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The Thin White Prophet

DAVID BOWIE was why I wanted to dye my hair at age 15. Those, as Lou Reed sang, were different times and Bob Dylan & Makandal Daaga would have been-frustrated at how slowly they were-a-changin’ in Trinidad. In 1973, despite the 1970 Riots/Revolution/Pick Your Prejudice, a black person boldfaced enough to sport an afro could be gleefully mocked in public.

DAVID BOWIE was why I wanted to dye my hair at age 15. Those, as Lou Reed sang, were different times and Bob Dylan & Makandal Daaga would have been frustrated at how slowly they were-a-changin’ in Trinidad. In 1973, despite the 1970 Riots/Revolution/Pick Your Prejudice, a black person boldfaced enough to sport an afro could be gleefully mocked in public. In form four, in January, almost three full years after Black “Power”, I saw a large group of black people follow a young black couple dressed in dashiki and kinte cloth from St Mary's College to Woodford Square, taunting and jeering at the couple all the way. “Go back to Africa!” a man shouted. ”Them from America!” shouted another. “No African would dress so!”

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Supermarket Plantation

BRAND NEW YEAR, walked through door of Barbados branch of big box retailer and walked back in time to same old-same old - but I mean really old version of same old. Remember old joke of pilot announcement to passengers on plane to apartheid South Africa: “We are about to land in Johannesburg; please set your watches back 300 years”. Walked out of modern liberal democracy of car park and into sugar plantation that still defines everyday Bajan commercial life; half-expected see James Drax, major 17th Century pioneer sugar plantation by time we left; or escaped.

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New Year's Dazed and Confused

FIRST DAY of the year and Y’Boy remembering when he did first go away to the Cold and find out that white people’ country doesn’t have Old Year’s Night, them does have New Year’s Eve. That-self is one of the answers Y’Boy would give, if he ever had was to ask himself, like he does ask other people every week, “What is a Trini?”: “A Trini is somebody who celebrates Old Year’s Night, not New Year’s Eve”. Some people wouldn’t see no difference, but Y’Boy – and, Y’Boy suspect, most Trinis – would nod they head, and chuckle to theyself, and winks at one another: Y’Boy done know he never had as good a time at the best New Year’s Eve party in Foreign than he had at the worst Old Year’s Night in Trinidad.

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