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Annie Paul: Modern-Day Plantations

Repeating Islands

my01.jpgAnnie Paul’s column from Jamaica’s Gleaner.

The story is told in hushed tones of well-known journalist Evon Blake, who jumped into the pool at Myrtle Bank Hotel, a whites-only facility in downtown Kingston.

“One summer day in 1948, as tourists and elites casually colonised the poolside deck chairs of Jamaica’s premier hotel, the Myrtle Bank, a black Jamaican journalist, Evon Blake, suddenly burst on to the brochure-promised scene. He hastily disrobed and plunged into the waters of the hotel’s unofficially racially segregated pool. The staff quickly congregated at its edges, hurling threats at the intruder. Taking advantage of the protection of the water, which prohibited security from entering the pool, Blake defiantly challenged, “Call the police. Call the army. Call the owner. Call God. And let’s have one helluva big story.”

The quote above is from a chapter titled ‘Diving into the Racial Waters of Beach Space in Jamaica’…

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