By David Hinds
CaribWorldNews, PHOENIX, Arizona, Weds. Aug. 26, 2009: I pen these short comments as a proud Caribbean man. At a time when Caribbean cricket is at an all time low, the superlative performances of the region`s track and field athletes in Berlin, led by the unmatched and unmatchable Usain Bolt, must understandably bring immense joy to Caribbean hearts.
To paraphrase George Lamming, while the Caribbean has no power to determine what happens in the global economy we have the power to define who we are – `the sovereignty of our imagination.` Yes in the realm of our individual and collective creative expression we could still stand tall. The performances of our athletes at the Olympics in China and now in Berlin represent the ultimate in Caribbean self-expression. Once again we prove that these little islands and mainland spaces are capable of rising from the depths of genocide, enslavement and indenture to help shape a positive human condition.
What is remarkable about this Berlin episode is that one gets more than a slight impression that these young men and women are aware that they belong to a place called the Caribbean whether that Caribbean is Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados or Bahamas. Looking at Bolt and Powell wrap themselves in the Jamaican flag or hearing Josanne Lucas big-up of her little Tobago help to ease the pain of the recent body blows dealt by our cricketers and cricket administrators. It feels good to be part of the space that created Bolt and his fleet-footed sisters and brothers.
As the Caribbean battles to save itself from the uninvited but inevitable ravages of globalization and to reclaim its sense of nationalism, it must draw strength from the best in and of us. That the Europeans are hailing Bolt as the savior of Track and Field athletics is a tribute to the creative energies of the Caribbean region. But it also points to the power of individual skills linked to a sense of national pride and consciousness. Let us celebrate our heroes and sheroes of the Berlin Games.
EDITOR`S NOTE: David Hinds lectures in Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies at Arizona State University in the USA. More of his writings can be found on GuyanaCaribbeanPolitics.com