Jamaican Author Geoffrey Philp: “Blogging Bypasses Gatekeepers, Challenges Pervasive Elitism In Caribbean”

It looks like our week of blogging about blogging is being continued by Jamaican Author Geoffrey Philp at Geoffrey Philp's Blog Spot.

Well worth reading the whole thing, but here are some excerpts from Philp's article Liming In Cyberspace…

…Blogging alaso challenges the elitism that pervades the Caribbean and is a great experiment in the democratization of data. To be sure, a digital divide exists, but anyone with access to a computer and an email address can set up an account at Blogger and become a blogger. It’s that easy. This is very disturbing to some people, who as Bob Marley once said, “Still want to divide the people. But how can they divide the people when them don’t have four foot?”

It should be noted that early in his career, Bob faced similar problems with exposure from the gatekeepers of the record industry. He couldn’t get any airplay on the radio stations and a highly respected Caribbean bandleader once said that he would never play reggae because it was ghetto music. Of course, when Chris Blackwell began producing Bob Marley and the Wailers, then everybody was convinced that it had to be great because the music was being produced in England. Similarly, the careers of Lamming, Brathwaite, Walcott, and Naipaul (who are great writers by any standard), would have taken different paths had it not been for Caribbean Voices which gave them the exposure with the authority of the BBC behind them.

To be honest, Caribbean Voices was produced by the BBC because of their commitment to Commonwealth culture that continues to this day, but the level of attention during the fifties was also due to colonial guilt. That guilt has now disappeared and many of us now have to depend upon the “kindness of strangers” because our own governments/ countries cannot (will not?) support activities in the arts. This is not only because of limited budgets, but limited minds. Blogging provides the kind of freedom that is anathema to many gatekeepers who want to control the flow of information throughout the Caribbean.

Well said, Geoffrey!

To make it easier for Barbados Free Press readers to enjoy more of Geoffrey's excellent work, we've added a permanent link to his blog under "Blogroll" on our sidebar links.

For the tip, a glass of rum-punch to Nicholas Laughlin at Global Voices Online 

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One response to “Jamaican Author Geoffrey Philp: “Blogging Bypasses Gatekeepers, Challenges Pervasive Elitism In Caribbean”

  1. Pingback: Author Geoffrey Philp: Blogging and The Hundreth Monkey Syndrome « Barbados Free Press