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#1 Jun 08, 2018 7:32 pm

Calypso
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OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

https://www.pressreader.com/jamaica/jam … 2953185054


I hadn't thought about Normadelle for years until yesterday during staff development. We spoke about racism being the fabric of American society and strangely, our bosses did not take part in the meeting. They are the power brokers who could change the environment of  our school, yet they were not there. Anyway, I spoke up about an incident in the first grade that left an indelible impact on me. We were in the first grade together, Normadelle and I.  ( we stayed best friends until the 5th grade). We were the first generation of black children to see children of African descent in books. Normadelle mentioned that they did not have "pretty hair" and our first grade teacher, Ms. Francis, heard her. She stopped the lesson Immediately and spoke to us about the power of self acceptance. " We are people of African descent," she said, "our noses are broad, our skin is very dark and our hair is kinky-- and that is not negative now....." I learned to accept myself then and there for the power of  a teacher is awesome. He or she has the power to take away or give self-respect. I got mine that day.

I graduated elementary school before Normadelle since I was some months older. I met her again in secondary school but we had grown apart. I went back to being around girls from my social background and she stayed in her own little world. By the time she reached the end of her 7th year she got pregnant and had to drop out of school.  I saw her once after that and I asked her how she got herself in that position. She laughed it off nonchalantly and it became apparent to me that we've drifted apart.

I hadn't thought about Normadelle Raymond until yesterday when I tried to find her on Facebook but was not successful. I googled her name and found her in the same community in Allman Town where she took me one day.  She hadn't left the area at all. What happened, Normadelle? you used to be so beautiful, young and full of hope. You ended up doing the same work your grandmother did. You didn't escape the poverty but you had hope.

Last edited by Calypso (Jun 09, 2018 2:34 pm)

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#2 Jun 08, 2018 8:32 pm

New Historian
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

"What happened, Normadelle? you used to be so beautiful, young and full of hope. You ended up doing the same work your grandmother did. You didn't escape the poverty but you had hope."

Why so judgemental? Maybe because she's happy? Happier than you?

Last edited by New Historian (Jun 08, 2018 8:33 pm)

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#3 Jun 08, 2018 8:49 pm

Calypso
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

New Historian wrote:

"What happened, Normadelle? you used to be so beautiful, young and full of hope. You ended up doing the same work your grandmother did. You didn't escape the poverty but you had hope."

Why so judgemental? Maybe because she's happy? Happier than you?

How could one be happy in such abject poverty? She's 53 and looks like seventy. When life is hard and you are just scratching out a living, you could never be happy!

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#4 Jun 08, 2018 8:50 pm

Calypso
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

New Historian wrote:

"What happened, Normadelle? you used to be so beautiful, young and full of hope. You ended up doing the same work your grandmother did. You didn't escape the poverty but you had hope."

Why so judgemental? Maybe because she's happy? Happier than you?

How could one be happy in such abject poverty? She's 53 and looks like seventy. When life is hard and you are just scratching out a living, you could never be happy!

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#5 Jun 08, 2018 9:19 pm

New Historian
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

"Abjext" poverty? Be careful how you bandy those cliches around. "Abject" poverty is Cite de Soleil in Haiti, she may not be of your "social group" but she may well be living a full, happy life. She doesn't look like 70, she looks like a hard working black woman. Hey she gets written up in the Gleaner - do you?

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#6 Jun 08, 2018 9:27 pm

Calypso
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

New Historian wrote:

"Abjext" poverty? Be careful how you bandy those cliches around. "Abject" poverty is Cite de Soleil in Haiti, she may not be of your "social group" but she may well be living a full, happy life. She doesn't look like 70, she looks like a hard working black woman. Hey she gets written up in the Gleaner - do you?


What about education, travel, luxury? She birth many children and is not married. Life is hard for her. If I stayed the same place all my life I would be very depressed.

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#7 Jun 08, 2018 11:11 pm

New Historian
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

It is a complete mystery to the middle classes, how seemingly contended and happy with their lot can be those people that are deemed to live in "abject poverty".

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#8 Jun 09, 2018 12:11 am

Calypso
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

New Historian wrote:

It is a complete mystery to the middle classes, how seemingly contended and happy with their lot can be those people that are deemed to live in "abject poverty".


Being middle-class doesn't make you happy, just like having millions. Living in a crime-ridden area like Allman Town a is hard. I used to go there with Normadelle in the '70s. She lived in a tenement yard with other families and they all used the same toilet and shower, which were outside. Her mother was a single parent  for there was no man around. Normadelle was very pretty and quite bright in Elementary school but it was hard  for her to break out of her background.  I find it rather difficult living in the same place where I grew experiencing little changes. My teachers taught me how to dream. They opened my eyes to the possibilities that I could see different lands. They told me that education was the key out of poverty-- and they were right. They taught me to take chances despite being black. I am happy that I took their words very seriously.

Last edited by Calypso (Jun 09, 2018 12:12 am)

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#9 Jun 09, 2018 7:50 am

Dancer
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

Hear dem say - ah, ah , ah

Dreadlocks can't live in a tenement yard
"  " " " " " "       
Too much  su, su, su , su , To much watchie  you
" " " " "
Dreadlocks can't live in privacy
anything you do , old nigga see

Too much watchie , watchie , to much su,su, su.  su

Dreadlocks can't smoke him pipe in peace
Too much informers and too much fears
"  "  "  "
Too much watchie , watchie , to much su, su, su , su .

.......................... Tenement Yard... Jacob  Miller.


You saw the Tenement  Yard .... and ran away.
' Normadella - -- where you go run to '

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#10 Jun 09, 2018 8:23 am

Calypso
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Re: OUR LIVES RAN PARALELL FOR AWHILE

Dancer wrote:

Hear dem say - ah, ah , ah

Dreadlocks can't live in a tenement yard
"  " " " " " "       
Too much  su, su, su , su , To much watchie  you
" " " " "
Dreadlocks can't live in privacy
anything you do , old nigga see

Too much watchie , watchie , to much su,su, su.  su

Dreadlocks can't smoke him pipe in peace
Too much informers and too much fears
"  "  "  "
Too much watchie , watchie , to much su, su, su , su .

.......................... Tenement Yard... Jacob  Miller.


You saw the Tenement  Yard .... and ran away.
' Normadella - -- where you go run to '


She embraced it and I would have disintegrated and died. I can't live without  higher education or traveling. I feel proud of myself when I can see places I dreamed of as a child. I know I am not better than her, but I loved the fact that 'I've expanded my horizons.'

https://www.google.com/search?q=tenemen … sDCnFB5ECM:

Last edited by Calypso (Jun 09, 2018 8:25 am)

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