Published on November 28, 2007
Caribbean Pluralism and Haiti: Caribbean Pluralism and Haiti Independence and After The Dragon Can’t Dance 3. Haiti Note: The final exam for AS/HUMA 1300 9.0 is scheduled for Thursday, April 26, 2007, from 9-12 in Tait McKenzie Student Fieldhouse (West) Just Beyond Your Imagination: Just Beyond Your Imagination Imagine awakening to the warm caress of the Caribbean sun. Palms whisper and coves beckon. Languid sands stretch below you. And a breeze embraced by turquoise waters gently cools you. This is your wake up call, inviting you to live out your daydreams and begin your most important beginning, in Paradise. Globe and Mail, July 10, 1992: Globe and Mail, July 10, 1992 As darkness falls on West Kingston’s battered streets and shantytowns….the toughest slums in the Caribbean pulsate with life and the threat of death. Reggae music thunders from giant banks of loud-speakers. Rowdy bar patrons spill into graffiti-scarred alleyways where small bonfires burn. Marijuana smoke of mind-addling potency hangs in the air (A1). Globe and Mail, July 10, 1992: Globe and Mail, July 10, 1992 And however offensive it is to say so, it is clear on the streets of Metro Toronto, and to a lesser extent in Montreal, that this criminal subculture has been exported, blending into an array of negative Canadian factors to produce a lethal, racism-formenting witches’ brew (A7). The Dragon Can’t Dance: The Dragon Can’t Dance He didn’t officially join the PNM. He was suddenly shy and awkward before its compelling promise, before the important people running around with long words on the tip of their tongues…The elections came, the PNM won…He couldn’t understand what they had won. Maybe Yvonne might be able to explain to him. She went to high school, she knew things. But white people were still in the banks and in the businesses along Frederick Street. The radio still spoke with a British voice. He couldn’t understand (80). G.K. Lewis: G.K. Lewis …Independence goes far beyond questions of a national flag, a national anthem and a national emblem and becomes a question of psychological survival. West Indians, as persons, this is to say, have to emancipate themselves in their innermost selves from the English psycho-complex (“Challenge to Independence (513). Caribbean Countries Public Debt and Primary Fiscal Balances in Percent of GDP (2003): Caribbean Countries Public Debt and Primary Fiscal Balances in Percent of GDP (2003) Dragon Can’t Dance: Dragon Can’t Dance I wish I did walk with a flute or a sitar, and walk right there in the middle of the steelband yard where they was making new drums, new sounds, a new music …and sit down with my sitar on my knee and say: Fellars, this is me, Pariag from New Lands. Gimme the key! Give me the Do Re Mi…And let his music cry too, and join in the crying. Let it scream too…We didn’t have to melt into one. I woulda be me for my own self. A beginning. A self to go in the world with, with something in my hands to give. We didn’t have to melt into one. They woulda see me (224). Dragon Can’t Dance: Dragon Can’t Dance They had jobs now, had responsibility now for the surviving of families, they could no longer afford rebellion at the Corner. They felt guilty turning away from it. Yet, they needed to move on…They had to choose, they felt; and, it was because they were unable to hold in their minds the two contradictory ideas—their resistance and surviving, their rebellion and their decency; because they felt they had to be one or the other in order to move on, they needed to cut ties with the Corner. So it was that Philo’s calypso became a statement for them all. This would be the epitaph to their rebellion (178).