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~ :: Variety :: ~

I’m so tired of that old tidbit about us all knowing Picasso had
stolen from Africa. This poor sorrowful horse, long deceased, still
continues to be beaten to death many times over for false comfort of needful, insecure, ill-informed, gullible black people. We all know that all art is born of rich discourse, intelligent dialogue, informed observation and admiration, exchange and adaptation of each other’s statements and utterances, whatever their origin, structure, color, shade or form. Louis Armstrong did not steal the trumpet from anybody. He simply picked it up and played it. Brilliantly. God had spoken and that was that. They say I am white. But I am not a European. I am not an African. I am not an Indian. I am not Chinese or Syrian. I am not Amerindian. I am not American, North or South. I am none of these. Yet I am allof these. I am a Caribbean.

The newly emergent island people, rich in ancestral heritage, are in
the process of finding their place in the world. Nobody knows
anything for sure. This might have been thoughtfully and patiently
put to our advantage. But Ignorance and Enlightenment, being
differentiated too zealously, become Nignorance and Enwhitenment. In trying too hard to be ‘developed’ and ‘civilized’ we end up as an obscene caricature of ourselves. A culture of greed and power has manifested out of easy oil wealth, and all too quickly we have forgotten that Pretty is to Beauty as Platitude is to Truth.

—Peter Minshall (from Dalton Narine’s documentary “Mas Man”) 

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