“Born Ya” by Judy Ann MacMillan: A Jamaican Painter’s Restless Life

🙂 I’m so glad I came across this post. In this book, I hope to find a treasure trove of information about my mother’s beloved country and our love for art and laughter. On my list of books to buy! 🙂

Petchary's Blog

But I man on ya, I man born ya/I nah leave ya fi go America/No way say, pot a boil ya, a belly full ya/Sweet Jamaica

This song was recorded in the turbulent mid-1970s by a rather jolly and amusing reggae singer named Pluto Shervington. It is a somewhat patriotic song, almost defiant in a gentle way. At the time, Jamaicans were, in fact, leaving in droves. Mr. Shervington himself did “leave ya” a year after recording the song. Politics is ruthless.

albert-huie.jpg!Portrait Albert Huie, the “Father of Jamaican Painting,” who worked with sculptor and painter Edna Manley and was a beloved mentor to Judy Ann MacMillan. Born in Falmouth, Trelawny, in 1920, he died in 2010.

There is an echo of this same kind of defensiveness in the autobiography of this Jamaican painter, “Born Ya” (which means “Born Here”). She seems to be saying: “Yes, this is where I…

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