PJL opened Black History Month programme on Wed. | THE DAILY HERALD

Conscious Lyrics Foundation President Shujah Reiph (standing at podium) delivering the keynote address at the opening night of PJL’s Black History Month Observance. (Dimetri Whitfield photo)


PHILIPSBURG–Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) officially kicked off its Black History Month observance programme on Wednesday evening. The theme for this year’s observance is “Passing on our Legacy”.

  PJL director Glenderlin Holiday gave the welcome, and librarian Irmin Hughes gave the introduction to the evening’s keynote speaker, Conscious Lyrics Foundation President Shujah Reiph.

  Reiph spoke about the history of local celebrations of black history, highlighting efforts across both sides of the island. He said early observances focused on annually held lectures.

  Some of the speakers at these lectures included: Barbadian novelist and poet George Lamming, economist David Abdullah, Jamaican scholar and educator Rex Nettleford, the late Barbadian poet and academic Kamau Brathwaite, as well as local figures such as Maria Cijntje-van Enckevort, Lasana M. Sekou, and Fabian Badejo.

  Brathwaite, who is considered by many to be a Caribbean literary icon, died on Tuesday, February 4, at the age of 89. He delivered a lecture on black history at PJL on February 27, 2000.

  “When I look back at some of the people who have lectured for us, we have been privileged here in St. Maarten,” said Reiph.

  He said celebrating black history will never be about hatred, as many wrongly perceive it to be, but about knowing and appreciating the history of the island.

  “The people of St. Maarten have been getting the information they needed [about black history – Ed.] over the past 29 years. I am proud to be part of that. I am proud that you are also receptive to these ideas … that we together are building a community,” said Reiph.

  The opening night ended with a tour of the library, followed by refreshments.

PJL’s Black History Month programme starts with a storytelling session by Rita Carty on Saturday, February 8, which will be followed by a session hosted by entrepreneur Tasheena Maccow-Thomas on the production of local herbal teas on Wednesday, February 12, at 6:00pm.

  The programme continues on Saturday, February 15, at 11:00am with storytelling by Greta Marlin. There will be a musical performance by St. Maarten’s National Youth Orchestra on Saturday, February 22, at 11:00am.

  The last events will be poetry and dance performances by poet Tamara Groeneveldt and dance choreographer Rodolph Davis on Friday, February 28, and a storytelling session by Sergio Bryson on Saturday, February 29.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/pjl-opened-black-history-month-programme-on-wed