By For Posterity
For PosterityMay 27, 2023
S10/ ep2: David Katz Meets Riddim Writer in Music Memory Dub
For this episode, I talk with David Katz -- music writer, film producer, dj, vinylist and Lee "Scratch" Perry biographer -- about his multi-decades long relationship with dub music. Tune in to this very special (very trippy) episode of For Posterity.
S10/ep1: Mad Professor Meets Riddim Writer in Migration Mix-Up Dub
My guest for the Season 10-opener is Neil Fraser AKA Mad Professor. This Guyanese-born, British dub producer and engineer makes music that is a reflection of how he sees the world, which is to say, he sees people and places as deeply connected, deeply mixed, and he sees that who we are now carries reverberations of our ancestral roots. Press play to learn more!
This episode features my reading of Guyanese poet John Agard's "Pan Recipe" (Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse, ed. Brown & McWatt, 2005), a brief sample of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires' “Jamaica Ska” (Kentone Records label, 1964), and a deep listen to Mad Professor & Jah Shaka’s “Beyond the Realms of Dub” (Ariwa Sound Studio, 1982).
It is with a heavy heart that I dedicate this episode to Jah Shaka. Rest in Power.
“Full of Life and Full of Loss” with Katrina Coombs
This amazing episode spotlights the life, loss, and art of Katrina Coombs. She is a Jamaican woman and superbly talented textile and fiber artist. For our talk, we sat inside the rich, comfort of soft yellow carpet and suspended red fiber art in an un-doored room on the ground level of the National Gallery of Jamaica. Katrina Coombs’s 2022 Kingston Biennial art installation is titled “Apocalypse: Lifting of the Veil" and it is a full-sensory experience featuring acrylic yarn, paper, metal, music, video projections, testimony, and an olfactory infusion. If you're in Jamaica, please make your way to the National Gallery of Jamaica to see her installation before the exhibit closes on December 31, 2022.
Heads up: This episode comes with a trigger warning. This episode will discuss child loss (abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth).
Follow Katrina Coombs via her website: https://katrinacoombs.wordpress.com or on Instagram at @duchesskcfibres.
*Statistics shared on this episode are sourced from the WHO https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/abortion
**Visit the National Gallery of Jamaica's website for more information on the 2022 Kingston Biennial: https://nationalgalleryofjamaica.wordpress.com
Opal Palmer Adisa: Championing Miss Lou to the Worl'
In this episode I speak with Professor Opal Palmer Adisa. She is an acclaimed poet, writer, educator, feminist, mother, and cultural activist. We discuss the power of words -- in particular the words of Louise Bennett-Coverley -- to inspire voice, critique culture, and uplift the Jamaican people. Opal is building the inaugural Miss Lou Festival in Gordon Town, Jamaica on October 15, 2022. If you or your oganization is keen to contribute talent or financial support, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Much love. This is For Posterity.
Twas a Matter of Divine Time: Talking with singer/songwriter NAVY
In this episode of FOR POSTERITY, I talk with singer/songwriter Navy about her upbringing in Dominica and the weight of being a little Black girl from the Caribbean. Of course we talk too about her love of music, love of country, love of tarot cards, and her commitment to soul healing work. Dubbed the high priestess of hip hop soul, Navy is signed to the Barbados based Pretty Boy Worldwide label. Check her out on this music platform or on YouTube to get a sense of her sound and style. Click here for Navy's IG and here for her FB. I'm sure you'll love Navy as much as I do. And big shout out to Dominican poet Tamara Lowe and RIP to writer Jean Rhys. I'm the Riddim Writer and this is For Posterity.
Quick Note: August 23
I've got three bits to share with you in this Quick Note FOR POSTERITY and Beverley Manley is the thread that connects them all. Tune in then check out the Joelle Simone Powe directed four-part documentary on former First Lady Beverley Manley's life here. Rush over to 10A West Kings House Road in Kingston, Jamaica to see the 50th anniversary of The Harder They Come exhibit before it closes on Aug 28, 2022. And last, you must make sure you check back soon-soon for the full FOR POSTERITY conversation with Opal Palmer Adisa. She's a poet, educator, cultural activist, and champion Miss Lou! Good things to come.
Quick Note: August 17
S6/ep4: This Is Star Girl Naomi Cowan
Singer, songwriter Naomi Cowan is back for a solo conversation about her current project and so much more. She joined me back in 2020 with her fellow Rock & Groove Riddim singers — Sevana, Lila Iké, and Jaz Elise — and today she talks with me about the bright star energy she has brought to Star Girl, the first installment of what will be a succession of mixtapes.
On this episode you will hear “Gun Shot”, “The Voice”, and “Naked” by Naomi Cowan, as well as “Ism Schism” by Naomi’s mother Carlene Davis. Stream Naomi Cowan's entire catalog on Apple or Spotify and follow her on socials @naomicowan.
S6/ep3: Energy in Abundance with Exile di Brave
S6/ Ep 1: Inansi - Part 1
Jamaican artist Inansi proves that art can humbly extend and collage our memories. In this 2-part episode Inansi previews her upcoming memoir with amazing sketches of her colorful life. Get to know this artist as she talks to me about her family's history in Jamaica, the sisterhood of fierce Jaguars, one dangerous night at Bob Marley's residence in 1976, and all kinds of fashion accessories that she designed while living in New York City. If you're in Jamaica, find Inansi's multimodal work across the island and in various spaces. And if you're online with a crypto wallet, you can find Inansi on the OpenSea. Here is a link to her work on The INDIGO TRIBE NFT project, where pieces titled “Fashionfruit Femme” and “Ms. Coffeebean Queen” are still available, for a limited time. Enjoy part one!
S6/ Ep2: Inansi Part 2
This is part-two of my conversation with Jamaican artist Inansi. We walk-through her amazing life of love, art, and activism as we preview her upcoming memoir. This June 2022, Inansi’s work will also be a part of the 50th anniversary of the Perry Henzell film The Harder They Come. You can get in touch with Inansi on Facebook. If you're in Jamaica, find Inansi's multimodal work across the island and in various spaces. And if you're online with a crypto wallet, you can find Inansi on the OpenSea. Here is a link to her work on The INDIGO TRIBE NFT project, where pieces titled “Fashionfruit Femme” and “Ms. Coffeebean Queen” are still available, for a limited time. Enjoy part one!
S5/ Ep6: We Ain' Done with Cyndi Celeste
Barbadian spoken word poet Cyndi Celeste is a beacon of inspiration (hence, there's no wonder they were invited by the government of Barbados to perform “We Ain’ Done” at the Pride of Nationhood celebration on November 30, 2021, the day Barbados officially became a republic). This conversation advocates for the power of voice and a brave new future of inclusivity. Our chat is particularly important because too many Caribbean folks still think of poetry as "just a hobby" and not a profession. Take a good listen to this episode and check out Cyndi Celeste's full performance of "We Ain' Done" by clicking here. Big up to the awesome individuals who helped Cyndi Celeste to prepare the poem "We Ain' Done": Alex Downes, Roshanna Trimm, Java Sealy, and Daniel Boxill. And big up to Celeste's inspirations: Bajan spoken word poet Adrian Green, the Poetry Lime open-mic at Barbados Community College, and the Rhythm Poets of Barbados — Winston Farrell, Adisa Andwele (AJA). Rest in power to Kamau Brathwaite.
S5/ Ep5: Music Is the Journey/ Talking with Ken Boothe
S5/ Ep4: Talking Jamaican Futurism with Storm Saulter
From photography to filmmaking to music, Storm Saulter is unbound and has enough talent and imagination to power all ah we into the future. We discuss his vision for "Neo" Kingston, Jamaica in the year 2062 via his musical short for Sean Paul and Sia's "Dynamite." And we talk about what's next re his own lyricism following his 2021 link-up with the forward-thinking Jamaican music collective Equiknoxx. Of course, we do dip into history and politics in our conversation, but all in service of powering into the future. Listen and imagine. This is Jamaican futurism.
This episode features music from Equiknoxx's 2021 album Basic Tools Mixtape. Support Equiknoxx by streaming or buying their music. I also encourage listeners to visit Vevo / YouTube to stream Storm Saulter's musical short for "Dynamite" by Sean Paul featuring Sia. And check out Saulter's feature-length films Better Mus' Come (2011) and Sprinter (2018). And also check out the album short film for Shabazz Palaces' "Black Up" by Kahlil Joseph.
S5/ Ep3: Two Sides to Every Record, a Conversation with Susan Cadogan (part 2)
Part 2 of my conversation with Susan Cadogan highlights how every life touches another. It shows that every individual's story is made up of all of the many places, experiences, and people who mattered, influenced, shaped, hurt, and loved them. Part 2 begins at the intersection of Susan Cadogan and Glen Adams. Theirs is a love story that is so special that it just begged to be spotlighted, as bittersweet as it is. Listen and learn about the acts of loving someone. Learn too that many of our artistes need our support just as much as we need their artistry. Go on now; press play on For Posterity. There's so much inside.
As always, big up the music and makers of music featured in this episode: "I Just Love you" inspired by Glen Adams, written and sung by Susan Cadogan, and "Do It Baby AKA Nice and Easy" sung by Susan Cadogan and produced by Lee 'Scratch' Perry.
S5/ Ep2: Two Sides to Every Record, a Conversation with Susan Cadogan (part 1)
This is a conversation* with the Jamaican lover's rock singer Susan Cadogan. For many, her voice was made famous during the early 1970s by producer Lee Scratch Perry; but as you tune into the richness of this conversation she shares with me, you'll be able to hear another side of the record. In this episode and the next, I explore the depths of Susan Cadogan's memory so that listeners can really start to understand how this woman’s music career really has "Hurt So Good". I give thanks for the music heard in this episode: "On Ma Journey Now" by Lola Veronica Cadogan and "Do It Baby, AKA Nice and Easy" by Susan Cadogan/ Lee Scratch Perry.
*Note: This conversation with Susan Cadogan was recorded before the passing of my guest's father Rev. Dr. Claude Langton Cadogan on August 20, 2021 and before the passing of Lee 'Scratch' Perry on August 29, 2021.
S5/ Ep1: I'm baaaack!
I took a little hiatus to process and recharge. But now I'm baaaaaack! For Posterity is back with a new season that will, as always, tease your memory and pique your curiosity. Press play because it's time to begin again.
S4/ Ep1: Everything Inside with Edwidge Danticat
S3/ Ep5: Voice Notes to Self (part 2)
Voice Notes to Self (part 2): Just as the previous episode did, this episode is in response to the many news articles written about women during the pandemic and it is inspired by Jah9's song "Note to Self." This episode is here to intentionally record and amplify women's uncensored experiences over the last year. Women have been doing an unequal share of the work of caring for family members, schooling children, keeping house, and nursing patients back to health, all while appearing composed and full of grace. What a difficult facade to keep up all of the time. Recognizing this as a woman myself, I offer this episode as a space for women to be heard, for you to listen, and a space that will hopefully encourage you to check in on yourself and the women and girls that you love. This episode listens to women who have been navigating, coping, and surviving a global pandemic. As you listen to S3/ Ep5 and S3/ Ep4, please hear their voices with an open heart and find yourself amongst their stories.
Thank you to the women who shared their voice notes to self so publicly: Nicole Fields, Karen Thaxter-Nesbeth, Patricia V., Moji A., and Lizzy Brown. And thank you to the music makers whose songs have been my salve. Enjoy their songs on Spotify or wherever you stream music: Jah9 feat Chronixx "Note to Self", Alanna Stuart "Black Voices Matter", Jaz Elise "Good over Evil", Gavsborg "Domestic Termites Love Rock Music", and Sevana "Phone a Friend". All of the music featured on this episode was released between March 2020 and March 2021, year one of the coronavirus global pandemic. Listen deeply.
Please click here for more information about the collaborative partnerships made possible by Level Fields.
S3/ Ep4: Voice Notes to Self (part 1)
Thank you to the women who shared their voice notes: Desiree Campbell, Merissa Collins, Naita Semaj Williams, Anita Baksh, and Elizabeth Todd Breland. And thank you to the music makers whose songs have been my balm. Enjoy their songs on Spotify or wherever you stream/ purchase music: Jah9 feat Chronixx "Note to Self", Runkus feat Naomi Cowan "Everybody Going Live", Aminah Rose "Who Knew", Hugh feat Bonjay "Walk It Off", and Lila Ike "Where I'm Coming From." All of the music featured on this episode was released between March 2020 and March 2021, year one of the coronavirus global pandemic. Listen deeply.
Please click here for more information about the non-profit survivor-centered gender justice organization the Jahajee Sisters.
S3/ Ep3: Surrender to Yourself, A Conversation with Jah9
This episode celebrates the 1 year anniversary of Jah9’s third studio album Note to Self (March 2020). We discuss how Jah9 has grown from living in Tanzania for a year, we deconstruct race identity, she shares how she has continued to work on herself and how you can surrender to yourself via a Note to Self reboot that will be a Feel Good retreat hosted in Zanzibar this year (details at Jah9.com). We wrap-up with a chat about how the music of both East and West Africa are influencing the future of her musical sound. Don't miss this conversation. Join me #ForPosterity. You may stream Jah9’s music on all music platforms and watch her live performance at the Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, virtual edition, on March 5, 2021. Details are available at jamaicajazzandblues.com and on their social media accounts. Music notes: "Hey You" from Jah9's Note to Self (2020). Reading notes: Vincent Carretta's Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Authors in the English-Speaking World of the Eighteenth Century (2003 is the updated edition).
S3/ Ep2: Roots Don't Always Indicate Where One Is From, A Conversation with Christopher Creary
My guest is Mr. Christopher Creary and our conversation is about plants that are mistakenly believed to be native to or indigenous to the Caribbean. This conversation was recorded at the former Hope Experimental Garden (now the Royal Hope Botanic Gardens). If you’re ever at the Gardens, pay Mr. Creary a visit. You will be glad you did. For now, enjoy this episode about how plants, communities, and street names reveal Jamaica's colonial history. Reader’s reference: William Fawcett’s “The Public Gardens and Plantations of Jamaica” published in The Botanical Gazette (1897), the novels and poetry collections of Jamaica Kincaid, Olive Senior, and Lorna Goodison. Musical references: “Over the Hills and Far Away” performed by Hilary James and Simon Mayer (via YouTube) and “Where Is My Home” by Aisha (via Bandcamp).
S3/ Ep 1: Nuh One Way deh fe Heng Daag, A Conversation with Dr. Leahcim Semaj
As a public figure who has, for some forty years, inspired Jamaican people and encouraged Caribbean and global businesses to make better investments in their employees, my season 3 opening guest is none other than Chief Ideator of Above or Beyond, Dr. Leahcim Semaj, my father. This episode is a collection of his lived experiences, which prove that the personal is the universal and that community can be found in a neighborhood or in a book. And the amalgamation of his stories is best summed up by the Jamaican proverb "Nuh One Way duh fe Heng Daag," which translates from the Jamaican to the English to mean “there isn’t just one way to hang a dog.” If we are to survive in this world, we may sometimes have to find alternative means to the ends we seek. This episode is a celebration of the power of words to uplift people, define identity, and shift one's perspective. This is For Posterity.
S2/ Ep8: Daylight Come for Environmental Activism with Diana McCaulay
S2/ Ep7: Getting Bright, Free, and 'Facety' with Tygapaw
S2/ Ep6: Riddim Writer Meets Protoje in Literary Dub
It's time to end systemic oppression.** Recommended listening: Protoje's In Search of Lost Time (2020), Common's Like Water for Chocolate (2000). Recommended reading: Diana McCaulay's Daylight Come (2020), Laura Esquivel's Como agua para chocolate / Like Water for Chocolate (1989), Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time (1922- 1933, Moncrieff's English translation).
S2/ Ep5: We’re Always Home: A Conversation with Ishion Hutchinson
My guest for this episode is the one and only poet-professor-Portlander, Ishion Hutchinson. We recorded this conversation via video conferencing as we each lazed in our yards, feeling tethered by the hammock of history and comforted by thoughts of home. Hear macaws and other birds endemic to Jamaica, sing meaningfully as a kind of soundtrack to our chat. Hear how our audio sometimes sizzles and our voices sometimes glitch, and think of how the digital creates a kind of dub-like recording. Think of sound and imagination as you listen to this one. Think of home, homecoming, and returns. Think of maroons and coves. Think of yourself and your nation and know that we're always home. ***Recommended reading: Ishion Hutchinson's House of Lords and Commons (2016) and Far District (2010), and any and all poems by Derek Walcott.
S2/ Ep4: 525,600 Minutes with Shanique Marie
"Seasons of Love" (1996) from the Tony Award-winning musical Rent. Written and scored by JONATHAN LARSON.
"I Should Have Hugged You Tighter When We Last Met [Oh what a joy]" (2020). Written/ Performed/ Produced by BALRAJ SINGH SAMRAI. PANDIT G. GAVSBORG. FARAH AHMAD KHAN. SHANIQUE MARIE. TUNDE ADEKOYA. VIKAASH.
S2/ Ep3: Voicing Identity with Alanna Stuart
~ Riddim Writer.
Suggested reading: Carolyn Cooper's Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender, and The "Vulgar" Body of Jamaican Popular Culture (1993).
S2/ Ep2: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is it that we see? With public debate booming about a young girl's right to wear her hair in dreadlocks at school, one wonders if any of us are ready to take a long look at ourselves in the mirror of history. Are we yet ready to be independent? My guest for episode two is my friend LA Wanliss. She is a poet, writer, editor, teacher, and dramaturg here in Kingston, Jamaica. She joins me to discuss the performance of the national via representations of the personal and vice versa, as the two are always linked. As you listen, you may find fragments of yourself in this conversation; but more than that, I hope that you find a desire to look more critically at the idea of independence and identity. Suggested Reading: Una Marson's "Kinky Hair Blues" (1937), Roger Mais' "Now we Know" (1944) and "Where the Roots Lie" (1940), and Jamaica Kincaid's Annie John (1983). <>
S2/ Ep1: Behind the Mask of Education
Welcome to Season Two! This first episode looks at being Black in educational settings, not just in the U.S., but also in Jamaica, a predominantly African-descent nation, but a country that subscribes to and abides by a white, British colonial system of inequality. My esteemed guest is someone who's been schooling me since birth: my big sis Njeri Semaj. As an expert Black woman and as an expert educator with two decades of professional experience across multiple educational models, I turn to her for perspective as we prepare for a new academic year in the midst of COVID-19 and racism. Spoiler alert: Njeri proposes that we decolonize everything. I recommend that you get in touch with her if you're interested in balancing for better: www.njerisemaj.com. (Additional Credits: Big up to @josh2funny for the viral #dontleavemechallenge and to my Ace Aminah for taking part.
Recommended reading: Frederick Douglass' 1845 text Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave and Frantz Fanon's 1952 text Black Skin, White Masks. Recommending screening: Darrel Roodt's 1992 adaptation of Mbongeni Ngema's 1987 musical Sarafina! and the 2019 YAK Films short film based on the spoken word poetry of Marc Bamuthi Joseph titled About Face.)
Episode 7: Future Tense, Past Imperfect
This episode is about the collision of past and future and the making of an uncomfortable present. In this conversation with my friends John and Valerie, they talked to me about 1970s Jamaica. During the Manley years, the country was sent into a kind of lockdown, but this was also a time of innovative opportunity and identity building. Together we discussed how race and access impact everything from fashion to employment to the uneven hand of the law. This episode is the Season 1 closer and it clarifies just what is meant by posterity. Big up to Future, Kendrick Lamar, Jah9, and Lila Ike for their musical expression.
Listen. Subscribe. Share. #RiddimWriter #ForPosterity
Episode 6: Talk, Write, & Read More with Dutty Bookman
Episode 5: Going Home with Nicole Dennis-Benn
Episode 4: Literary Escape
Stitched together under self-isolation, this episode of For Posterity sits curiously between science and science fiction, somewhere between literary escape and writing reality. As I consider the possibility that we are living in a kind of "end of days", I realize that it's all about the word and how words will, ultimately, save us all. Well, words and washing our hands. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, these are the remotely gathered voices of a few dear writer friends, sharing their own words in their own voices. You'll hear from Jamaican writer and Renaissance man Roland Watson-Grant, Dominican American scholar-poet-painter Ines P. Rivera Prosdocimi, and Trinidadian artist-activist-attorney Caroline Mair-Toby. Press play and escape into words with me.