Category Archives: Culture

BU blog comments on what defines us as a people, local and regional perspective…

Barbados Grapefruit and Opportunities

Submitted by Andrew Nehaul


The Grapefruit.

The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados.[1] When found, it was named the “forbidden fruit”;[2] and it has also been misidentified with the pomelo or shaddock (C. maxima), one of the parents of this hybrid, the other being sweet orange (C. × sinensis).[3]

Grapefruits have a rather recent history, having been discovered in Barbados in the 18th century. Many botanists think the grapefruit was actually the result of a natural cross breeding which occurred between the orange and the pomelo, a citrus fruit that was brought from Indonesia to Barbados in the 17th century.
The resulting fruit was given the name “grapefruit” in 1814 in Jamaica, a name which reflects the way it’s arranged when it grows—hanging in clusters just like grapes.

Grapefruit trees were planted in Florida in the early 19th century, although they did not become a viable commercial crop until later that century. Florida is still a major producer of grapefruits, as is California, Arizona and Texas. Other countries that produce grapefruits commercially include Israel, South Africa and Brazil.

When one reads the above it is a mystery why we have not used this fact to promote Barbados and/or create products for local use and export based on this wonderful fruit.  For example -

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Lewis Hamilton Shifts to Top Gear

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton – Formula 1

One positive coming out of the Top Gear Festival to be hosted in Barbados next weekend is the participation of 2008 Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton is following the script nicely after winning a fourth straight race in Spain today to move to the top of the drivers points tally one week before the Top Gear festival.  The Barbados Tourism Authority despite the huge embarrassment committed (Call for Jeremy Clarkson to be FIRED) by host Jeremy Clarkson who uttered a racist remark, Barbados maybe able to leverage the event to boost its standing in the minds of potential travellers given the enormous negative and positive publicity generated to date.

There is little doubt in the BU household the majority of spectators visiting Bushy Park next weekend do so for one reason, the coming of LEWIS HAMILTON. It is ironic that Lewis comes from a mixed background, a Black Grenadian father and White mother and is the only Black driver on the Formula 1 circuit. Let us hope the irony of it all is not lost on Clarkson and others of his ilk.

Barbados welcomes you Lewis Hamilton!

Black Barbadians Refute Bogus Mildewed Theory

Submitted by William Skinner
Everson R. Elcock a successful Black family business going strong after 50 years

”Everson R. Elcock a successful Black family business going strong after 50 years”

“In his presentation, the Prime Minister made mention of a book about the company (Everson R. Elcock and Company), which he said “refutes the bogus mildewed theory that black people are incapable of establishing businesses that grow and prosper beyond the control and by extension, the lifetime of the founder” -  Barbados Advocate Wednesday, April 20. 2011

Prime Minister Freundel Stewart was participating in the 50th anniversary celebrations of Everson R Elcock and Company. In my estimation it was one of the most interesting statements made by the Prime Minister. I, on this occasion agree with him.

This “bogus mildewed theory” believe it or not, is found in the arsenal of blacks, who are convinced that we do not support each other. N.E. Wilson, James Tudor, Ricks Supermarkets, Jordans Supermarkets, A1 and Carlton Supermarkets, Nicholls Bakery, Pearson Pharmacy, C.S. Pharmacy, Branckers, Nation Newspapers, Enids , Pink Star, Collins, Barbados Lumber Company, Youngs Sweets Parlor, the current folks at Oistins, and dozens of former and present black businesses, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have always and continue to support each other.

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Crop Over Festival Part of a Cultural Dynamic

Cranston Browne - CEO,NCF

Cranston Browne – CEO,NCF

We live in a society where the study of humanities is trivialized when stacked against the sciences. Why would human beings – in this case Barbadians – fail to appreciate the importance of understanding how we interact and integrate with our environment through the many avenues we use to express ourselves? We have so many ways to relate to our environment through art, music, literature, music and other forms of expression.

In any society stakeholders in the private and public sectors  combine to nurture and educate individuals how to ‘connect’ with their environment; in the process defining ones existence. In the Barbados context the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is charged with the responsible. A view of the About the NCF website confirms that the NCF  is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament in 1983. Its mandate is to oversee the cultural landscape of Barbados AND To fuel the development of culture through training, research and the creation of opportunities in cultural industries.

An economy that continues to struggle has forced the government to slash budgets and this has affected  planning for the 2014 Crop Over Festival. All reasonable Barbadians understand the implications of cash flow and revenue challenges but in a politically polarized environment it is no surprise decisions taken by government will be testily debated.

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Natural Habitats on the Decline

Submitted by Charles Knighton
Do we as humans understand our relationship with the environment?

Do we as humans understand our relationship with the environment?

Almost a quarter of Europe’s bumblebees are at risk of extinction due to loss of habitats, climate change, the intensification of agriculture and changes in agricultural land.” Study: A quarter of Europe’s bumblebees face extinction, 3 April Barbados Advocate

Insects are under siege not just in Europe but worldwide, including Barbados.

On the first of November last year, when Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead, some also celebrate the millions of monarch butterflies that, without fail, fly to the mountainous fir forests of central Mexico on that day from points north. They are believed to be souls of the dead, returned. This year, for the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t arrive that day. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers even when compared to the record-low numbers of 2012. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.

From 1992 through 1994, my wife and I spent our days exploring Barbados in a quest to determine the butterflies indigenous to Barbados, as well as their critically important larval host plants. Having determined such, we arranged our  plantings to facilitate a thriving butterfly sanctuary, which incidentally attracted other insect pollinators such as honeybees and bumblebees. Alas, while the plants still beckon, these ecologically critical insects have become virtually nonexistent.

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Arts and Culture, the Serious and NOT so Serious

National Performing Arts Centre

National Performing Arts Centre located in Trinidad It does not take much to conclude who is serious about the Arts (Culture).

Just a Bunch of Little Non-Entity Ass-Kissing For-Sale Negroes

Submitted by Ras Jahaziel
The enemy in the gates -

The enemy in the gates –

A LACK OF IDEOLOGICAL SOUNDNESS on the part of Africans is a necessary pre­requisite for prolonging the hour of Black subjugation and Black subordination.

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The Military Invasion of Mecca

Submitted by Pachamama
...appearance of a schism between the Saudis and the Americans ...

…appearance of a schism between the Saudis and the Americans …

For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile

(William Shakespeare)

As part of the spoils of war and since the end of World War Two, the Saudis of Arabia have come under the military umbrella of a currently declining American Empire. In return for the protection of the kleptocratic satrapy, the Saudis were to provide Western oil companies with exclusive access to an abundance of petroleum resources and the vast royalties from this exploitation were to be largely reinvested into the economies of Western countries, effectively handing over ‘American’s oil’ under the sands of Arabia to the fit and proper owners, as ordained by the Christian God, himself. This gave us the ‘petro-dollar’ economy. Harry Truman led what was to become a line of presidents of the USA to, at first, protect the Saudis, from what they called ‘Soviet influence’. Since then the insidious relationships between the ‘House of Saud’ and the Americans was not unlike that of a pimp to a whore. So when America wants to fund, say, its Afghan guerrilla war against a USSR presence, the Saudis could provide off-the-books financing to avoid the Congressional approval process. When the USA wants to have a proxy war, say in Syria, the Saudis could be counted upon to bankroll this illegality – need we go on? Yes! This goose will be coming home to roost soon, a ‘la Iraq.

The beginning of the 21st century sees the Saudis emerge as the clear and undisputed centre of global terrorism. Anywhere in the world where terrorism is unremitting you can be sure to find the ubiquitous hand of the Saudis as the chief paymasters and philosophical anchor. The arms supplier. The brutal killer of Muslims of all currents. The killer of innocent people. The patsies and plotters for high profile national security events. On 9/11 it was said that as many as 15 of the 19 ‘hijackers’ were Saudis. This could not have been a mere accident of history. It is well known in diplomatic and intelligence circles that Saudi Arabia sponsors the Sunnis Baathists in Iraq for a number of reasons. These include, to prevent a majority Shiite country from establishing a ‘democracy’ while tilting the balance of power in the region away from the Western sponsored oil monarchies. We know well that the Saudis preferred outcome in Iraq, in the absence of another Saddam like figure, was for Iraq to be partitioned thus rendering it impotent in playing its historic role. So the Saudis sponsored Baathist elements are receiving oodles of Saudi money to create bedlam in the country, more than three years after the withdrawal of the western invaders. Need we say that the posture of the Saudis is diametrically opposed to the stated aims and objectives of the Americans themselves and their ‘coalition of the willing’?  This counter narrative is supposedly against the story we have heard for more than 10 years. So the Americans  appear, at some levels, in locked-step with the Wahhabi extremists in Riyadh.and Mecca.

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Rihanna, We do NOT Want Our Daughter to be Like YOU

Rihanna receiving her AMA Icon Award from her mother.

Rihanna receiving her AMA Icon Award from her mother.

We have had a couple of interesting news items in recent days which served to piqued the curiosity of members of the BU household. Sir Hilary Beckles is of the view Barbados must capitalize on the success of Rihanna and her one billion dollar enterprise. To support his view he referred to Jamaica having built an industry around Bob Marley and reggae.  BU is unsure how Beckles is able to make the comparison to Marley riding the crest of an indigenous genre of music anchored in the DNA of a nation. Rihanna maybe Barbadian – with Guyanese lineage -but her success has been manufactured on the back of a US-international genre of music. How Barbados can bottle and leverage for success the way Jamaica did for Marley remains highly sceptical but BU is optimistic.

Then we heard from Canon Frank Marshall on the need for Barbadians to embrace values which represented the core of what drove our success of yesteryear. Many will query though whether these values have to be embodied in a religious dogma to qualify.  There is a strong view held by some Barbadians that when the Church played a leading role in our society the nation appeared to be in a better place morally, socially and economically.

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The Most Dangerous WHITE Man is the BLACK One…

Submitted by Ras Jahaziel

black-whiteTHE MOST DAN­GER­OUS WHITE MAN IS THE BLACK ONE… because the white mind and its white agenda that oper­ate in his black shell are camouflaged.

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