Peter Ferguson photographer

“Woman tongue, ‘was-was’ and tamarind tree, the three worse things.”–Jamaican proverb

Translation: The woman’s tongue, the wasp and the tamarind tree sting the most.

This proverb suggests the potency of the female voice as an expression of incisive social critique.

41 thoughts on “About

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  1. Hi Carolyn, good morning. I have been a fan of your writings for a very long time. As an Artist, I was captured by your current photograph by P. Ferguson and I would love to do a Portrait of you.

  2. I will always be one of your readers. Your writings project knowing oneself and a whole heap a addah tings. Keep up the good work.

  3. Hello Dr. Cooper, I’m a new visitor to your blog, and I applaud you for just putting your gorgeous photo up here without doing all the splashy self introductions with the titles and awards. You’re classy, tactful, and yet firm. I wish I were as confident (and as photogenic) as you are to put my face out there and serve up my opinion without fear. I thank you for showing that activism doesn’t have to be vulgar. I was surprised to see in one of your posts of 2010 that you had given up your opinion column in the Gleaner. Please take it as a compliment to your ability to strike at the core issues and influence thought. You have a rapt audience here in the global community, where you matter and are needed the most. Blessings, and lots of warm wishes.

  4. hi Dr Cooper, I am calling from the cold, dreary and wet streets of London. I recently returned from visiting Jamaica (just a week ago) and loved it. Been reading The Jamaican Gleaner ever since! I saw your article on Black History Month and would love to speak to you on that topic.
    My friend Marie (her ‘real’ name is Olivia) who lives and work in Jamaica said she met you once and that you are “a really lovely person”, so I hope you do get in touch. I can be reached on the email address given and look forward to you dropping me a line via my email address. Thanks Babs.

  5. Hi Dr.cooper your such a big motivator for me i enjoy reading your articles on Sundays i want to try to write some article myself but i’m lacking in some areas in terms of how to start and such so i’m seeking your help. all the best

  6. Hi Carolyn, after searching for you on Facebook and reading the article on “Bleaching” and “Vybes Kartel” I found your Blog! Lawd Carolyn, only you can say it like you do… This is a welcome read for me now that I am here making my way through the frigid, socially complicated maze of New York City.
    The readings on the Blog are very insightful and as I am working on a Caribbean Studies text book for CXC CAPE, finding this came at an opportune time. I found many links I might not have otherwise come accross.
    Keep talking, keep writing, keep that woman tongue rolling girl because like Sojourner Truth said “ain’t I a woman”!
    Bless and have an inspiring women’s month!
    Marolyn Lucy Gentles

  7. Hi Carolyn. Just read your blog for the first time and ah affi mek yuh nuoh se, it maad! Love your style. Have you bookmarked…
    One Love, Itinually

  8. first i must say big up yu self, the truth is real so most people are scared of thier mother tongue ,now i live in london most of my white friends would love to talk like me but my daughter who lives in jamaica thinks i should be sounding more posher and proper , but i keep telling people that language can enslave you , so patwa foever.

  9. Hi Kupa
    now we are in e-contact, i got wind of your blog! love it, can always reread when i want to be inspired, intellectually challenged or cry. Big up!

  10. Hi Carolyn:
    Just read your newsletter/blog. Found it wonderful and refreshing. Keep it going and all the best for 2012.

  11. Hello Dr Cooper
    I am happy I found your writings. I remember your teachings in 1991. Stay creative and please encourage young women in Jamaica to love themselves a bit more. I left in 2003 and I cannot get over the impression that so many of them do not think they deserve love on a subconscious level or at least lasting healthy bonds. I hope you can bring more awareness and continue to be a champion of female wellness.

  12. About Wilmot ‘Motty’ Perkins
    Many of his conversations were exciting and informative and his program was in deed one of the main places for dispelling distress and issues, he will be surely missed. That being said however I must say at times his rhetoric and tone to me, where often times condescending and I found it hard to listening to him sometimes. and i agree with you somewat about what Mr. Seaga actually meant, which Mr Perkins failed to see, or rather admit.
    Even though the conversation perished years ago, I think it highlighted a few root issues that we still face today;-Prejudice -.
    This is what I gathered from wat Mr. seaga meant – im no lang* professor or anything but it’s obvious to me that he is referring to the PNP as a Mongrel party so as to say it’s now completely mixed up (race) in essence no longer pure(white) as it may have been in the days of Norman Manley etc…. and I guess he has a problem with that, IDK i guess he wished only white or light skinned persons were in the parties –so that it can be defined as such and not so undefinable as it is now. but times have changed—-:<and we are a people of diversities.
    even recently when he was describing our patois in its 'brawling' form so as to say that's the only way we can speak patois, sooo butu. i found it offensive because i personally believe our patois can be polished and beautiful and the proverbs derived from it are the so witty and natively attractive, . IDK, but there is always a sense of superiority in the tones of some "types of people" and it hurts me at times,because i am apart of the majority—–.

    hope to write to u again….
    How often do u proof read persons literary work?.
    i have a few shelved poems and short stories –just not sure of their quality

    u can reply via my email…………….:) Graz

  13. You knew that Perkins was not speaking in racist terms .
    And if you knew that, why did you prolong that conversation along those lines?
    I don’t believe that the PNP is a mongrel party , I do believe it is a party that subscribes to the base instincts of the poorest of our people . It manipulates and takes advantage of them in a way that seem like they care , but is actually bad for them . They elevate the dependency syndrome, by espousing and promulgating the false positive of a welfare state.
    Jamaica is still suffering from the effects of 5 flights a day to Miami.
    PNP punks captured people’s homes in pristine neighborhoods , effectively turning the entire corperate area into a vast ghetto.
    Is ghetto party more appropriate?
    Finally let the police do their jobs. You are free to allow Adija Palmer to use you, but don’t try to fool the people on his behalf, it’s tough enough as it is.
    mike beckles…………chatt-a-box.com

  14. When one can discredit a person of a figure of a Michael Norman Manley and goes about bragging such accomplishments in doing these selfish and unfortunate act, it is very sad. I must say with no apology I cannot see eye to eye with him or her who did that to an icon of such calibre. Mike has done more for the upliftment of women than any other person I have seen in my lifetime in this country due to the legislations he has embraced with his cabinet in the1970s. Long live Mighty Mike we will see you when our trials are over.

  15. Thanks Dr. Cooper for your very insightful blog. As the experience of Jamaica 50th moves into greater momentum it is encouraging to hear voices like yours, “going deep”, calling us to look substantively at ourselves with a view to the future. The article in the Jamaica Gleaner, African Explorers Came Before Columbus, Sunday, July 22, 2012, is evidence of what I’m talking of. Keep it going and thanks for helping me, and others too, to be a sincere blessing to the land of my birth!

  16. Greetings Carolyn.
    Sending you love & light from Brooklyn, New York. Your blog is on point beloved…keep letting the truth shine, bright and clear for all to see. I read your article on WHO IS JAMAICA? on my way to a 10 day silent Vispassana meditation and I appreciate the wisdom and history you shared in that piece. Mesi anpil (Haitian Kreyol for thank you) for coming out to see my Haiti photography exhibition at The Watergate Gallery in DC. Look forward to linking with you soon.

    1. Gigi,
      It was a joy to see your work. Just a pity a couple pieces were hidden from view:=) But give thanks for glass windows LOL. Looking forward to seeing your magical photos on show in Jamaica one of these days.

  17. Carolyn, hello.
    I truly enjoyed this article..as I do all of your written work. I continually read your books that I have over and over again. Hopefully, I will get
    to Jamaica soon.

  18. Dear Carolyn,
    It was truly wonderful to stumble onto your article about ‘African Explorers Came Before Columbus’, reminding me that great people are already unpicking the ‘Herstory’ with a critical eye. Keep up this important work.
    Blessing from London.
    Paul – of H5 Projects

  19. Dr Cooper, Just a quick holla out to say soooo good to hear and read you. I came across you from Ron Bobb Semble’s podcast from a year ago – gotta luv the web, how else could I hear a narrowcast program like that last weekend while in Ireland while most of my peeps are listening to BET Beats? I was inspired by your progressive consciousness (the highest form of intelligence) especially as I still have a bad taste from working at UWI (oh lordy lordy that colonial mentality!). Anyways, this is a shout out from one of the Diaspora now in Dublin with R n R (Roots and Routes) plantation path thru London, NY, Jamaica, Trinidad back to the motherland. Thank you for that inspirational interview.

    PS: you were talking about JA bleaching habits, you may also find this interesting from Al Jazeera about Nigeria’s obsession with it http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/04/20134514845907984.html

    Zeech – mixed but not confuzed

  20. I have read your work as student in and from Germany over 15 years ago I think, and I was mind- and soul blown … and I spoke with a old friend today, about the world and speaking, and when its too much perhaps – and how as woman is still in this so-called modern democratic nation state so difficult to REALLY speak/be listened to and equal pay, unemplyment crises, etc etc. ect…..and at the end of this day that is already deep at night, I search for you in this little rectangular box called internet- and find more words of yours, received them as a blessing,- let me today say thank you. for your writing. and for sharing your thoughts — such a soulsaving * shared words can be. thank you, sending you many good wishes transatlantico, lina

      1. thank you…yes—- I am taking this little moment of coversation., folding it into my pocket, ..for the not so easy days! for my memory and all our futures. we ll all be there. x

  21. Guten Tag!!! Dr. Cooper!
    Your long time student here, Denise Armstrong (née Stair). What a treat to see your very fun, though very serious letter, in the colourful J’can Creole, about the politicians and covid. I recently found the email subscription to the Gleaner which carried the piece to my inbox. Yay! Double blessing to link to your blog! What a cultural treasure chest!
    Watching out for the sting!

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