So! I'm on LinkedIn - and I was tagged in a post by business colleague of mine, Kezia Forde Founder and Creative Director of Perfected Class. She said, “As Barbadians and Caribbean citizens we have stories to share with the rest of the world and we should never be afraid to share them. “ And you know it got me thinking.
As a cultural practitioner I have to face this reality every day 24 hours a day. Weather i am creating content, an art piece, or documenting OTHER artists on my GineOn.com platform or even traveling to another country to rep Barbados et al I am always faced with what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls "The Danger of A Single Story".
You know the one! - Where we all live in huts, with little to no clothing, lack of educational resources and could never be as developed as the first world.
What number 45 calls “Shit Hole Countries”.
The pepperpot that makes us, US as a Caribbean people is rich and vibrant and bloody resilient even in this post colonial era. I always tell people that I am a recovering enslaved person via the mind. In my younger days it was hard to even wear a Barbados shirt on dress day for the fear of being jeered - now look at our fashion industry! Artisans within every niche of that market - shoes, bags, dresses, pants, hats! With eloquent styles and materials that make those in the first world go, “Wow that came from there?” National and regional designers have even worked with top of the line, fashion houses and models - and that is just fashion. We still have music, dance, visual arts, culinary arts, theatre, film and not even to mention some of the biggest Literary minds awarded with Nobel prizes. And even after all of that recognition from “outside” when we look at our Mirror Image, we still only ever acknowledge the trauma. That we aren’t good enough and that those who have gone before us were “lucky” and not truly understanding that it takes ten years to be an overnight success.