I am ignorant. I am a coward. I am selfish. I’m lazy, I’m cowardice, I’m selfish and I’m ignorant.

To stay woke is to keep informed of the shitstorm going on around you in times of turmoil and conflict, specifically on occasions when the media is being heavily filtered- such as the events in Ferguson Missouri in August 2014.

Now that was stripped right off of urbandictionary.com in case you were wondering. For me, a black contemporary man living in the West Indian island of Jamaica ‘staying woke’ is just as real AF (as fuck). Just this week alone a 3 year old baby girl was snatched from her home and murdered while her millennial parents were out vibing in a nearby dancehall. Tivoli Gardens  is currently at war with the Jamaican Police, a 7 year old was set on fire by family members all meanwhile a friend of a friend (black) was being asked to leave a cafe by a white non-Jamaican manager simply because she’s, well her automobile was not ‘covered by our insurance’.


All this on top of being sick and out of commision catching up with my eighteen year old brother about summers past has blossomed into a spiralling chain of thoughts that quite frankly has left me bitter. I find my independence, honesty and blackness challenged by these issues arrived at through my imperial wokeness. I can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for every single piece of travesty that has occurred and is occurring if only because of my deep dark ignorance. Yes I’m a part of the group of people like Portia who do not watch the news anymore so I’m pretty much oblivious to what is happening around me outside of what I glimpse on the internets. Where my feeling responsible comes from is in the negligence in practicing being woke and active. My negligence in practicing being a person of influence and intelligence. My negligence in being Jamaican. I can’t own being of a nationality when I know not what’s really taking place in said nation much less be doing anything about it.

We are put in positions of fortune and favor to help people who are not. We all must believe and accept that.

For the 3 year old baby that was murdered I’m sorry I never took on that charity campaign on imploring Jamaican families to communicate, lean in and support each other. For the friend of a friend who was embarrassingly removed from a public cafe I’m sorry I didn’t stand up to the said white non-Jamaican manager when I was also disrespected and made to feel less-than. For every and anything that has happened in all my years of falling asleep on the issues that plagues our community I’m sorry. Here’s to many more moments of clarity, acceptance and action.