Tag: Jamaica

Review: Beyoncé is Bigger Than Coachella | New York Times

(photo via instagram.com)

by Jon Caramanica via nytimes.com

INDIO, Calif. — Let’s just cut to the chase: There’s not likely to be a more meaningful, absorbing, forceful and radical performance by an American musician this year, or any year soon, than Beyoncé’s headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Saturday night.

It was rich with history, potently political and visually grand. By turns uproarious, rowdy, and lush. A gobsmacking marvel of choreography and musical direction.

And not unimportantly, it obliterated the ideology of the relaxed festival, the idea that musicians exist to perform in service of a greater vibe. That is one of the more tragic side effects of the spread of festival culture over the last two decades. Beyoncé was having none of it. The Coachella main stage, on the grounds of the Empire Polo Club here, was her platform, yes, but her show was in countless ways a rebuke.

It started with the horns: trumpets, trombones, sousaphones. For most of the night, the 36-year-old star was backed by an ecstatic marching band, in the manner of historically black college football halftime shows. The choice instantly reoriented her music, sidelining its connections to pop and framing it squarely in a lineage of Southern black musical traditions from New Orleans second line marches to Houston’s chopped-and-screwed hip-hop.

Her arrangements were alive with shifts between styles and oodles of small details, quick musical quotations of songs (Pastor Troy’s “No Mo’ Play in G.A.,” anyone?) that favored alertness and engagement. As always, one of the key thrills of a Beyoncé performance is her willingness to dismantle and rearrange her most familiar hits. “Drunk in Love” began as bass-thick molasses, then erupted into trumpet confetti. “Bow Down” reverberated with nervy techno. “Formation,” already a rapturous march, was a savage low-end stomp here. And during a brief trip through the Caribbean part of her catalog, she remade “Baby Boy” as startling Jamaican big band jazz.

She does macro, too — she was joined onstage by approximately 100 dancers, singers and musicians, a stunning tableau that included fraternity pledges and drumlines and rows of female violinists in addition to the usual crackerjack backup dancers (which here included bone breakers and also dancers performing elaborate routines with cymbals).

Simmons College Renames College of Media, Arts and Humanities in Memory of Journalist and Alumna Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill (photo via Getty Images)

via jbhe.com

Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, announced that it will rename its College of Media, Arts and Humanities after Gwen Ifill, the noted journalist and Simmons College alumna who died in 2016.

Ifill was born in Jamaica, New York, the daughter of immigrants from the Caribbean. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Simmons College and worked as a reporter for the Boston Herald-American, the Baltimore Evening Sun, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Her first job in television was for NBC News. She then joined the Public Broadcasting System in 1999 and served as co-anchor of NewsHour and moderator of Washington Week. Ifill moderated two vice presidential debates and a primary contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Ifill was the author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama (Doubleday, 2009).

In announcing the honor, Simmons College President Helen Drinan stated, “For over 100 years, our mission at Simmons has been to prepare our students to lead meaningful lives and build successful careers. Gwen’s example stands tall in that mission. The kind of unimpeded curiosity Gwen brought to her work, coupled with her warmth, integrity and commitment to truth-telling, is something all of our students aspire to – no matter what field of study they pursue. We are extraordinarily proud of her and so pleased to formalize her legacy at Simmons this way.”

Source: https://www.jbhe.com/2017/11/simmons-college-in-boston-names-a-college-in-honor-of-journalist-and-alumna-gwen-ifill/

CA Attorney General Kamala Harris Becomes 2nd Black Woman Elected to U.S. Senate

Newly-elected U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (photo via essence.com)
Newly-elected U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (photo via essence.com)

article by  via essence.com

California Attorney General Kamala Harris made history Tuesday night when she won the Senate race and became the second Black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Harris, an Oakland native, will replace Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who intends to retire 23 years as a California senator. The last African-American woman elected to the senate was Carol Moseley Braun (D, Illinois) who served one term, from 1993-1999.

The Howard University graduate’s platforms included criminal justice, abortion rights and immigration reform. She beat out fellow Democrat, Rep. Loretta Sanchez for the hotly contested race.

A career prosecutor, Harris, whose mother is Indian and father is Jamaican, not only becomes the second Black woman in the senate, she’s also the first Indian woman in the position. For her run, Harris won endorsements from President Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown.

In an interview with ESSENCE earlier this year, Harris, 52, pledged “to ensure our children have a fair shot in school and in life by passing universal prekindergarten legislation.”

“This issue is important to all, but for Black women, poor women, working women, it’s about economic empowerment,” she added.

Harris joins two African-American men in the 100-member Senate: Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey). “Kamala is one of the most exciting leaders in the country right now,” Booker told ESSENCE. “She brings an incredible combination of life experiences and skills that are sorely needed on issues like prison reform, empowering victims, addiction and violence. And she has actually run [and managed] something, and shown herself to be a creative problem solver.”

With additional reporting by Donna Owens.

Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris Pioneers Way to Treat Stress in Children, a Startling Source of Future Disease

Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician in San Francisco, is advocating for all children to be screened for traumatic experiences, which, research shows, have a long-term impact on health. She is a Heinz Award winner  (Photo by Jason Henry)

article by 

Soon after Nadine Burke Harris opened a pediatrics clinic in a low-income neighborhood in San Francisco, she began grappling with the high rates of asthma and other illnesses that she was diagnosing in her patients. She wanted to understand why so many of the kids she saw were so sick.

“They would have chronic abdominal pain, headaches, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, opposition defiant disorder,” she said. “It could be that all these different kids have all these diagnoses, or it could be that there is one thing at the root of this.”

She found an answer in a decade-old study that showed a strong link between chronic disease and traumatic experiences during childhood — things such as physical abuse or neglect, or living with a family member addicted to drugs or alcohol. She knew the children she saw lived with high “doses” of adversity, she said, and it made sense: Trauma was affecting their developing brains and also their developing bodies.

So she began to regard her practice in a whole new way. She started evaluating children not just for their medical histories, but also their social histories. And instead of treating only symptoms, she sought to help with the root causes of the stress that were making them sick.

She screened all the children at her clinic for traumatic experiences, and she built a new kind of medical center for those who screened positive. At the Center for Youth Wellness, which opened in 2011, children and their parents can see mental health workers, learn about mindfulness and other relaxation techniques, and meet with case managers who connect them with social services.

Harris’ novel approach to health care, and her personal story, are gaining national attention. Her work has been profiled in a best-selling book by Paul Tough and a documentary film. Her health center has attracted major funders, including Google.org.

Last month, she spoke at the White House for a conference about trauma. And this week, she was honored in Pittsburgh with the Heinz Award for the Human Condition, one of six prizes given annually by the Heinz Foundation to “exceptional Americans, for their creativity and determination in finding solutions to critical issues.” The award comes with a $250,000 prize.

“I think we have reached a tipping point,” Harris said in an interview.

The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014 announced the launch of a Center on Healthy, Resilient Children to help pediatricians identify children with toxic stress and help intervene. Local chapters are training pediatricians.

A screening tool for childhood trauma on the center’s website has been downloaded 1,100 times. Harris’s goal is for every pediatrician to screen children for trauma. Continue reading “Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris Pioneers Way to Treat Stress in Children, a Startling Source of Future Disease”

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt Wins 3rd Consecutive 100M Olympic Gold in Rio

Usain Bolt of Jamaica wins 3rd consecutive Gold Medal in men's 100M race (photo via usatoday.com)
Usain Bolt of Jamaica (l) wins 3rd consecutive Olympic Gold Medal in men’s 100M race (photo via usatoday.com)

article by Sean Gregory via time.com

On a pleasant Sunday night in Rio’s Olympic Stadium, Usain Bolt, the fastest human in history, became the first to ever win the 100-m sprint in three straight Olympic Games, finishing with a time of 9.81. Justin Gatlin of the United States, the 2004 Olympic champion, took an early lead but fell just short of completing his late-career comeback with another Olympic gold, taking silver with a time of 9.89. Canada’s Andre de Grasse won bronze in 9.91.

Even though he’s run the fastest 100-m in history––9.58 seconds, at the 2009 world championships––Bolt insists this is his weakest event. He has a funny way of showing it. “This is what I came here for,” Bolt said after the race. “This is the first step in the right direction. I’m happy and I’m proud of myself. It wasn’t perfect execution, but I got it done.”

The 100M, known as the fastest ten seconds in sports, was relatively slow by Bolt’s lofty standards. In 2012, the American Tyson Gay ran 9.80 and only managed to finish fourth. Bolt blamed the times on the quicker than usual turnaround, less than 90 minutes, between the semifinals and finals. “It was really stupid,” Bolt says. “I don’t know who decided that. I was really stupid.”

Whatever the pace, Bolt luxuriated in his victory. Fans screamed for him before the race. During his warmup, while his opponents were lingering at the starting line, Bolt jogged out about 30 meters down the track, turned around and held his arms up, soaking in the adulation as if he were royalty. He shimmied for the cameras, pointed, tried his best to be a showman. The act works.

When the starting gun blasted, Bolt knew he was off his game. “I kind of felt dead at the start,” he said. Gatlin took an early lead, but Bolt never panicked and passed him shortly after the halfway mark. The win in hand, Bolt pounded his chest before the finish. He grabbed a stuffed Olympic mascot afterward and paraded it around the stadium, mugging for selfies with adoring fans. As is his tradition, he hammed it up on the track with his “lighting-bolt” poses.

Bolt has always performed best on the biggest stages. And none are bigger than the Olympics, where he’s now won 7 straight golds, in 7 races, over three Games. He’ll shoot to go an incredible nine-for-nine later in the week, with the 200-m final Thursday night, and the 4 X 100 relay on Friday. “I really want the 200-m world record,” says Bolt, who set the mark, 19.19 seconds, at that same 2009 world championship meet. “If I can get a good night’s rest after the semifinals, it’s possible that I could. I’m going to go out there and leave it all on the track.”

To read full article, go to: http://time.com/4451806/usain-bolt-gold-rio-2016-olympics-100-meters-gatlin-blake/

Elaine Thompson keeps Queen of the Track Title, and 100M Gold, in Jamaica – LA Times

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson celebrates after winning the women’s 100-meter dash on Saturday night. (Buda Mendes / Getty Images)

article by Helene Elliott via latimes.com

The good citizens of Banana Ground, Manchester Parish, Jamaica, might still be partying in honor of their most famous resident, Elaine Thompson, now known as the world’s fastest woman.

Thompson, raised by her grandmother in that remote Jamaican community, ended the Olympic reign of her compatriot, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, with a strong and powerful performance Saturday in the women’s 100-meter dash. Pulling away over the last 30 meters from Fraser-Pryce — who won gold in the two previous Games — and from American Tori Bowie, Thompson won in 10.71 seconds before a joyful crowd at Olympic Stadium.

Bowie, a first-time Olympian, finished second in 10.83 seconds. Fraser-Pryce, she of the green-and-yellow hair dyed to show her Jamaican pride, won bronze with a time of 10.86 seconds.

Thompson, 24, wasn’t sure how to celebrate at the finish line, but she knows the folks back home rejoiced for her. “There is a big screen back home in my community in Jamaica. I can’t imagine what is happening there right now,” she said, smiling.

Fraser-Pryce, who was hampered by a toe injury and was in tears after her semifinal Saturday afternoon, said she was happy the Olympic title stays in the island nation. She didn’t want to discuss the injury other than to call this her greatest medal ever because she had to fight hardest. “I don’t want to take someone’s shine. This is Elaine’s time,” she said.

To read more: Elaine Thompson keeps queen of the track title, and 100-meter gold, in Jamaica – LA Times

Rihanna Launches Need-Based Global Scholarship Program to Help Provide U.S. College Education

Rihanna (photo via wallpaperup.com)
Rihanna (photo via wallpaperup.com)

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Rihanna wants to reward students who believe in hard work. On Monday the singer announced the new Global Scholarship Program, which will assist students from various countries in attaining a college education in the U.S.

Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation will offer scholarships to residents of Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica who are eligible to attend school in the U.S. and have been accepted into an accredited four-year college or university. Through the need-based scholarship, they will have the opportunity to receive an award between $5,000 and $50,000 to go toward their tuition.

“I don’t think it’s fair that children carry the burden of financial limitations at such a young age,” Rihanna stated. “To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor. Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this.”

The application process was launched Monday and continues until June 10. Fifty winners will be judged on “academic performance, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience and a personal essay.” Applications can be submitted here, and winners will be announced in August.

Camille A. Nelson Named Dean of Law School at American University

Dean Camille A. Nelson (photo via bit
Camille A. Nelson (photo via suffolk.edu)

article via jbhe.com

The Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, D.C., has named Camille A. Nelson as its next dean. She will become dean on July 25.

Professor Nelson was dean of the Suffolk University Law School in Boston from 2010 to 2015. She continues to teach at the law school. Before joining the faculty at Suffolk University, Professor Nelson taught for nearly a decade at the Saint Louis University School of Law. Before entering the academic world, she was a clerk for the Supreme Court of Canada. She was the first Black woman to clerk for Canada’s highest court.

A native of Jamaica, Professor Nelson is a graduate of the University of Toronto and earned a law degree at the University of Ottawa. She also holds a master’s degree in law from Columbia University.

Ann-Marie Campbell Named Head of Home Depot’s U.S. Stores

ann marie campbell home depot
Ann-Marie Campbell of Home Depot (photo via clutchmagonline.com)

article via clutchmagonline.com

She started out as a  cashier in 1985 but now Ann-Marie Campbell is at the top of the ladder at Home Depot. On Feb. 1, Campbell became the executive vice president of all of the company’s stores in the United States.

Campbell, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, graduated from Georgia State University and has a degree in philosophy and an MBA. As executive VP, Campbell will serve as president of the southern division, and is in charge of 2,000 stores and most of the company’s nearly 400,000 employees.

Campbell has received accolades from Black Enterprise and was named one of the 75 Most Powerful Women in Business by Black Enterprise, in 2010. She was also named one of  Atlanta’s 100 Top Black Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League in 2012 and in 2014 she was ranked #38 on Fortune‘s list of 50 Most Powerful Women in Business.

Congrats to Campbell!

Jamaican Novelist Marlon James Wins Man Booker Prize

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for "A Brief History of Seven Killings" on Tuesday.
Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for “A Brief History of Seven Killings” on Tuesday.  (photo via cnn.com)

Marlon James, the Jamaican novelist, has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction for “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” his fictional retelling of the 1976 attempted murder of Bob Marley.

James, 44, who now lives in Minneapolis and teaches at Macalester College, is the first Jamaican author to win the prize in the British award’s 47 years. It’s also the first for his publisher, Oneworld Publications.

‘It is a crime novel that moves beyond the world of crime and takes us deep into a recent history we know far too little about. It moves at a terrific pace and will come to be seen as a classic of our times,” said Michael Woods, chairman of the judging committee.

James didn’t expect to wow the critics, but that’s what he did with his 686-page epic novel.

“It’s like a Tarantino remake of ‘The Harder They Come’ but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner, with maybe a little creative boost from some primo ganja,” wrote Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times.

“It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting — a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.”

James’ other works includes two novels, “John Crow’s Devil” (2005) and “The Book of Night Women” (2009).

Last year, the prize was opened to any novel published in Britain and written in English. In previous years, winners had to come from Britain, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Commonwealth nations.

article by Katia Hetter via cnn.com