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Monsieur Louison, this is a very timely discussion. Just de otterdey, someone mentioned to me the story of Sandra Louison who was born in the UK of Grenadian parents, and was so deep into keeping the link to her Grenadian heritage alive and vibrant!.
It is a good feeling to know that there is a new generation of Grenadians out there who are willing and able to continue the movement of capturing our identity and taking it down roads different from the ones that have brought us so many failures. It becomes depressing after a while to see different generations taking the road that lead to our failed struggles, over and over again. I think that before we start the struggle, we need to identify ourselves. We need to lookback while moving forward. And there are many dimensions in our past. To encompass just one, weakens the struggle at the start. It leads to the road of divisions – divisiveness. This is what those who want us to stay disoriented encourages. They watch us fight over petty differences in skin color and class which eventually totally consumes us and leads us back to a state of perpetual cultural confusion.
Like Sandra, I too have admired the contribution of Jamaican-born cultural theorist Stuart Hall – may he RIP. His comprehensive studies on Caribbean people Cultural Identity is the best IMHO.
- "Cultural identities come from somewhere, have histories, yet they undergo constant transformation."
- "Cultural identity is a matter of 'becoming' as well as of 'being.'
- "...'Cultural identity is not a fixed essence. It has its histories and the past continuous to speak to us. It is always constructed through memory, fantasy, narrative, AND MYTH"
This is why I think that we need supporting historical documents to understand ALL the facets that defined who we are today. No one part should define us. And we need honesty. There is still those amongst us who feel they have the right to define the single source of who we are. And what that is based on a time when our past laid buried in the colonialist archives. The Narrative, Myths, and stories were waiting to be rediscovered and told, displayed, and performed.
Monsieur St. Paul,
Thank you for prompting me to the link to Sandra. She is my First Cousin by way of her Father being my Uncle.
I have never met the young lady but she seems to have followed in the Louison's track; branching off in a new direction which I am sure would be rewarding in the future.
Kudos to her for not being intimidated into diverting away from the traditional professions and embracing new challenges.
Monsieur Louison from the French Quarters
Bonjour Monsieur Louison.
Interesting. As you mentioned before, there are so many Louison around the world, one cannot be sure who is related to who! ;-). I like Sandra because she seems independent and opened to new research and ideas. Not too many Grenadians born outside Grenada ever look back at where their parents came from. We can change that.
Sticking to subject of your post, I believe there is a lot we can do to change the way we deal with our cultural heritage. If we continue the way we are going, we will lose all evidence of our UNIQUE experiences that defined the people we are today. And if we continue to use our history as just a tool to exploit political benefits, our dignity will be just another cheap commodity like the Rum and Coco-Cola image the world knows us best for.
We have a very complex and dignified history that has been abandoned and trivialized as we struggle just to survive the economic Gauntlet we are faced with from one generation to another. This abandonment has been stripping us or our dignified place on every stage where cultural identities are displayed globally. It leaves us generation after generation scavenging in place to call home and plant new roots. It is there that most of us are no longer proud Grenadians. We need to find ways that will maintain links to the homeland where our identity lies buried. We need a new deck of cards on the table and encourage new players. We need to expand the table and allow all Grenadians to participate – where ever they are today, and not just have players from the old guard playing the same old game that is now boring and tired. Today’s generation have more options to experiment with different views and are no longer just an audience willing and able to accept the Gospel of our history according to the chosen ones who are usually motivated to settle political gripes.
It can sometimes be discouraging to see others show so much interest in knowing about our complex history, while we – Grenadians, bicker over the same old simple thoughts of who we are. One such example I came across lately is this short document from Project Muse.
Cultural Tourism in Grenada
It’s worth a read IMHO, and something for us to think about. I also feel that it falls into the subject of your post and can probably stimulate a respectable discussion on this Lady’s opinions of our tourism plans.