1. nomadmanifesto:

    “For years, I opened my 11th-grade U.S. history classes by asking students, “What’s the name of that guy they say discovered America?” A few students might object to the word “discover,” but they all knew the fellow I was talking about. “Christopher Columbus!” several called out in unison.“Right. So who did he find when he came here?” I asked. Usually, a few students would say, “Indians,” but I asked them to be specific: “Which nationality? What are their names?”Silence.In more than 30 years of teaching U.S. history and guest-teaching in others’ classes, I’ve never had a single student say, “Taínos.” How do we explain that? We all know the name of the man who came here from Europe, but none of us knows the name of the people who were here first—and there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of them. Why haven’t you heard of them?This ignorance is an artifact of historical silencing—rendering invisible the lives and stories of entire peoples.[…] In an interview with Barbara Miner, included in Rethinking Columbus, Suzan Shown Harjo of the Morning Star Institute, who is Creek and Cheyenne, said: “As Native American peoples in this red quarter of Mother Earth, we have no reason to celebrate an invasion that caused the demise of so many of our people, and is still causing destruction today.” After all, Columbus did not merely “discover,” he took over. He kidnapped Taínos, enslaved them—“Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold,” Columbus wrote—and “punished” them by ordering that their hands be cut off or that they be chased down by vicious attack dogs, if they failed to deliver the quota of gold that Columbus demanded. One eyewitness accompanying Columbus wrote that it “did them great damage, for a dog is the equal of 10 men against the Indians.”Corporate textbooks and children’s biographies of Columbus included none of this and were filled with misinformation and distortion. But the deeper problem was the subtext of the Columbus story: it’s OK for big nations to bully small nations, for white people to dominate people of color, to celebrate the colonialists with no attention paid to the perspectives of the colonized, to view history solely from the standpoint of the winners.”

    Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Columbus: Towards a True People’s History  (via professorpinka)

    (Source: fariyah)


  2. akashicbooks:

    This week on Storyville, catch the ever-great roxanegay's story, “Things I Know About Fairy Tales,” which was included in Haiti Noir 2: The Classics


  3. Trinidad: Iere, Land of the Hummingbird

    Those who eat the cascadura will, the native legend says,
    Wheresoever they may wander, end in Trinidad their days.
    And this lovely fragrant island, with its forest hills sublime,
    Well might be the smiling Eden pictured in the Book divine.

    Cocoa woods with scarlet glory of the stately Immortelles,
    Waterfalls and fertile valleys, precipices, fairy dells,
    Rills and rivers, green savannahs, fruits and flowers and odours rich,
    Waving sugar cane plantations and the wondrous lake of pitch.

    Oh! the Bocas at the daybreak – how can one describe that scene!
    Or the little emerald islands with the sapphire sea between!
    Matchless country of Iere, fairer none could ever wish.
    Can you wonder at the legend of the cascadura fish ?

    - Allister MacMillan


  4. Oh Paria, your Gulf once rich with spouting whale and sperm

    And with fish thick of all hue In the twilight, and in your twilight,

    From the smallest seabed worm

    Once species rich, now species poor,

    To the great Mahi Mahi, Grouper, Carite and Jack Crevalle

    Top and bottom dwellers all,

    There is not yet sorrow, nor have tears shed for you,

    Nor did ears lie awake to hear the cry of Fishers loud

    Only riot gear, courts and humiliation

    Here on land, we with two feet and tail no more

    We who by lore,

    Left our gills and swam ashore

    At the dawn of time,

    We have lost our way. 

    We sought fossils to burn bulbs bright and run motor car

    We rushed our gas and in our haste lost our wickets.

    What is left is stranded now, 

    In little pockets or in the very deep where dwell together additional risk, costs and concern 

    This stranding was foretold 

    When one great fossil buccaneer, 

    had declared, as he rode out on stallion proud 

    To board a BA flight 

    “The era of cheap gas is over”, 

    and without wink or blink, 

    And with a smile and a wave, he was gone. 

    The movie was over. 

    It was time to explore what little more. 

    The seismic gun arrays are charged and ready

    Certificates in-hand declaring no undue harm

    Trepidation aside for matters environment

    And for matters social,

    They are for the huggers of trees

    An overly sensitive bunch, uninformed of matters economic

    I mean, near a gigawatt of power at least,

    To satisfy the Point Lisas Beast

    And in our claim to economic fame

    Remember, quibbling and trifling now

    Would be lame

    The gas rush is still on

    And for that there is no blame. 

    Yes the guns are readied and thousands will fire in Fields 

    In the hands of our own dear Petrotrin and

    In the hands BHP Billiton, who

    In lands flung far,

    Has won many a fossil war

    They head for

    Blocks north-east of Tobago 

    Oh Fish and Fishers… 

    - Cathal Healy-Singh

    Letter to the Editor, Newsday, 6th December 2013


  5. The Abandon of Words

    Sometimes words come in a mighty rushing wind
    Received. Like the Holy Spirit filling the first apostles
    An unexpected gift of clamoring tongues in your mind
    You don’t know which to reveal first – each a miracle.
    Sometimes words sprinkle as droplets of rain
    Across a parched landscape. Here, and then vapor
    A tenacious few collecting to trickle at first slow
    Rivulets coalescing into streams, even rivers
    Determined to carry meaning to its destination.
    But mostly words sit in the mind like stones
    Sharp, smooth, boulders, pebbles, shards
    Abandoned in unformed piles.
    Caught in mind’s crevasses.
    They sit and they weigh and they wait
    To be more.  To be monuments.