Dutty Bookman

Of moderates and radicals

Within every single movement, we see two poles of temperament. There are radical people who practice swift and aggressive action, and also moderate people who practice diplomacy and patience even with the perceived enemy. Naturally, no person exists who is entirely one or the other. That would be a robot. Read more

Measuring Patience (a short story)

Dutty’s lungs endured as much smoke as they could manage for the day. He rose from before his desk, wet his thumb and index finger, and carefully extinguished the red hot tip of the stick of incense. Gliding stiffly back to the chair, he focused entirely on keeping his back straight. He was practicing to improve his posture so that he would access the next message. Precision was essential, so he sat and made subtle adjustments to his waist, then to his shoulders. When the message arrived, if it chose to do so, he would then be able to deliver it to the ones who were awaiting it. Read more

Accepting the Bible with a clear conscience

Last year, February 16, I sat before a large enough gathering at the University of the West Indies and said that I was “not a Bible-reading Ras.” The gravity of what I said did not fully bear down on me until I was leaving the venue with a few of my idrens. From their patient reactions I could tell that I had uttered a most ignorant statement. Thankfully, ignorance is a forgivable thing, so I can forgive myself for it. What I can proudly say though, is that I am no hypocrite. Once I come to a realization, I proceed accordingly. Read more

Protecting the historical record of the Reggae Revival

History is a sacred thing to me, and protecting it is sacred work. Unfortunately, some people acting as custodians of the historical record have no reverence for it. So, without intending disrespect to any specific journalists or media outlets, I do need to vent my disappointment about the way that Jamaican culture is covered by the local press. My prime example will be the Reggae Revival movement, which I accept as being closer to my heart than most people’s since I have devoted myself to publicizing it. Yet, it could be said in the end that there is a pressing need for more focus on substantial cultural developments in general. Read more