In July on our most recent trip to Anguilla, we decided to do a video not just of the Island’s beauty but of its history. Our visit coincided with the 50th year of the Anguilla Revolution. A video was something we had never tried before . It was as if we knew. My oldest shot and edited the video, the youngest did the stage direction and I wrote. In telling the story I incorporated a bit of the current reparations movement in the Carribbean led by CARICOM and scholar and historian Sir Hillary Beckles. Of course the reparations movement has a long history in America. Every year Congressman John Conyers introduces a bill calling for an inquiry into reparations. His Bill would establish a commission to examine slavery and then recommend appropriate remedies. He’s introduced it every year since 1989 without success. Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree has written several seminal works on the issue as well. The Carribbean seems to be making more headway on this issue but back to the video.
My girls and I had a great time. Part one was a tribute to Anguilla’s landscape and history, Part two (an excuse to return to Anguilla) was to focus on the people of Anguilla. We finished part one right before my daughter headed off to college, posted it and then within days Hurricane Irma hit. Thank God for social media because in the first days the mainstream media was painfully uninterested in what was happening to the Caribbean. It was all about the mainland. Now more than a week after Irma devastated huge swaths of the lesser Antilles ,there is coverage. The cynical me believes it’s only because there have been reports of unrest. The media loves a story of unrest. Security is indeed important but there are so many other narratives that also demand telling .Sir Richard Branson, who had a home on Necker Island ( My girlfriends and I had lunch at his place several years ago- another story for another day) is calling for a Marshall Plan for The Caribbean and he is right.
It was very telling a few mornings ago when one of the Cable anchors reporting from the scene said, “we cant show you all the devastation that has taken place in the Keys. The only way we can give you an idea of what has happened is to now show you pictures of the Caribbean.” In other words, the only reason we are showing what happened there is because we can’t get you the pictures here.
I will continue to use this blog to talk about what has happened in the Caribbean, and I will talk about climate change. We all know attention spans are very short and there will be another big story. Even Harvey is fading from view. The devastation, the loss, the road to rebuilding and the need to share stories continues.