Category Archives: Reads

Books & Literature

Jamaica Observer: Rastas Under Fire

RASTAFARI reggae artists are coming under harsh criticism from within their ranks. According to Nyabinghi elder Ras Flako, many of them are calling on Rastafari to get recognition from their audiences but do not support the movement in any way.

“These Rastafarian artists don’t attend any meetings. When we go to Nyabinghi meetings we don’t see any Rastafarian musicians or artists at our gatherings,” he said.

RAS FLAKO… Rastafarian artists don’t attend any meetings


“Whenever you take the microphone and call on Haile Selassie, you’re making a political statement on the divinity of His Majesty. You’re religious and political,” he continued.

He said true Rastas are guided by ethics and code.

The elder said many of these dreadlocked artistes and musicians do not belong to any of the mansions of Rastafari. There are three mansions of Rastafari. These are Nyabinghi, Twelve Tribes of Israel and Bobo Shanti.

“They sing about apartheid in Africa and highlight other issues, yet they don’t sing about the issues we face,” he said.

Ras Flako said there are a lot of issues to be addressed in the Rastafarian community, including the ‘Black Friday’ Coral Gardens incident.

‘Black Friday’ refers to two days of violence involving Rastafarians, which started on Holy Thursday (April 11, 1963) in Coral Gardens in St James and continued into Good Friday. Eight persons were killed including three Rastafarians.

The incident led to an islandwide crackdown on Rastas by government. Some members of the faith were imprisoned, some killed and others faced severe harassment.

“To date, there is only one singer who has ever given voice to the Coral Gardens incident and that’s Jah Lewis, who recorded Do You Remember the Coral Garden Incident in 1991 for Shanachie Records. Why aren’t we hearing more of these songs from Rastafarian artists?” he asked.


Author: Cecelia Campbell-Livingston


Yvette’s Cookbook: St. Martin’s Traditional & Modern Cuisine Published


Yvette Hyman(Saltwater Collection file photo)

St. Martin, Caribbean — From Yvette’s Kitchen To Your Table – A Treasury of St. Martin’s Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine by Yvette Hyman has been released here by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) .

Author Yvette Hyman, with husband Felix, also founded the popular Yvette’s Restaurant in her native district of French Quarter, St. Martin.

The new hardcover book is made up of 13 chapters, including Appetizers, Soups, Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Meat, Salads, Dumplings, Rice and Fungi, Breads, and Desserts, said Jacqueline Sample, the book’s editor.

Among the book’s 312 colorful pages, classic favorites such as souse, Johnny cake, Conch Yvette’s, lamb stew, coconut tart, guavaberry and soursop drink are just a few of the over 200 recipes à la Yvette to be found in this Treasury of St. Martin’s Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine, said Sample.

“This cookbook is an important and outstanding acknowledgement of Chef Yvette Hyman’s committed service to the culinary development of St. Martin,” said Gloria Ferris-Bell, a leading nutritionist.

The publication of From Yvette’s Kitchen is a “national and Caribbean happening for St. Martin” as well, said HNP publisher Lasana M. Sekou.

The 37-sq. mi. island of St. Martin, with over 350 restaurants from around the world, is known as the “culinary capital of the Caribbean,” according to award-winning Canadian travel writer Melanie Reffes travelintelligence .

The posthumous title has been in the making since 1989. As HNP’s projects director Sekou had approached Hyman over 20 years ago about publishing her recipes as a unique book of St. Martin’s cuisine and an aspect of cultural heritage, said Sample.

Sample served as HNP’s main editor on the manuscript since 1992 when Yvette gave the publisher her collection of recipes. Sample met with Yvette several times to discuss and test recipes before the popular chef passed away in 1999.

Between 2007 and 2009, Sample met with Yvette’s widower Chef Felix Hyman and daughter and cooking instructor Jewel Daal to discuss and detail recipes.

The book’s beautiful design by Angelo and Gina Rombley include photographs of actual dishes and drinks, both traditional and those developed by Yvette, said Sample.

From Yvette’s Kitchen, which will be launched as the “main book” of the 9th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 4, 2011, is available at and, said Sekou.
Author: House of Nehesi Publishers