Kerry Washington’s Netflix Drama Sparks Racism Debate

Published:Tuesday | June 16, 2020 | 12:13 AM Anthony Turner/Gleaner Writer


Kerry Washington

Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated actress Kerry Washington, whose mother is Jamaican, has expressed delight that her Netflix drama, American Son – a Broadway-to-screen adaptation of Christopher Demos-Brown’s play of the same name – is helping to start important dialogue on police violence and racism in America.

The film, which follows an interracial couple as they spend the night in a Miami police station awaiting news about their missing son, premièred on September 12, 2019. The resurgence in popularity of the movie comes amid the global Black Life Matters demonstrations of the May 25 lynching of George Floyd in Minnesota, whose death by four police officers has sparked worldwide protest and reckoning over racial injustice.

Washington, who earned two Primetime Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, an SAG nomination, and two NAACP Image Awards for her leading role in the ABC TV series Scandal, has been very vocal on her Instagram page. She shared in a post, “Just when we thought we had taken our final bow on American Son, the journey of this family has become more painful than ever.”

Speaking specifically about possible changes to police departments across the USA, the actress said, “We must put resources towards community-led solutions, not a system that continues to kill and put us in cages. I stand with the people on the ground across the nation … #indefenceofblacklife #defundthepolice #blacklivesmatter.”


She was also vocal about Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13, 2020.

“The officers – John Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove – who took part in her murder (Breonna Taylor) need to be charged and arrested NOW! My heart is with Breonna Taylor’s mother. Bring her family Justice,” she shared on an IG post that was viewed over 660 thousands times and generated just under 500 comments.

Last year,the Bronx-born actress, whose mother, Dr Valerie Washington, hails from St Elizabeth, Jamaica, proclaimed: “I am so proud to be Jamaican … I bow down to my lineage, to my heritage, to my history, and to my belonging.” The comments came when she was honoured at Jamaica’s 57th Independence Black Tie Gala in Rye, New York. Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett, who was a special guest at the event, extended an invitation to the actress to visit Jamaica for a family vacation.

Shebada is back on CIN Tv!


Shebada will be returning to CIN TV with more comedy so mark your calendar for Saturday at 11:00 pm. We are adding some laughter to your weekend entertainment. Shebada in Charge is one of the first of several plays by Keith Shebada Ramsey, one of Jamaica’s most hilarious comedians. The play was debuted on October 2013 and has since then been a favourite among Jamaicans in New York. Along with Shebada, the play stars Deon Silvera and Akeem Mignott.

Let’s Co-operate to fight COVID19

Written by: Crisan Evans 

Another week of the Corona-virus, codename COVID-19, and another week of being constraint and depressed since its outbreak worldwide. I am not just depressed or sad because of the virus and its ‘wildfire behavior.’ I am mortified because of the irrational actions and simple-minded behavior of people – whether local or international.

To the date of writing this article, Jamaica has confirmed a total of 223 cases – a huge jump from 143. Before this sudden spike, the country had only been recording 3 or fewer cases per day. Now you see why I’m mortified.

Along with self-quarantine, community and parish-based quarantines and the work from home policy, the government has implemented other measures such as social distancing. However, despite all these rules and the government’s efforts, there are still persons who choose to remain oblivious to the seriousness of the current situation that the country is in. Instead of following the Government Implemented rules, these persons opt to make a mockery of the Government and law enforcers for social media.

Having said that, the worst of these are the persons who believe that the government is trying to control their lives by quarantining them or their areas. These persons believe their best course of action to rectify their situation is to flee quarantine zones, and knowingly threatened the safety and health of other persons.

What surprises me, even more, is the recent news about BPO firm Alorica. Alorica has been accused of allegedly not adhering to the government’s protocols in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Due to Alorica’s lack of consideration towards their employees and the wider community, a total of 52 employees were exposed to the virus. Regardless of employee complaints about social distancing, the company still turned a blind eye.  

An anonymous source reported to Radio Jamaica that representatives from the Health Ministry recently visited the organization and enforced the social distancing rule. However, after the representatives left the other persons were told to occupy the same room once again – disbanding their pretense of adhering to the social distancing policy. This report was on Saturday, April 11th, before the second confirmed case at Alorica. This is nothing but inhumane as it is obvious these people know what they were doing and that it was wrong.

The government can only do so much. It is also the citizen’s responsibility to protect themselves and ensure that no one is threatening their safety. Yes, regulations can be made and enforced, but, it is up to us as citizens to cooperate. It is one thing for the government to say “stay off the road” but it is another if people refuse to listen and give law enforces a hard time doing their part. We all have to come together to fight this virus. Jamaica is a small country and I can guarantee that if this virus continues to spread like it is now we are all going to face the consequences. We cannot be selfish in times like this. Let us be each other’s keeper.

CIN’s Tribute to late Radio Legend Gil Bailey

The late Radio Legend, Gil Bailey and Come Chat Wid Mi host, Ziggie Bless (from right).


Gil Bailey, radio legend, event producer and champion of Caribbean music, recently died of COVID-19. He was 84 years old. Many regarded his shows as a ‘must listen’. Listeners enjoyed his Saturday shows that informed and entertained on everything going on back in the islands. His work was so well received he became known as the “President of Caribbean Reggae Music” and “Godfather of Caribbean Radio.” 

Stephen Hill the CEO of CIN said “Gil was the unequaled champion of reggae music and Caribbean culture. Over the years he supported many CIN projects. He was our dear friend and we will miss him greatly.”

See our tribute to Gil Bailey on Come Chat Wid Mi this weekend.

Actress Lois Kelly Miller died at 102 yesterday

Veteran actress Lois Kelly Miller passed away yesterday at her Gordon Town residence in Kingston. She was 102.

Lennie Salmon, principal of theatre production house Jambiz, confirmed her death.

“It is regrettably true. She died at her home this morning at 12:30 am,” Salmon told OBSERVER ONLINE a short while ago.

Salmon, who is also senior advisor at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, remembers Kelly Miller as the consummate professional.

“She was quick of wit and would always make you laugh and smile. I have worked with her in the LTM [Little Theatre Movement] Pantomime… and her generosity of spirit is what stands out to me the most. She always had time to share with the younger generation of theatre practitioners,” he said.

Lois Kelly Miller was a household name in Jamaica. She is the daughter of Lewis Kelly, manufacturer of Kelly’s soft drinks and syrup.

Many remember Kelly Miller for her part in the Hollywood movie Meet Joe Black alongside Hollywood superstars Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins.

She was a staple in the Little Theatre Movement (LTM) National Pantomime, having performed in 13 pantomimes and co-written three of the annual productions.

Brian Bonitto

Diaspora Weighs In On Kartel – Expect A National Response Whatever The Verdict

Vybz Kartel

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, there is an air of expectancy in some sections of the Jamaican diaspora in the New York Tri-State area. It can be summed up in two words – Vybz Kartel. News that Kartel will know his fate this morning, when the long-awaited judgment in his appeal will be handed down, has started many conversations and predictions.

Wayne Hall, the host of The Wayne Hall Show, who hails from Ewarton in St Catherine, told The Gleaner that whatever the verdict, Jamaicans should expect a national response. “On the eve of Vybz Kartel’s appeal verdict, one cannot deny it comes with mixed feelings. For many, it’s a revisit of a painful episode. For others, they are optimistic for a positive decision. It comes at a crucial time as the country is locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be interesting to see how it plays out with the wider public,” Hall said.

He added: “At the recently held IRAWMA, he won two of the top awards. Obviously, he still has tremendous support.”

For a Jamaican living in the Bronx, Kenton Cole, president of Solja Records Inc, it was great news, and his opinion is that for the greater good of dancehall, Kartel should be released.


“I’m glad to hear that finally after all this time they are going to hand down the verdict. The fact that stuff in Jamaica is under lockdown might affect it, but the way that Jamaica seems to have the COVID-19 thing somewhat under control, they should be able to make the announcement. I think that outside of Bob Marley, Kartel is the biggest influence on a global platform. Bob Marley was reggae, but as far as dancehall – there were a lot of legends before Kartel, Ninja Man, Super Cat, Beenie Man – but he has taken dancehall to greater heights. Whatever it is about him, whether it is his personality or his lyrical ability, I rate Kartel as the top artiste for dancehall. He would have made a great politician. Look at how him have the masses in dancehall even from behind bars. There’s no denying his ability.”

FaceVU television producer, Jerry McDonald, is urging responsible behaviour from the Gaza Nation, in light of the coronavirus. The St Ann resident, who now lives in the Bronx, NY, told The Gleaner, “If the ruling is in favour of Kartel, I don’t think corona will hinder Gaza fans from celebrating in numbers. But I would implore them to do the responsible thing and celebrate on the various social-media platforms and refrain from going out on the streets, as this could set back all the positive strides we have made with social distancing in the past two to three weeks.”


Mechanical engineer Esroy Bernard is hopeful that the appeal will be in Kartel’s favour, but he, too, has a word of caution. “I hope he wins this appeal and gets out. However, everyone in the society should know that they are not above the law. I know there are going to be celebrations across many aspects of the dancehall fraternity, but they should be tempered by the state of emergency that we have going on in Jamaica right now.”

Broadcast journalist based in Connecticut, Donovan Longmore of WESU 8.1 FM, while heaping praise on Kartel as a lyricist, had serious words for the self-professed Worl’ Boss. “It’s sad to see an intelligent individual, who is also one of the best lyricists of our time, get caught up in such a shameful and deplorable act. There are records of tampering with the case which yield serious shades of corruption. In Connecticut, the younger dancehall fans are still chanting for the Worl’ Boss’ freedom, while most of the more mature music lovers are uttering the guilty plea. I, for one, believe that Kartel deserves a complete fair trial and, if proven guilty, then he must pay for his actions.”

Connecticut promoter Junior Wellington had few words on the subject. “I don’t condone wrong behaviour, if you were found guilty then you should serve your penalty. Not because one is a ‘celebrity’, they shouldn’t be treated differently.”

Vybz Kartel’s appeal hearing got under way in July 2018. The entertainer and his co-accused Shawn Campbell, Kahira Jones, and Andre St John were convicted in 2014 for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams.

The four were given life sentences at the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.


Story Taken from The Jamaican Gleaner.

Miami Herald Ranks Jamaica Among Most Prepared for COVID19

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton 

Jamaica has been recognised among countries that were most prepared for the coronavirus by the United States-based newspaper the Miami Herald.

The herald says Jamaica, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Peru and a handful of others responded to the crisis with forceful measures that seemed excessive just days ago but now seem prescient.

It was noted that Jamaica was one of the first countries in the Caribbean to react to coronavirus, after seeing its first case on March 10.

It was further noted that the country barred flights from hotzones, restricted the movement of tourists, enforced quarantines for all new arrivals and cancelled school, among other measures.

It also put part of an entire town, Bull Bay, on lockdown.

More below from the Miami Herald:

Is It Working?

Now, while Jamaica has 26 coronavirus cases, neighbouring Cuba has 48 and the Dominican Republic has at least 312, according to Pan American Health Organization, PAHO.

While health professionals say such draconian, isolating measures are the only true safeguard against a novel virus, it’s still too soon to tell if the strategy is truly working.
Precious Time 

The stringent measures do have one clear benefit, however: They buy time.
Jamaica has been using its measured response to buy ventilators, protective gear and hospital beds, explained Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.
“Early in the day we decided it was better to take fairly strong measures – starting with public education, and then graduating into other restrictions in order to at least contain it, even while we prepare our public health system to deal with the inevitable,” he told the Miami Herald.

Oliver Talks Theatre,Television, Coronavirus – … And Mistaking 49 For 50

Oliver Samuels (right) and his many-time sidekick Volier Johnson in ‘Frenemy’.

After 49 glorious years in theatre, actor, playwright and comedian extraordinaire, Oliver Samuels, sums up his longevity in one word – passion. In fact, Oliver’s passion is such that he was on the cusp of getting totally caught up in the celebration of the big 50th anniversary, this year, when he had to stop and recalibrate. “Yuh know, it’s actually 49. Is me check it wrong,” he told The Sunday Gleaner with a laugh when contacted for his big 5-0 interview. “We have to wait til next year.”

But, Oliver was willing to work with the maxim, ‘no time like the present’, and gave insight into the making of the man. Theatre, he shared, was what he always wanted to do, and from the moment that he got his big toe inside the door, he energetically pushed his entire body in and has become a fixture in a business that has been very kind to him. “I really never had many challenges, once I jumped the hurdle and got my first big performance, it was a go. Of course, there are so many anecdotes along the way. Yuh know, like when yuh go do a show and the promoter don’t pay yuh and yuh end up in hotel that have          plenty cockroach,” he said, strolling far down memory lane.


It was in 1971 that Oliver Samuels announced, not very loudly, but with enough force, that he was going to make a difference on the theatre landscape. He appeared in his first pantomime, Music Boy, where he played Moondrop, one of a trio of rude boys, and he enjoyed every second onstage. In a career which has experienced many highs, Music Boy rates highly.

“What made it so special is that it was the first time that I was appearing at the Ward Theatre and alongside such illustrious persons as Louise Bennett, Ranny Williams and Lois Kelly Barrow.


They were all so kind and accommodating, and so too were Inez Hibbert and Emma Crooks. It was a wonderful place to be and I know that this is where I wanted to be,” Jamaica’s King of Comedy said.

Oliver Adolphus Samuels, OD, who is himself now considered quite illustrious, and is even featured on the website History’s Greatest, names his Oliver At Large series as a landmark in his career, which saw him transitioning from stage to television. And with this came a wider, more global and appreciative audience. Originally packaged as five-minute vignettes, they proved so popular with a demanding public, that a team was assembled to increase the time to half an hour.

“Jamaica wanted more, so we decided on this ambitious 30-minute segment. Patrick Brown was the writer and I can say that I enjoyed it tremendously and am still enjoying it,” he told The Sunday Gleaner. “I am known throughout the entire Caribbean. I have people who come up to me and recite lines from episodes. It has been a great achievement for me and the writer and the entire team. I want to says thanks to everybody,” the funnyman said seriously.

Oliver is at the stage now where he would definitely take on the challenge of doing another series. “I believe that this new generation needs a dose of the old Oliver, and maybe something more. I am definitely going to do something, but more on that at the 50th celebration,” he promised.

And, with Jamaica facing a challenge with the coronavirus outbreak, Oliver admitted that the number of cases moving from two to eight last Friday was frightening initially, but he is having faith.

“Jamaica is a blessed country, we are going to survive it. I think the Government is doing their best at keeping us informed and is taking measures to ensure that the population is safe. We are a stubborn set and we tek everything and hustle with it. But remember, is a lickle ginnal virus, so stay out of the crowd,” he cautioned, adding, “but God will see us through.”

Story taken from the Jamaica Gleaner.


Jamaica confirmed 6 new cases of the corona virus. This pushes the number of persons tested positive to eight. Earlier today the Health minister, Dr Christopher Tufton said that two of the new cases are related to the first patient.  The other four patients involve those with a travel history. 

In an effort to combat the spread of the Corona virus, also called COVID 19, here are a few tips to consider. 

Wash hands after traveling, before eating, before touching face, etc. 


Washing your hands is one of the main ways that you can help to lower your risk of infection as well as protecting everyone else. While washing hands it is important to wash with soap, scrub between finger, palm, fingernails thoroughly with soap. 




Social Distance


  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Put distance between yourself and people if COVID 19 is in your community. This is especially for people who has a weaker immune system or are prone to sicknesses. 




ALSO remember to consider OTHERS

  • Stay Home if you are not feeling well and call before visiting the hospital or health centers. 


Cover coughs or sneezes 


  • Cover mouth and nose before coughing or sneezing with a tissue or inside elbow. Also, remember to properly dispose tissue after using it. 
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.



ONLY wear a face-mask if you are sick


  • If you are sick:  You should wear a face-mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face-mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a face-mask if they enter your room. 
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a face-mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face-mask). Face-masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers. If not used properly, using a face-mask could lead to the spreading of the disease rather than preventing it. 



Clean and Disinfect


  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.