The recent termination of the contract of Professor Brendan Bain, director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) initiative, is a complicated case of competing rights.
Perhaps I’m expecting too much of Jamaican men. But I think a self-confident man could have acted far differently to the outing of Dwayne. A real man could have made a joke of it. He could have just said, “Bombo claat! Di bwoy good! Im ketch mi fi true!” And even though Dwyane didn’t have a bombo, the profanity would have been enough of a judgement.
In Jamaica, salt fish has become expensive gourmet food. It’s beyond the reach of poor people, except in the cheapest cuts – tail, fin, skin and bones. It’s a pity the vast majority of the descendants of enslaved Africans in Jamaica have not moved up as high in life as salt fish.
Erna Brodber is a Jamaican sociologist and novelist. She is the author of Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (1980), Myal (1988) and Louisiana (1994). Well known for her emphasis on non-Western ways of helping Africans of the diaspora understand themselves, she has taught at the University of the West Indies as well as at several universities across North America and in the UK. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Canada and the Caribbean. The World is a High Hill is her first collection of short stories.