Petrine Archer, 1956-2012: Scythed too soon

Active Voice


The Caribbean is in mourning at the sudden passing of one its small group of art historians, Dr. Petrine Archer-Straw. Not many of us knew that she suffered from sickle cell disease which literally allowed the grim reaper to scythe her yesterday, on the eve of her 56th birthday. I didn’t know her closely, but we both wrote about art and sometimes found ourselves in the same forum, as in 2002 at the Documenta11 platform on Créolité and Creolization in St Lucia. Our views on art and culture often diverged but i will miss her meticulously kept blog which chronicled most art events worth recording in Jamaica. Her entries were brief, to the point and allowed you to get a quick sense of whatever it was she was documenting.

Interestingly in a recent posting she found herself confronted by the freewheeling  visual prodigy Peter Dean Rickards, who challenged her description…

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Jamaica marks 50th anniversary of independence

Repeating Islands

Shrugging off economic hardships and high crime, people across Jamaica proudly wore the national colors of gold, black and green Monday to mark the Caribbean island’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, the Associated Press reports.

Telephone poles and streetlights were wrapped in the flag’s colors across the scenic island of less than 3 million inhabitants. In the capital of Kingston, revelers wore shirts emblazoned with Jamaica’s name as they thronged a “golden jubilee village” showcasing the country’s history, food and culture.

On the grounds of the national stadium, displays paid tribute to prominent islanders like black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey and reggae icon Bob Marley. The air filled with the smell of sizzling jerk chicken cooked in severed oil drums.

By Monday evening, thousands of Jamaicans gathered inside the stadium to watch military marching bands, gospel choirs and homegrown ska, rocksteady and reggae music. South Africa President Jacob Zuma…

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Be a ‘Slave for a Day’: Controversial black history event held by National Park

Emory University acquires rare collection of historical African-American photos

Antonio Martorell Completes Sculpture of Ramón Emeterio Betances for the Puerto Rican Athenaeum

Repeating Islands

President of the Puerto Rican Athenaeum Dr. José Milton Soltero Ramírez and artist Antonio Martorell will hold a press conference this coming Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at 11:00am in the Central Chamber of the Puerto Rican Athenaeum to present the completed statue of Father of the Nation Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances. As Soltero explains, “the statue of the patriot—which represents the struggle of the Puerto Rican people by reaffirming the spirit of nation, homeland, and identity—was created by Dominican sculptor José Cadaveda, and its base—on which one will read [Betances’] Ten Commandments of Free Men—was designed by the artist Antonio Martorell.”

On that date, Martorell will discuss the statue’s design, the text inscribed on the sculpture, and the design of the Ramón Emeterio Betances Medal that the Puerto Rican Athenaeum Betances has coined, among other projects.

The first recipients of the Ramón Emeterio Betances Medal will be the group Calle…

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Israeli Court: Police Can’t Confiscate Film About Racist Discrimination

Ukrainian Newspaper Depicts Africans And Arabs As Monkeys Groping Woman

Stepping Into The Shadow Of Racism


The March 2012 cover of FHM Philippines showed a very Caucasian looking, Filipino actress and model Bela Padilla appearing to emerge from a group of very dark, very African looking black models accompanied with the caption, Stepping Out of the Shadows.  The cover photo was immediately met with a backlash from readers and social media who argued, rightly so, that it was racially insensitive.  The social outrage was so strong that it prompted the local publisher to issue an apology and scrap the edition with a promise to print a new cover featuring Ms. Padilla.  A statement from the publisher said that in their pursuit to come up with edgier covers they will strive to be more sensitive.

An online petition on calling for the publisher to apologize for the cover saying that people of African descent have been unjustly stigmatized as embodying darkness ever since the era of…

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