Tag Archives: culture
“Di ienjel go tu Mieri an se tu ar se, ‘Mieri, mi av nyuuz we a go mek yu wel api.'”
In the depiction of the Angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary which foretold the birth of Jesus, the New King James Bible’s version of Luke reads, “And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.'”
In the patois version, it becomes, “Di ienjel go tu Mieri an se tu ar se, ‘Mieri, mi av nyuuz we a go mek yu wel api. Gad riili riili bles yu an im a waak wid yu aal di taim.'”
Lloyd Millen, pastor of the Cumberland Community Church in Portmore, said his congregants have been “animated and so excited” when they hear him preach from the Gospel of Luke in their spoken language.
“People feel liberated to hear the Bible this way. They say they are able to visualize it better,” Millen said.
Source: Washington Post
Maybe I am my hair
I started growing my locs five years ago. Since then, I’ve fielded a host of questions from friendsfamilyclassmatescolleaguesrandomstrangers, including but not limited to:
– Do you wash it?
– How do you wash it?
– Can I touch it?
– Does it itch?
– Is it real?
– Does it hurt?
– Don’t you miss your real hair?
– Are you a Rasta?
– Why did you do it?
This last question, now as then, is the hardest to answer. My responses have varied, depending on the questioner, the context of our relationship and how I felt that day. I lacked a substantive, definite, “because.” I didn’t have “the answer” that the questioner – and I – was looking for.
Then I read this response to a column by Steven “Freakanomics” Levitt on the economic disadvantages of “sounding black” and of having a “black” or “Asian” name:
But if you’re intelligent and hard working, shouldn’t your resume get you in the door no matter what name is at the top? No, you’re saying. The world doesn’t work like that. But couldn’t it be said that the more HR people who encounter intelligent, hardworking people with names like Shaniqua Keisha Jones, the more people will stop pre-judging people with names like Shaniqua Keisha Jones.
Ditto “sounding black,” having a southern accent or a clearly Asian name. Deleting these things could be construed as self-hate, denial or disingenuousness. Is it better to be sneaky, calculating and take a “by any means necessary” approach in the workforce? Is “sounding black” something people need to apologize for? Do the people who “sound black” need to “invest in” the ability to sound more white? How best to bust a stereotype? By playing into it? Or defying it?
My hair is about defying stereotypes. To plagiarize myself,
I’m a twenty-something overachieving chick with dreadlocks and a predilection for wearing Converse to work
So there it is. I am my hair. I am challenging, I am defiant, I do not apologize.
And the next time some Wall Street multimillionaire or Oxbridge-educated middle-aged perpetually entitled white British editor encounters a twenty-something <insertracehere> woman from the Caribbean, or someone with locs, he will pause.
He will pause because he will remember someone else who was more than the stereotype.
Someone who was more than just her hair, or her ancestry, or her age, or her gender, or her accent, or her taste in shoes.