Mamma had made me for a house party I had attended a few years earlier. I brightened up this green dress with a strip of yellow satin ribbon, across the low neckline and over the puffed sleeves. And I finished off the whole look with a small piece of ribbon as a bow in my hair. I thought to myself, Hortense, you will need more than this one party dress if every night is like this in England. The room was bright and shining with white tablecloths and silver knives and forks and crystal glasses at every place. And as I walked in, the English gentleman, Mr Keyes, rose from his seat and said, "Miss Hunter, would you do me the honour of joining me?" I felt like a million dollars. I hoped I did not blush as I slipped into the seat beside him. I nodded and said "Good day" to everyone sitting at our table, which was the polite thing to do. And as we ate plates and plates of food brought to us by waiters in clean white jackets, Philip, as he asked me to call him, enquired as to why I was travelling to England. "I will be training as a nurse," I told him. And he asked me if I had ever been to England before. "Oh no," I said, "but I know a lot about England because I have read about it in books." This seemed to amuse him. So I told him that I was looking forward to seeing daffodils when I got to England. A host of golden daffodils swaying bright yellow in the breeze in one of the parks maybe Hyde Park or Regents Park or Richmond Park. He smiled he could see I knew about England. And cricket, I told him I wanted to see the cricket at Lords and ask a London policeman the time and ride a red bus around Trafalgar Square. I was going to continue to tell him all the other things I would be doing but he held up his hands and said, "Yes, you certainly know about England, Hortense." But then this woman a Jamaican woman as black as night sat down at our table. She looked so dressed up with her ribbons and lace trying to look high-class. But I could tell she was rough. Even though she said "Good evening" and "How do you do" to everyone, I could tell. She called herself Petal. "Good evening, my name is Petal," she said. But when she ate she talked with her mouth open, showing everyone her food, and she wiped her napkin across her face instead of just dabbing it at the comers of her mouth like English people do. Then she leaned across to me. "You going to England?" I tried to ignore her but she hissed at me, "Sister?" And I had to inform her and Philip and everyone else at the table that I was most certainly not her sister. But she paid me no mind. "Where you from?" she said to me. I tried to ignore her again by listening very closely to an interesting conversation about lilac trees being carried out by Philip and two women who were returning home to Northamptonshire. But this Jamaican woman knocked my arm in an uncouth manner and said, "Where you from?" So I told her St Mary just to shut her up and she said loudly, "Oh, you a country girl." So I laid down my napkin and informed her that I had lived for ten years in the household of one of the foremost English families in Kingston. But this woman just looked in my face then held her head back and laughed. I was pleased when Philip asked me if I would like to dance with him. I answered this handsome English gentleman, "Oh no, Philip, thank you very much but I am a little too tired to dance at this time." I had to refuse because I had not learned to dance in that two-by-two way that English people do. But I was happy that I could turn away from this Petal woman and show her that I had better friends. But still the evening was spoiled by her. She kept shouting at everyone to call her Petal and laughing loudly in a rude manner and dancing around the floor wiggling her hips. I was very tired so I left at ten. As I got up to go Philip said, "Hortense, do me the honour of letting me walk you to your cabin?" And I saw this Petal's mouth drop open as she watched me walk out on the arm of this fine English man. As Philip left me at my cabin door he asked, "Would you like a nightcap?" I laughed a little, then thanked him and told him that I did not usually wear anything on my head when I slept. We said good night and I tucked myself into my happy bed and dreamed of life in England. I did not see Philip for the whole of the next day, but I did not pay it any mind. I went about the ship. I watched people playing with quoits, throwing the hoops onto pegs, and laughing as they landed several yards away. I sat on the reclining chairs that were provided in the shade and watched young people splashing, jumping and screeching in the swimming pool. And as I walked along the deck, smiling at the people I met, I saw a woman I thought I knew from Jamaica. She was a friend of Mrs Roberts, my employer. An English woman who had once told me that I was the best nanny on the whole of the island. And there was she walking along the deck with her small daughter. I was sure she would remember me so I said, "Good day, I believe we may have met in Kingston." But she walked straight past me so I realized then that I may have been mistaken. I napped in my room after that. I lay on my bed with the sea breeze cooling me and watched the sea through the window gently rise and fall, rise and fall. It was not until the evening that I next saw Philip Keyes. He walked into the dining room and there on his arm, squeezing and hugging him up, was Petal. She looked so pleased with herself, swishing her chiffon scarf across her bare shoulders. And as she sat down Philip gently pushed the chair in for her as he had done for me the night before. This Petal clicked her fingers for the waiter and kept giggling and whispering into Philip's ear. And he offered her cigarettes from a silver case and as she smoked them she blew the smoke out over everyone who was sitting at her table. I could see the other English people looking at her from the comer of their eyes. They were not used to someone as low-class as she sitting right next to them amongst them like she was as good as them. And I saw them all thinking, what can a man like him be doing with that sort of woman? All I could think was she had put some sort of spell on him. Philip bowed his head to me when he saw me. But this time I just turned away. I got up and went to my room because I was feeling a little hot. By the time we got to England it was cold. My skin rose with goose bumps and I shivered on the deck. I was glad to be leaving the ship. For ten days we had been sailing and I was tired of moving up and down, up and down. I longed to place my feet on firm English soil. And I was pleased that I would no longer have to spend my days avoiding Mr Philip Keyes with his slicked-down hair and Petal clinging on to his arm. Every time that woman saw me she would run to me asking me questions about myself. "Where will you be living in London, Hortense? Let me get the address," she said, as if I would want to be friendly with a woman like her once I was in England amongst all those English people. I told her that I had not yet decided which hospital to present myself at when I got to London. "Oh Hortense," she said, "you should know where you are going to stay. It will be difficult for you." So I informed her firmly that I would be staying at the lodgings that were supplied for trainee nurses once I had presented myself at the hospital. She started to shake her head, "No, no, Hortense, listen." Then she said that I should go with her when I left the ship. She told me she had a sister with a room just a room, mind - in a place called Notting Hill. "Stay if only for a few nights, Hortense," she said, "until you know more about England." I thought to myself, let her mind her business. As if I would stay with a woman like her. No. I just walked away. There was excitement all around the ship as we sailed into England. But it was very dark and I was a little disappointed that I could not make out Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus as we manoeuvred into the dock. But I went to my trunk. I folded all my summer dresses and placed them in beside the mangoes and the pawpaw. And I carefully took out my coat. I said to myself, as I slid my arms into this warm garment and did up the buttons one by one, I am not one of those people who come to England unprepared. I will not shiver in the street in my flimsy summer clothes. Then I took my hat and placed it on my head at just a little angle. Everyone was out on deck chatting in that polite way that English people have. We all stood in our coats looking to the dockside and some people waved at I don't know what. And I wished Mamma could have been there to see me arrive. Mamma standing on the dockside in her yellow floral print dress with her white church hat sitting low on her head. But there was Petal, hugging up and kissing Philip Keyes as everyone tried politely not to stare. When she saw me she came over and stood beside me. She looked at me, up and down, up and down. Then she started to shake her head. She said, "Where did you get that coat?" I wrapped my coat around me a little more the finest coat in England and informed her that I had purchased it from my English employer. "But this is an ugly coat," Petal whispered to me. So I told her that I had paid a great deal of money for this coat and that my employer had assured me that this was one of the finest quality coats money could buy. But this Petal just looked in my face, then held her head back and laughed. "Your employer has sold you a very old-fashioned coat," she told me. She ran her black fingers over the fabric; she twisted a button and flicked at the collar. "Hortense," she said, "the English woman rob you. There is nothing fine about this coat." o Plantation Ruins EXCERPTS FROM THE RIGHT TO BE PROUD DAVID BUCKLEY The following excerpts are from the publication The Right to Be Proud: A Brief Guide to Jamaican Heritage Sites, written and published by David Buckley (2005). KENILWORTH, HANOVER Kenilworth, at Maggotty Cove, is the finest example of its type in Jamaica, looking more like a church than a sugar factory. Its Palladian arches and cut stone walls contain the mill, waterwheel, boiling house and distillery. The tomb of Thomas Blagrove, 1733-55, descendant of the regicide John Blagrove, lies in the grounds; his epitaph acclaims him for "humane treatment of his servants". It is now operated as a HEART Institute, and can be visited. ORANGE VALLEY, TRELAWNY A few miles south of Greenwood Great House, Orange Valley's buildings date mostly from the late eighteenth century; there is a slave hospital from 1797, a lime kiln, and the tombstone of an es- tate overseer. The sugar mill has elabo- rately trimmed windows and doors. A cattle driven mill and the boiling house may be seen. The great house, a modest building typical of an absentee owner, has loopholes for defence, and behind it is a small mausoleum, the Jarrett family cemetery. STOKES HALL, ST THOMAS Led by Nevis governor Luke Stokes, 1,600 people arrived in the 1650s to settle and develop the new colony. Two thirds soon died; Stokes Hall was built in c. 1720 by his descendants. The limestone blocks are 2'6" thick, and the building measures about 48' x 30' x 28' high. Loopholes for muskets were for defence against pirates, enemy invaders, and presumably rebellious black people unhappy about slavery. At 290' above sea level, it commands a view of Holland Bay, five miles away, and the Morant Point Lighthouse, Jamaica's first, built in 1841 by Krus, indentured Africans. Stokes Hall can be reached by car; the road is difficult but not impossible. a 8,:00 S AN ,W IES Book Reviews over the roofs of the world Olive Senior OVER THE ROOFS OF THE WORLD By Olive Senior Toronto: Insomniac Press, 2005 ISBN: 1-894663-82-9; 109 pp; J995

Reviewed by Mervyn Morris
Most people know that Olive Senior
writes excellent short stories and is an
outstanding researcher. She is of course
the author of three short story collections
- Summer Lightning, Arrival of the Snake
Woman and Discerner of Hearts and at
least four non-fiction books, including
the Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage. But
if Olive Senior had published only poetry
- her poetry books are Talking of Trees,
Gardening in the Tropics and now over the
roofs of the world she would still be one of
the most significant writers in our region.
She is an accomplished poet, careful
in the craft, with a distinctive voice and
a well-stocked mind which freely makes
connections. In over the roofs of the world,
poems play with knowledge about birds,
mythology, folklore (not only Caribbean
folklore), history (not only West Indian
history), anthropology, art and literature.
Poems draw on, sometimes turn on,
Jamaican expressions (such as Woman luck
lie a dungle heap, /fowl come scratch it up).
A poem which refers to an Amerindian
myth (Women were created from yellow-skin
plum trees transformed by the action of the

woodpecker) slyly exposes the peckerr".
Parakeet (I heard a parakeet in the garden)
is argued to relate linguistically to Peter
- "Perroquet. Perroque. Pierrot. Pierre"
- though it is Judas in the Revival song.
Poems invoke Robinson Crusoe, Wallace
Stevens, M.G. Smith, Pablo Neruda,
pre-Colombian bird-man figures and
the myth of Icarus. When the references
foreground detail they are usually
self-explanatory. In a small number of
instances, there are Notes.
The knowledge is worn lightly. In
language and concept, wit abounds.
In "The Secret of Crusoe's Parrot", for
example, "poor Poll" is presented as
playing fool to catch wise, humouring the
man who senses nothing of the parrot's
full, rich life. The "I" in "Discovery"
knows "the moment you land / I become
islanded" but the discoverer cannot
breach the persona's "impenetrable
heart". When a poem inveighs against
assault is elegant, the anger wittily
focused.

Come walk with me in the latest
style:
rockstone and dry gully. Come for
the Final
Closing Down Sale. Take for a song
the Last Black Coral, the Last Green
Turtle,
the Last Blue Swallow-tail (preserved
behind glass).
Come walk the last mile to see the
Last Manatee,
the Last Coney, the Last Alligator,
the Last Iguana
Smile.

Oh, them gone already? No Problem,
Mon.
Come. Look the film here.
Reggae soundtrack and all. Come see
my land. Come see my land and
know, A-oh,
that she was fair. (p. 54)

A village fiddler declared missing
"remained a vibrating source of
conversation / an endless susurration.
With the police indifferent..." (p. 55).
There are existential problems explored,
as in "Blue" and "Here and There".
"Here / was the dark, the damp, the
following the sun..." ("[T]he dark, the
to die for, its power less dependent on
alliteration than on assonance, and the
perfect weighting of "steadfast".) In this
poem alchemicall light" (another fine
precision), and "magic words for the
getaway", may be illusory. "I had finally
chewed into dust..." In "Leaving
Home" the persona, having "failed to
detach / from that mooring", will be
"from the architecture of longing"
the Blue Foot Traveller continues to
construct "a bountiful edifice". S/he can
return any day to the place s/he came
from "though the place ... has shifted a
heartbeat" (p. 72).
The longish poem at the end of
the book, "Ode to Pablo Neruda"
(commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for
Poets Fan Mail) is a series of riffs
on the task of poetry. The ambition
is to achieve "the pure voice
untrammelled", yet also to write
"impure poetry that bears witness to
the raw and the natural". Neruda is
quoted as advising the poet to grasp
poetry like thread: You must spin it /fly
a thread / and climb it. Celebrating "that
mantra of obligation", Senior's persona
develops the idea, tracking the ups and
downs of creativity, "seeking a thread
to tie up the bundle which has been
growing unwieldy with the cries and
whispers of the ones I can't name".
When the persona declares, "Yes,
we each have our measure, and our
burden to carry", we are reminded that

measure connotes meter, rhythm, music;
and that burden suggests theme, refrain,
chorus, music. Senior's crafting is skilful
and various. She writes sections or
paragraphs of prose poetry more often
than most of the other major West Indian
poets. She does not hesitate to write
slim stanzas with many one-word lines.
She creates shapes on the page which
reinforce or illustrate concerns in the

poem or passage. She does not often
rhyme at the end of lines, but regularly
makes use of internal rhyme and
assonantal patterning. The work, most
often, declares "it is not a question of
artifice but of becoming. / Not build up
but strip down" (p. 16). She varies the
voice. The tone is usually conversational,
with a playful edge. But it can also be
superbly lyrical.

Maybe I'll accept after all my
commission as apprentice Spider
who spins from her gut the threads
for flying,
for tying up words that spilled,
hanging out tales long
unspoken, reeling in songs, casting
off dances.
And perhaps for binding up
wounds? (p. 102) +

SONGS OF SILENCE
By Curdella Forbes
Oxford: Heinemann Caribbean Writers
Series, 2002
ISBN: 0 435 98957 X (paper); vi, 154 pp;
J\$500

Reviewed by Maureen Warner-Lewis
How does one write "songs of silence"?
The American Paul Simon whispered
his "sound of silence" to a haunting
melody; and now the Jamaican
Curdella Forbes demonstrates how
it is possible for an exquisitely tuned
sensibility and intellect to achieve
the feat of mediating silence through
language. Her Songs of Silence (2002)
is a collection of eight short stories
written with such style that the ear is
delightfully startled by the intercalation
of poetic and erudite English with

SO G f IE(

seen" (p. 19). For that reason, "silence
was my snail's house on my back
that kept me safe" (p. 29). If "Effita"
is a story about a woman who was
the community's death announcer,
"A Story with No Name" is about a
latter-day Miss Havisham who spoke
not a word to her neighbours, but who
became pregnant and delivered a dumb
boy. The feat of weaving a story out
of this mysterious circumstance is a
credit to the sensitivity of the observant
narrator, her powers of introspection,
social detection, and emotional analysis.
Yet the story is open-ended; to the end,
the child's father, like the woman and
the child, has no name and therefore no
certifiable identity.
The next story, "Nathan", continues
the motif of self-imposed stifled
silence, this time in the character of
the I-persona's brother. But the story
is also a revelation of the I-persona
herself. And it is in this story that
sound/ soundlessness begins to be
imaged as colour: "I knew the red heart
of silence, as red as the heart of my
brother's was blue" (p. 28). And the
recurring Morris Hole River is linked
with these silences, rivers possessing
"their runes and dark murmurous
secrets" (p. 37). In "The Idiot", a worthy
but straight-laced schoolboy, whom the
good sense of later years recognizes as
someone unjustly despised, remains in
her memory, leaving "stains, enigmatic
bright and fading crimson I tried both
to press so I could see the colour

the imagery, lexicon, and idioms of
Jamaican Creole.
In a device reminiscent of V. S.
Naipaul's Miguel Street, the character
portraits depicted in the stories are
filtered through the observations and
ruminations of an I-persona. Here, the
girl's home life, ancestry and emotional
interactions weave themselves in
and out of the various tales, and the
collection culminates in "Epilogue,
A Beginning" to remind us of her
self as the central consciousness of
the narratives. This moment of self-
conscious authority is engineered when
the I-persona is sixteen and about to
leave her village for the city. Unlike the
I-persona of Miguel Street, and more in
keeping with the ideological stance of
George Lamming's G of In the Castle
of My Skin, this narrator imaginatively
and philosophically collapses her being
into the lives she has probed: "I was
me and all of them ... there was no me
before there was them" (p. 152). She
also identifies herself empathetically
with the river which has already
been established as virtually another
personality in the community. It is the
primary landmark in the geographical
space where the villagers have worked,
played, gossiped, and died.
The relationship between the I-
persona and the literary artefact is in
fact a skilful enactment of the ironic
symbiosis between speech and silence:
betrayal, speaking allowed you to be

clearly and to rub out against the
shadow of white cloth" (p. 49). This
impressionistic association of sound
and colour is nowhere more impressive
than in the last story, "So Few and
Such Morning Songs", but in addition,
here the extended mourning of Mister
Papacita for his wife moves his singing
from "rose red and orange and flame"
(p. 144) to metallic weapons lancing
and shafting the air.
To cherish Mister Papacita's lust
for life and for song is to enjoy one
of the several memorable portraits of
male devotion in Forbes's collection.
This is a welcome variation on the
more salient theme of mothering in
Caribbean literature and sociology. But
this anthology shines with the caring
attentiveness of males. The father
of the I-persona is associated with
the security imparted by his muddy
waterboots at the front door; the village
is moved by the dogged devotion and
protectiveness of Cudjoe Man for his
retarded daughter; the self-denying
loyalty of Ray for his self-sacrificing
with pathos; the irregular but expected
visits of Long Man to their family home
invite uncertainties over her mother's
emotional life.
But women are powerfully drawn
as well: the I-persona's mother with
her "dignify courthouse voice" (p.
39) and her admonitions to avoid
the despicable ways of the "hootiah"
(pp. 39, 45, 50); Miss Minnie who
drives herself to paranoia over the
love and attentions of her stepson;
Effita the town-crier and Revivalist;
Auntie Sare whose prayers know no
end; and Minna with her charming
playfulness. The more intimate
psychological confusions provoked in
pubescent girls within sexually reticent
societies are given feeling treatment
in "Morris Hole", the name of the
river that becomes the externalisation
of the young girl's sexuality and the
locus of pre-pubescent horseplay
between the genders. So the river is the
the same time that it is the symbol of
menstrual flow she "lost the river"
(pp. 86, 95) and of adult knowledge,
the "connecting link" (p. 95) between

"the whispered, unsanctioned sexuality
of my grandmothers", the site of
"female shame and shaming", the river
being "female, a fountainhead of loamy
juices like sex and birth ..." (p. 95). The
confusing cross-currents experienced
during this 'change of life' period are
encapsulated in the oxymoron at the
end of the sentence: "I feel I will never
be able to play again, my whole body
amputate" (p. 86).
By recreating the sights, sounds,
smells, activity routines and courtesies
of her community stretching between
Maaga Bay and Green Town, the I-
persona grounds the narratives in the
sensuous and experienced realities of
rural Jamaica, and further solidifies
its social composition by allowing
major participants in one story to have
minor or even ephemeral presence
in another. A society is thus firmly
established in the reader's mind, and
we savour the rush of opinions as
the author sometimes integrates their
speech, without warning by way of
punctuation, with the I-narrator's own
commentary. That commentary is given
in either Standard English or Jamaican
Creole, or a progression from one to the
other: "Effie's rhythmic chant would
increase in volume with the progress
of her advance and the paroxysm of
her trance ... The louder she chant the
faster she buck..." (p. 4); "that is how
Miss Zetta say it happen, for Zetta she
have ears all over her head and she
hear everything, all what don't talk" (p.
107); "after you roll in grass you don't
want no water touching your skin, for
hell scratch out your daylights all night
wholenight" (p. 85); "from she round
the ridge into Black Shop" (p. 3); "my
mother didn't allow us to go to other
people's house since there were nine
of us and your brothers and sisters are
more than enough company so what
more do you want, whatsoever cometh
of more than these is evil, keep you foot
in you house, you hear" (pp. 44-45).
Forbes's stories discreetly touch
on meta-narrative from time to time,
the authorial voice matching the
introspection of her I-persona. Twice
she claims ironically, out of a childish
enthralment with romance, that her
mother's stories "are not real stories

but stories about herself, her childhood
and growing up" (pp. 51, 98). Then,
reverting to her title's theme, the
author muses: "Memory and moment
are never the same. The one can be
become whole. The other never returns,
and when it comes, too often glimpsed
as other than itself. Falling in the spaces
between knowing and not knowing,
between silence and not speaking" (p.
50).
But as much as the I-persona
"wrap[s] herself in quiet like a cloak"
(p. 45), she is seduced, and in turn
seduces us, by "the sound and feel
and texture of words in your mouth.
Some smooth as silken sweets ...
Others rough and raised and risky
like the tops of mountains and hills ..
. Some singing like songs, southward,
northward, visible invisible ... Others
sharp and secret and ready to pounce.
.. like snake and swish and seacat and
schemes and scheming" (p. 40).
We are thus treated to a command
performance of linguistic skill and flair.
Songs of Silence is a thought-provoking
exploration of the strains of adult
life and responsibility, the prejudices
against difference, the sensitivities and
insensitivities of a young girl's growth
into self-analysis and maturity, a
sympathetically humorous presentation
of human foibles and strengths. It is an
impressive first publication. o

Contributors

KARL AIKEN is a lecturer in zoology
with the Department of Life Sciences,
University of the West Indies, Mona. His
main focus is on marine fishes, but he
is also interested in natural history and
conservation, and helped to found the
Jamaica Conservation & Development
Trust (JCDT) in 1988.

PETRINE ARCHER-STRAW is an art historian
and curator educated at the University
of the West Indies, Mona, and the
Courtauld Institute, London, where she
has also taught. She is the co-author of
Jamaican Art (1990), the editor of Fifty
Years Fifty Artists (2000), and the author
of Negrophilia: Avant Garde Paris and Black
Culture (2000). She is currently a visiting
lecturer at Cornell University.

L. ALAN EYRE has been associated with
the University of the West Indies for
honorary research fellow. He has also
carried out research with the United
Nations, the World Bank, the Library
of Congress, the World Astronautical
Federation, and fifteen universities in
the Cayman Islands, Israel, Australia,
Britain and the USA. He has authored
or co-authored several books and
approximately five hundred publications.

JONATHAN GREENLAND is the executive
director of the National Gallery of
Jamaica and a part-time lecturer at the
Edna Manley College of the Visual
his doctorate in art history from the
University of Cambridge in England
and has worked in a number of places
including the Brooklyn Museum in New
York City.

CECIL GUTZMORE, originally from Portland,
spent over three decades in the UK
as student, worker, political-cultural
activist and university lecturer. Since
returning home in 1997, he has worked
as a freelance training and development
consultant and has lectured at the
University of the West Indies, Mona. He
has also been a Gleaner columnist.

FREDERICK HICKLING is a Jamaican
psychiatrist with wide international
experience in the Caribbean,
North America, the UK and New
Zealand. Creator of the process of
psychohistoriographic analysis and

cultural therapy in Jamaica, he is
presently professor and head of section of
the Department of Psychiatry, University
of the West Indies, Mona.

HEATHER A. HORST is a postdoctoral
scholar at the Institute for the Study of
Social Change, University of California,
Berkeley.

LINToN KWESI JOHNSON is a reggae poet
and recording artist. He has published
five volumes of poetry and released over
fifteen albums. He also runs his own
record label, LKJ Records Ltd, and is a
trustee of the George Padmore Institute in
London.

ALERIC JOSEPHS is a member of the
Department of History and Archaeology,
University of the West Indies, Mona.
She is a graduate of the department,
where she also did her graduate work in
women's history.

ANDREA LEVY, born in London in 1956 to
Jamaican parents, is the author of Every
Light in the House Burnin' (1994), Never
Far from Nowhere (1996), Fruit of the Lemon
(1999) and Small Island (2004) which was
the unique winner of the Orange Prize for
Fiction, the Whitbread Book of the Year
2004, the Commonwealth Writer's Prize
2005, and the Orange Prize "Best of the
Best" in Britain. She lives and works in
London.

MERVYN MORRIS is the author of Is English
We Speaking and other Essays (1999) and
Making West Indian Literature (2005).
His poetry collections include The
Examination Centre (1992), On Holy Week
(1993) and, most recently, I been there, sort
of: New and Selected Poems (2006).

HELEN RAPPAPORT is a nineteenth-century
and women's historian, with a specialist
interest in black cultural figures Mary
Seacole, Ira Aldridge and George
Bridgetower. Her book No Place for Ladies:
The Untold Story of Women in
the Crimean War will be published in
February 2007.

HILARY ROBERTSON-HICKLING is a lecturer at
the University of the West Indies, Mona,
and has research interests in migration
and mental health. She completed her
PhD at the University of Birmingham
on "The Quest for Healing in the Black

British Community: A Reflective Study
on Mental Healthcare in Birmingham,
England".

LAURA TANNA holds a doctorate in African
languages and literature, and writes on art,
culture and travel for the Gleaner, Jamaica
Journal, SkyWritings and The Jamaican. She
is the author of Baugh: Jamaica's Master
Potter (1986/1999) and Jamaican Folk
Tales and Oral Histories (1984/2000), and
produced the Jamaican Folk Tales and Oral
Histories video (1987) and audiocassette
(1997) as well as the audiocassette Maroon
Storyteller (1992).

KIM ROBINSON-WALCOTT is editor of books
and monographs at the Sir Arthur Lewis
Institute of Social and Economic Studies,
University of the West Indies, Mona. Her
publications include Out of Order! Anthony
Winkler and White West Indian Writing (Uni-
versity of the West Indies Press, 2006) and
the children's book Dale's Mango Tree (Kings-
ton Publishers, 1992) which she also illus-
trated. She was the regional winner (Ameri-
cas) of the 2005 Commonwealth Short Story
Competition.

11.I L' td ,d ok, u h r r

From the foreword to
Jamaica Journal 1, no. 1
(December 1967)

The Jamaica Journal sets out to act as a
magnet as well as a directional device. It
sets out to provide a 'home' in its pages to
all Jamaicans (and some non-Jamaicans)
who create whether in literature, art,
literary criticism or historical and scientific
thought. Merit, in the areas where such
merit is relevant to our Jamaican scene, is
the basic criterion for inclusion.
The Journal will address itself primarily
to Jamaicans .... And we hope that while,
on the one hand, our readers] shall not
feel that [they] are being fed esoteric and
incomprehensible stuff, [they] should not,
on the other, feel able to dismiss us for not
having aimed high enough.
Yet we must make cear that this
journal will not set out to 'impose high
standards' borrowed from other peoples'
achievements. Instead, we hope to explore
new directions of our own, new lines of
thought, to help in the essential task of
groping towards the creation of 'standards'
valid to our own experience.
Last, but by no means least, the
Journal sets out to publicise the work
of the Institute, and through articles,
reproductions and photographs to make
widely available to the Jamaican people
one of the few valuable legacies from our
past- the wealth of historical and scientific
material collected and preserved at the
Institute of Jamaica.
In a lighter vem, the journal promises
never to take itself too seriously. Human
values are important but not immovable.
We hope that all those who feel excluded
will realise that exclusion is part of the
editor's unfortunate task, that his [or her]
judgement is fallible but all that he [or she]
has to go by, that the rejected manuscript
or drawing forms as much a part of the
process of creation as the accepted one, and
that it is the process of creation as much as
the achieved result that this journal sets out
to encourage.
Finally, we set out to achieve simplicity,
vigour, clarity, relevance, whether through
words or pictures. No one can give the
absolute answer to these demands, but
we hope that all those who contribute and
all those who read will use these criteria
as a rough rule of thumb in accepting or
rejecting what we have to offer.

JAMAICA'S NATIONAL CULTURAL
INSTITUTION was founded in 1879. Its
main function is to foster and encourage the
development of literature, science and art, in
the national interest. It operates as a statutory
body under the Institute of Jamaica Act 1978
and falls under the portfolio of the Ministry of

Chairman
Professor Alston "Barry" Chevannes

Executive Director
Vivian Crawford

10-16 East Street, Kingston
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Fax: (876)922-1147
Email: ioj.jam@mail.infochan.com
or info@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Junior Centre
19 East St, Kingston
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: jcentre@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Museums of History & Ethnography
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: mus.ioj@n5.com.jm or
museums@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

* Fort Charles Museum, Port Royal
Tel: (876) 967-8438

* Forces Military Museum
(temporarily closed)
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6

* People's Museum of Craft & Technol-
ogy, Spanish Town
Tel: (876) 907-9322

* Museum of St James, Montego Bay
Tel: (876) 971-9417

Education, Youth and Culture. The Institute's
central decision-making body is the Council
which is appointed by the Minister.
The Institute of Jamaica consists of a central
administration and a number of divisions and
associate bodies operating with varying de-
grees of autonomy.

Natural History Museum
10-16 East Street
Field stations: Mason River Reserve &
Green Hills
Tel: (876) 922-0620-6
Email: nhd.ioj@cwjamaica.com
or nhd@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

Jamaica Clearing Mechanism
Biodiversity Website
www.jamaicachm.org
Email: chm.nhd@cwjamaica.com

African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/
Jamaica Memory Bank
12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston Mall
Kingston
Tel: (876) 922-7415/4793
Fax: (876) 924-9361
Email: acij@angel.com.jm
or acij@instituteofjamaica.org.jm

National Gallery of Jamaica
Roy West Building
12 Ocean Boulevard
Tel: (876) 922-1561/8540
Fax: (876) 922-8544
Email: ngalleryja@cwjamaica.com

National Library of Jamaica
12 East Street
P.O. Box 823
Kingston
Tel: (876) 967-1526 / 2516 / 2494
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com
Website: www.nlj.org.jm

The Institute of Jamaica

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