“Tomorrow People” is when I typically learn news things.

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on April 2, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I am such a Johnny come lately, seriously. I’m usually the last to know some well-known trivia like that Robin Thicke is the son of Alan Thicke and Gloria Loring from Days of Our Lives. Like really, I learned this just two days ago while whiling away the hours in a friend’s bedroom.

There’s so much one can learn from VH1. Where would we be sans cable? Heck. Where would I be? I’d be oblivious to the fact that Alan Thicke fathered Robin Thicke, that’s where. 

But that’s not the lede of the news. Nope. Not at all. I also learned while watching the same network that Ziggy Marley did what papa Bob Marley could not. Remember that hit tune, “Tomorrow People”? Well, ole Ziggy was able to burst through the Top 40s with this ditty that also garnered two Grammys.  That’s something Bob Marley never accomplished. 

I know. I know.

This is the sort of useful ish one can use when a conversation takes an awkward, silent turn. You can so blurt out that Ziggy Marley went one belt-notch above Bob Marley on the U.S. Top 40s and earned the most coveted music awards, and that socially awkward person you were talking to would so appreciate this tidbit.

Try it. You’ll see. – MJ


Grenada’s bakes, my new guilty pleasure

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad on April 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm

My latest guilty pleasure is a scrumptious breakfast treat known in Grenada as bakes with spicy salt fish inside. This ish is yummy as hell. Grenadians will wince when I describe it as fried bread but that’s essentially what it is. It’s chewy dough packed with carbs, which makes it nothing less than bread served with fish or cheese or… Well I really don’t know what else Grenadians eat with bakes but I can attest that it’s delish. 

It also reminds me of codfish Haitian patties, which is another one of those Caribbean treats that’s tasty as hell but not as well known as say jerk chicken (fish, pork, beef) or ganja. – MJ


My latest breakfast yum-yum and Grenada's greatest culinary contribution

My latest breakfast yum-yum and one of Grenada's best culinary contributions

Haitian codfish patty - yummy Caribbean ish just like bakes or vice versa

Haitian codfish patty - another yummy Caribbean ish just like bakes

What’s in a name? A whole effing lot.

In African American interest, Bahamas, Barbados, Caribbean American interest, Caribbean interest, Caribbean news, Dominican Republic, Entertainment, Family, Grenada, Haiti, Humor, Jamaica, Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Relationships, Trinidad on March 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’m not a mother. I’m fickle about motherhood. I don’t go all goo-goo, ga-ga about the prospect of motherhood. Actually it scares the shit out me. Motherhood is a big f%#king deal, and people who are nonchalant about this privilege simply don’t get the task at hand. 

With that said, (channeling one of my fave cousins who loves that term: with that said) I feel it’s importance to give a baby a proper name. Mama MJ taught me well. A child’s name is important as it’s the doorway to their identity, their personality. It’s called nomenclature. There should be a story or meaning behind a name. Not: I’m not sure what it means but… 

Or I just named him or her Baby X cuz…

Ask Mama and Papa MJ why they named their five children their specific names and prepare to hear stories – several of which are quite riveting.

A baby’s name should be fluid. It should fit with the middle name if there is a middle name and last name. I once dated a guy who’s first name was Mshindaji; middle name Mustafa; last name Grant. 

My reaction: WTF were your parents thinking? Where’s the melody in that nomenclature combo? 

And I get it. MMG’s Black Panther parents were caught up in the black power movement. They wanted to reaffirm their blackness through their child’s name. But Mshindaji + Mustafa + Grant = yuck. Nasty. Barf!

Names are like fashion. When you mix and match, you’ve got to be careful that it doesn’t come off sounding kooky. Plaid and polka-dots don’t work no matter the color scheme. 

Idiosyncractic as it is, the name combo Barack Obama works simply because it sings. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. Barack + Obama. First and last name fit perfectly. It helps that his first and surname are from a distinct religion/region. Michelle Obama also works but imagine if our First Lady was Condoleeza. Let’s say it slowly. Condoleeezzzaa Obaaaama

Gross, right?

And with that said, let’s segue to a story that underscores why I feel it’s important to give a child a sound name or one that has meaning or a damn good story. After all, they’ll have to carry that name for the rest of their lives unless they’re willing to spend ducats to legally undo the damage you’ve selfishly imposed on them. Might as well give them a a name they can feel proud of versus one where they’ll spend most of kindergarten and beyond cringing during attendance roll call. 

With that said, I present to you Marijuana Pepsi Jackson

Police years ago pulled over a young woman who rushed through an amber traffic light. “I’m about to arrest this person right now,” the irritated officer radioed to a dispatcher. “She’s telling me her name is Marijuana Pepsi Jackson.”

It’s the truth. Marijuana and Pepsi are her legal first and middle names, and the Beloit woman embraces them as a symbol of her struggle to succeed and to help other children overcome obstacles.

No Mary or Mary Jane or Mary Wanda for her. It’s Marijuana, thank you, she’s told bosses, co-workers and friends over the years, and even wore it on nametags at work.

See what I’m saying? – MJ