Professor Dr. Craig Smith
January 29th, 2013
Who is a Bahamian?
Public displays of Bahamian pride have adorned Bay Street and the profound Nassau Art Gallery (NAG) since the later part of 2012. An attractive cadre of portraits, arts and craft has captured various dimensions of the Bahamian life in efforts to increase national awareness of Bahamian ethnic identity, history, and culture and to attempt answering the “loaded…” question of “who is a Bahamian?”(Wells1). Arguably, nationalism in the Bahamas has been poorly understood as evidenced by researched articles published by Sabrina Lightbourn, Patricia Glinton-Miercoles and Nicolette Bethel. Therefore, we now probe the underpinning concepts of what makes us Bahamian. The challenge is that many Bahamians intellectually lack interest in this research and it therefore affects their understanding of the dimensions of national and ethnic diversity that has uniquely blended to create what we know today as Bahamian.
Bahamian renound photographer, Sabrina Lightbourn in her recent editorial written by Erica Wells in the Nassau Guardian of “Who is a Bahamian?” highlights her aims to increase Bahamians awareness of a multi-cultural ethnicity often unseen, ignored or misunderstood (Wells 1). She expresses her views not in so many words but with photographs of random Bahamians with varying skin hues, hair types and facial features that seems to beckon Bahamians to address their “roots”. Presently, Bahamian whites as she expressed in her editoral, often find it challenging to live in The Bahamas where the general consensus is that being Bahamian means having a dark skin complexion with thick Negro hair. She alludes to the fact that even our spoken language is also a determinant of who is a “true” Bahamian. Bahamian dilect is comprised of jargon special to the Bahamas and its natives. However, if a Bahamian, born and raised, speaks with proper diction and clearity one would assume he or...
Cited: Bethel, Nicolette. “Navigations: National Identity and the Archipelago.” Journal of the Bahamas Association for Cultural Studies (BACUS) Vol I. (2000): 1-15. Print.
Russell, Edward. “National Art Gallery’s NE6 explores transition in modern times.” The Nassau Guardian 17 November 2012. Web. 24 January 2013
Wells, Erica. “Who is a Bahamian?” The Nassau Guardian 19 January 2013. Web. 24 January 2013
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