Sarah Manley

It’s time to address the chip (it’s a mite not a chip but whatever) in our own eye. When this was first published online I faced major backlash from within. I know I’ll face it again.

I tried to talk about the complexity of Jamaican racism. How unconscious it is. I tried to use hair as a metaphor and a yardstick for human value. I tried to talk about how shadism was racism by another name. I was accused of denigrating the memory of my grandparents. I have apologised for that because it wasn’t my intention. I loved my grandparents and they were truly wonderful people.

But. There is a but and it’s apparently a but I’m not allowed to explore but I’m compelled to explore it. But. They, me, and all of us here in post colonial Jamaica are also products of and victims of a system. It is as inescapable as the sun searing on a summer day. That historical system shaped us, our belief systems, our value systems, our actions. It is rooted in a terrible thing. The trans Atlantic slave trade we can all agree was a terrible terrible thing whose consequences span generations.

Anyway. Here again is Coppertone. One small thread in the myriad that make up our story. Forgive me those who feel I am being unkind. I don’t mean to be unkind. We need to talk about the chip (it’s a mite Manley. A mite!) in our own eye. I must honestly in that talk about myself. I’m not posting it for attention as one quarter accused me of, I don’t want attention, the subject needs attention. Here. In our Jamaican experience. Here, in Uptownia. Anyway. Anyway.

I was born in Kingston Jamaica in 1967 and I have lived there for most of my life. I have worked for 25 years in the film and television industry and am currently the studio production manager at Television Jamaica. Writing mostly for a limited audience on social media, writing for Pree is my first deliberate attempt at publication to a wider audience. 

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