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Revolution as a Sum of Parts – March 13th Reflection

March 13, 2015

:: by Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe ::


Angela Davis at Carnival during the Grenada Revolution by Kathy Sloane

Today marks a climax in a movement of young Grenadians that inspired thousands across the island and millions worldwide. Our revolution, which started on this day March 13th 1979 was not about one man, as incredible as Maurice Bishop was, the Grenada Revolution was a movement made & supported by many activists and everyday people (like the ones in this photo) who believed in their own ability to change their world. We cannot forget the countless Grenadians who decided that business as usual was not enough… our parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, neigbours, godparents and siblings. Lone heroes make great symbols but movements are always made by collectives of people who, for at least a moment, come together for a common vision of change. The idea that huge social change relied solely on single exceptional individuals like Maurice Bishop, Julien Fédon, Walter Rodney, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr etc. can freeze us into inaction. We might think that their shoes are too big to fill. We may think that we are not [fill in the blank] enough to make a change. But, we are not alone and neither were these visionaries.

In fact, an upcoming film currently fundraising on kickstarter called The House on CoCo Road by Damani Baker is about his mother, Fannie Haughton, who was an activist alongside Angela Davis. Fannie was so inspired by the Grenada Revolution during her 1982 visit with Angela that she moved with her kids to Grenada to accept a position in the Ministry of Education. Back this film if you can, or at least share the campaign with your networks because these intergenerational stories have to be told. Last year we screened an extended trailer of The House on CoCo Road for our Caribbean Short Film night during Phase N°1 of Forgetting is Not an Option our ongoing cultural memory project. This has taken the form of a series of events and collaborations inspired by the Grenada Revolution and it’s implications for the present. Last week we collaborated with the Grenada National Museum to launch Dr. Shalini Puri’s latest publication, The Grenada Revolution in the Caribbean Present: Operation Urgent Memory and we have more Forgetting is Not An Option events coming up before March is over!

What does your revolution sound like? We want to hear it. Join us at Tellin’s 2: Open Mic Jame Session this Saturday 14th March 6:30pm at  Everything Cool Bar in the Courtyard behind Digicel St. George’s, Grenada. All are welcome to this ‘pay what you can’ event. The Mt. Zion Library (right upstairs) will be holding special late hours until 8:00pm so that you can become one of almost 1000 free members or sign up to volunteer.

If you are free on Monday 16th March at 6:30pm join us for The inaugural March 13th lecture a collaboration between The Grenada Revolution Memorial Foundation and Groundation Grenada at The Trade Center Annex, Grand Anse.

Our final event of the month will be a meditation workshop in collaboration with Peace Revolution, a global project which sees individual self-development can act as a foundation of peace-building. Join us on Wednesday 25th March 6:30pm at the Youth Center, Grand Anse for a free meditation workshop. RSVP at

Forward Ever Backward Never!


DSC_6664Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe is Co-founder and Co-director of Groundation Grenada and C0-founder/Managing Instructor at Spice Harmony Yoga. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art from Smith College (2008) where she was awarded a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Fellowship and worked in the education department at the Smith College Museum of Art. Malaika holds a Masters of Arts with Distinction from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (2014), her research focused on cultural memory and the Grenada Revolution & U.S. ‘Intervasion’.  Malaika’s photographs and experimental short films have been exhibited internationally and regionally. Recent shows include:CaribbeanTales International Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2013) Transforming Spaces, Nassau, Bahamas (2014),  Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (2014) and her work is currently on view as part of the Jamaica Biennial 2014 at the National Gallery of Jamaica. || twitter @malaikabsl || instagram @malaikabsl

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