Community Culture Clinic

CULTURE CLINIC: Give Yourself Permission

photo credit Remington Forde

Scarlet Renaissance
Choreography: Tara-Jane Herbert
Dancers: Rene Blackman, Jelani Bryce, Carolyn Barker, Shaneanoh Carter, Mahalia Cummins, Makeda Lowe, Stacey Johnson, Tuesdai Pounder, Jared Simmons, Guy Smith,
Courtenay Thorne, Shameka Walters (of the NCF Dance Ensemble)

Performed at BDP 2 August 2015 Frank Collymore Hall

Maybe this is the global moment of reparations that is coming/has come.

Perhaps we are witnessing a re-awakening of an AfriKan-centered awareness and consciousness. We black people claim the freedom to show ourselves approved, be whoever we want anywhere we want to be. We have been working hard to heal from and not repeat past mistakes. And now, in this moment, there is a critical mass of successful black people in various communities and in the world to contradict traditional stereotypes and restrictions. As we work to put away our fears and claim our central place, our light seems to strike fear into others. 

There are those who resist this inevitable change. Fearing loss of position and privilege, they think of leadership only in narrow divisive ways. Some feel compelled to act on these learned fears and hatred. Maybe some feel they will be treated as our ancestors suffered. A few yield to their emotions, at times with deadly force and violence.

Today, no amount of martyrs will stop this new world order. While death has signaled many revolutions, murder is never the answer, nor will it stop this moment from evolving. It is time for reparations, to accept and acknowledge. It is time to stop, put down the weapons, peak past our fears and myths, and build on the premise that we are all the same.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. … It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Give yourself permission to embrace change. Our collective liberation demands it.

Culture Clinic is a weekly column crafted by Dr. John Hunte. It identifies the impact of Culture and Creativity in the Caribbean. Photography by Adrian Richards.

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