I so want my children to grow up West Indian
With the carefree confidence of children who know the world belongs to them
The “run with the wind” freedom of playing outside unwatched, unfettered.
That early understanding of scarcity and want; of anticipation that brings true appreciation and sparks invention.
My children must eat fruit from a tree without travelling 60 miles to find it;
the true joy of mango juice running down your face cannot come from the tired supermarket crop.
They must experience this world where time moves slowly and quickly at the same time; and at the end of a day, look at the sea, the land, the sun and think clearly “This is good”.
My children’s hips must respond naturally to the call of the Caribbean rhythm. They must love their music, write it, sing it, breathe it.
They must live in a society with the freedom to be God fearing without fear of man, and to express their love of God without reservation.
They must experience the smells and sounds of the Caribbean and not scorn them but appreciate them and enjoy them.
My children must speak the Queen’s English with a lift and a lilt that sounds like a symphony in every thought.
They must look around them and see doctors, lawyers, teachers and leaders who look predominantly like them and just feel comfortable in their lovely skin.
They must live in a world without black ceilings and grow up truly believing that they can achieve whatever they want to achieve.
But is there still a true West Indian experience?
With Nintendos and Xboxes, guns in schools and all the Hippity Hop music
Beautiful brown girls speaking our dialects with American accents
All of us selling our countries, our souls in search of the precious US dollar.
I so want my children to grow up West Indian, because maybe they will be the ones to save our lands.
CPM August 2007