photo taken by CJ Jones
Some say if you have a strong reaction to a person, place, or thing, to observe the feeling and, depending on if it was a desirable one, to move on it in due time. When I first came to Jamaica, I felt this ancestral-like pull toward the people there and the energy of the place, almost as if I could later discover I had a blood relation to someone from there. Most of all, Jamaicans remind me of Nigerians; their relentless hustle just to make it through each day, their passionate conversations, even down to their simplistic street style. After the absolute most tiresome start to my summer, I spent the whole month of July, my birth month, looking up at a Jamaican night sky, waking up to crashing sea sounds and playing capture Freeze tag (what the youth there call Stuck and Pull) with rambunctious kids in an humble inner-city street in Downtown, Kingston Jamaica filled with the most beautiful murals.
Every Tuesday and Thursday in Kingston, Jamaica this past July, I hopped on the 97 bus from Bull Bay to Downtown. It dropped me off at the intersection of Queen Street and Gold Street where I grabbed some plantain chips and water at a local store, and then walked myself down to Fleet Street. As the summer comes to an end, I watch this video and reminisce about my July in Jamrock, working with Life Yard, and meeting all my new little brothers and sisters. I miss it so much, man, and I’m so looking forward to going back! Here is the Part One of the recap of the first international leg of my art mental health program, The Prodigy Vanguard.