November 13, 2016
Dancehall. Jamaica’s Soft Power Diplomacy.
Jamaica has enjoyed a long history with a robust political system. From the days of...
This was a matchup of fearsome contenders.
It was like watching Shane Mosley fight Antonio Margarito all over again. In one corner was the fearsome bully, a devastating force annihilating all in his path and in the other corner was the veteran tactician; smart, analytical, quick on his (her!) feet and who had never been knocked out in his (her!) career.
Ultimately, as the fight started, both fighters circled warily with jabs and just when it seemed as if it might take a while before the fireworks ignited, things began to jump off. Gradually, the bully began to run out of steam as the tactician used superior footwork (a calm demeanor) and a brilliant strategy (be prepared, be quick, take the fight to your opponent and set a trap for him) to slowly overwhelm the taller, historically more aggressive fighter.
Suddenly, Round 1 was over. The tactician laid a stealthy trap for the bully by provoking his penchant and style for continuously and aggressively coming forward to lure him into exposing his chin and leaving him vulnerable for a fusillade of knockout designed punches. While one round isn’t the whole fight, Round 1 has definitely gone to the veteran and leaving us all to wonder, what’s next?
Not for Tyson Beckford it doesn’t. Actually, blunt truth be told, it doesn’t confer an iota of difference. Apparently, all one needs to do is be black and one is subject to an immediate ‘guilty until proven innocent’ standard of justice which negates everything that the Constitution is supposed to stand for.
Speaking candidly recently, Tyson told a reporter that regardless of being an international male supermodel, he has been profiled in places as tony as Barneys New York which oddly enough, sells the same brand that Tyson achieved superstardom modeling for. In fact, many a Jamaican, American and European celebrity has been profiled and it begs the question as we get closer to possibly electing a new President who has significant issues with immigrants, what’s next?
Indeed, this election cycle has a seriously worrisome overtone and undertone for a large percentage of the US population and by extension, the rest of the World. Caught in that dangerous vortex is the Caribbean and of course, Jamaica which has by many unscientific polls, at least a third of its total populace outside of its national borders and much of that inside the borders of the United States. A win for the GOP could possibly signal if not a blind eye then certainly a wandering eye turned away from a potentially increased implementation of profiling as a basis for a return to ‘Stop and Frisk’ (which has been suggested) and/or a ‘Stop and Dip’ deportation effort to remove non citizen aliens with any sort of legal infraction (littering, visa overstay, traffic violation etc).
At that point and should this happen, celebrity or not, you may find yourself on an unwanted, one way trip to the country of your birth. Keep an eye open; this election is going to mark a watershed moment in more ways than one.
The Rude Bwoy. A name born out of the ghettos of Jamaica and the at that time (late 1960’s into the 1990’s) densely Jamaican populated neighborhoods of London like Brixton and meant to describe the slouchy, laid back, seemingly up-to-no-good youth who populated various street corners and sidewalk record stores. Who would have known that decades later, the fashion silhouette of the rude bwoy, a sleekly tailored look incorporating premium, usually British fabrics like wool (had to be 100% wool, nothing less would do!) or wool/mohair in tweed, Prince of Wales, pin or chalk stripes etc blended artfully with a relaxed yet edgy bad bwoy sprezzatura (a pant cuff rolled up, a v-neck sweater left open, a derby hat tilted rakishly to the side) would become a fashion trend?
From our days with our blog A Curious Mind now renamed Cirq6-blog.tumblr.com , we profiled two of our favorite creative, sartorial and design duos, Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh. Relentlessly innovative, it was no surprise then that they snatched up this most decidedly Jamaican culturalism and revisited from a more modern aesthetic perspective, making it a central theme of a fashion exhibit and stylistic movement. Watch and enjoy.