Caribbean Studies Association on the Late Professors Chevannes & Nettleford and Book Review by Prof. LeoRhynie

Caribbean Studies Association on the Late Professors Chevannes & Nettleford and Book Review by Prof. LeoRhynie

Marcia Forbes PhD


It is entirely fortuitous that Professor Elsa LeoRhynie's review of my book, Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica, has been published in the same Caribbean Studies Newsletter as Professor Peter Figueroa's Eulogy to Professor Barry Chevannes.   Barry wrote the foreword to my book and died only days after its launch in Jamaica.  Having been critically ill in hospital, due respect was paid to him at that event. 

This volume of the Caribbean Studies Association's newsletter holds special significance for me as it also pays tribute to the late Professor Rex Nettleford, a man I held in high esteem.  The entire 40 page newsletter is attached at the end of this entry.  There is much to read and to savour.  I'd like, however, to pull your attention to specific excepts, moving from Professor LeoRhynie's views about my book to some interesting thoughts from Wesley Chichlow about Rex and his life as a homosexual living in Jamaica and to close off with excerpts from Barry's eulogy.

Review (excerpts)-- Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica (pages 37 -38 of the newsletter)

"The research which was conducted for a doctoral degree, was carried out with the necessary academic rigour and is methodologically sound.  The result is a publication which will be of value to the entire academica community and which should be required reading for students pursuing a variety of university courses, but certainly for those in education, sociology and media."

"Forbes's investigation demonstrated that Jamaican adolescents are not unique in their opinions and attitudes as they are part of a globilized youth culture "consuming a culture of sex" which is linked by social networks and music videos.  This makes the ocntent of this book highly relevant to persons interacting with adolescents in any culture."

"The author not only clearly and comprehensively sets out the problems and issues associated with consumption of music videos by adolescents; she also offers suggestions as to how the negative factors associated with this culture can be addressed.  This book is an excellent addition to the literature of adolescents and media, and fills a gap which has existed for decades."

Re(Hetero) Sexualizing Rex Nettleford 

"Other great Caribbean Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) artists, scholars and activists have suffered, and still suffer, the same faith."

"Yet his homosexuality could not be made public and accepted in positive and loving ways."

"Is it possible to talk about Dr. Nettleford's life and work without talking about his homosexuality...."

"For Rex had to eat, he wanted to be loved, and he loved life, while calculating on a daily basis his safety and acceptance in a policed and violently heteronormative society which muzzled...."

Eulogy -- Professor Barry Chevannes

"The night before Barry died I dreamt that he sat up in his bed in the intensive care unit at the University hospital, embraced his wife Pauletta, his daughters Abena and Amba, his sister Joy, and he walked away."

"Barry returned to Jamaica in 1966 and taught English and Latin at Campion College.  He was disturbed by the social divide and injustice in Jamaican society and the Catholic Church's attitude toward it.  During this period he choose to live in the inner city in Rose Town where conditions were so crowded that some families who lived in one room had to take turns sleeping."

"Barry went to Boston College where he got his first degree in philosophy in 1965 followed by a degree in classics in 1966 to satisfy his love for Latin."

"In the late 1960s Barry studied sociology at UWI....On the Basis of his work Barry was offered a scholarship to study anthropology at Columbia University in New York...."

"As Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences he was renowned for being student friendly...."

May Barry's and Rex's Souls Rest in Peace.  They served Jamaica well!!