Jamaica diaspora urged to nominate honorary citizens

Karl O’Brian Williams
Photo courtesy of BRAATA

Candidates for awards of Jamaica’s annual national civil honors are urged to submit nomination forms in order to meet the March 13 deadline set by the Jamaica Consulate for appointments to the Order of Merit, the Order of Jamaica, the Order of Distinction – in the rank of commander class (CD) and officer (OD).

Individuals interested in seeking consideration for the island’s highest national honors must act quickly to complete the guidelines set for the 2015 presentation.

Along with the top three honors, awards of the badge of honor for gallantry, meritorious service and for long and faith service entitles Jamaicans and foreign-born nominees worthy of recognition to apply for consideration.

Conferred by the governor general with advice from the prime minister of the island, the prestigious honors can be conferred posthumously to any individual of distinction that has achieved excellence in the field of arts, science, literature or any other endeavor distinguished.

If the nominee is a citizen of a country other than Jamaica, the government of Jamaica is required to obtain the approval of the relevant commonwealth or foreign government prior to the awards of any order of decoration to the nominee.

In order to present a total description of the nominee and also aid in adding pertinent information that could enhance the selection process, a current biographical outline should accompany the submission.

One of the principal details should include valuable service to the island that could be considered worthy of recognition.

For more information, contact the Jamaica Consulate, 767 Third Ave. 2nd & 3rd Floors, New York 10017.

Two Weeks Braata Reveal “The Black That I Am”

As Black History Month merge with Women’s History Month, a theatrical production billed “The Black That I Am” will “explore Black-ness and identity from the perspective of a Caribbean immigrant pursuing the American Dream in New York City.”

Influenced by an original poem written by Karl O’Brian Williams, the play will have its U.S. premiere for two weekends beginning in Queens on Feb. 25, 26 and 27 ending the following weekend, March 8 in Manhattan.

Using monologues to punctuate specific issues, the poignant piece “take the audience on a personal yet political journey that goes back and forth between borders, and barriers, celebrating and questioning the notions of ‘place’ and ‘position’ in society.”

The poem and production is a response to this realization. It weaves through the production highlighting issues of inequality, misplaced nationalistic fervor, gender, sexuality, and a racial perspective he described as “colorism.”

The playwright said he was “never more aware or concerned as much with race until he left the island of Jamaica and came to the United States.”

Currently, a lecturer in the speech and theatre department at The Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY), in addition, Williams proudly boasts his position as the artistic director for Braata Productions. Along with founder Andrew Clarke, together they collaborate to “provide entertainment and education to our patrons, and give voice to our diverse issues, performers, writers and directors.”

“We aim to represent with creative authenticity the folk culture of the Caribbean islands.”

Williams’ particular interest revolves around pursuing artistic projects that interrogate socio-political issues.

And with a creative company named — Braata — the Jamaica patois word meaning something extra, the mission of BraataProductions is to add to “fostering and developing a greater interest in the understanding and appreciation for all things Caribbean.”

In order to fulfill that commitment they also aim to “preserve and showcase its history, lifestyles, traditions and customs through the visual, and performing arts.”

Beginning at 8:00 p.m. each evening in February at The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning 161-10 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica Queens, two performances on Feb. 28 offers a matinee at 3:0 p.m. with an evening performance at 8:00 p.m.

On March 1 at 6:00 p.m. and March 4, 5, & 6 at 8:00 p.m. at the Roy Arias Stage II Theatre at 300 West 43rd St. at 8th Ave. in Manhattan. There is a matinee on March 7 at 3:00 p.m. and an evening performance at 8 o’clock. The final performance begins at 6:00 p.m. on March 8.

For more about Braata, please visit: www.braat‌aprod‌uctio‌ns.org or call 917-668-2209.

Catch You On The Inside!

More from Around NYC