With the last frosts of Winter slowly giving way to the warm, dewy optimism of Spring in Europe, I find myself pre-occupied with many divergent thoughts. Beyond what is transpiring on a geopolitical scale in Ukraine and the seeming fading of the Covid pandemic, I am increasingly pondering what the uncertain future will hold. With so many dreams and ambitions impatiently churning within me, at times it seems hard to be sure that I am on the right path given today’s turbulent times. Even in writing Children of the Ocean God, which is proceeding at a glacial pace, I am questioning how and when I will realize the vision that I have boldly set forth.
In addition to establishing myself as a bonafide literary author with Children of the Ocean God, I want to make a statement to the world about its tragic treatment of indigineous peoples, which has been ongoing for centuries unabated. The genocidal experience of my ancestors, the Garifuna (Black Caribs) at the hands of the British in the late 18th century bears a haunting resemblances to the treatment of the Maroons of Trelawny in Jamaica and more recently to the Chagossians in the Indian Ocean and the Tartars from Crimea. Sadly, most people are ignorant of these human tragedies since they are ‘forgotten’ in our history books. Instead, the truth is buried deep in the bowels of dusty archives, in the hopes that it will never come to light.
Yet as Martin Luther King Jr. famously said (quoting William Cullen Bryant) in his sermon at Southern Methodist University, “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.” This aphorism gives me the impetus to perservere in my writing, since I know that the calamitous story of the Garifuna must be told. It must rise again more than two centuries after it was crushed to earth. I am therefore fulfilling a higher calling to use my writing for a greater good: to plant seeds of truth where lies and disinformation have been sown under a fog of historical amnesia. In so doing, I want to hold a mirror up to the world so that it can see its reflection and no longer deny its past trespasses and inconvenient truths.
Perhaps this will bring with it my own persecution or suppression. For that I must certainly be prepared. However, the enemies of truth and justice must never be allowed to prevail. Sometimes one must stand up for what is right no matter the consequences. In the end what do we have left if we lack integrity. Seremein (pronounced Sayraymay – Thank you in Garifuna)!
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