The young poets of the VI History Month recite verses

Emmanuel Samuel, Hailey Maisonet, Antenysha Lafond (speaking), Mark McIntoch III and Jahmiyra Johannes take turns reciting their poetry VI History. (Photo credit by Susan Ellis)

For Virgin Islands History Month, more than 30 youth from the City of Refuge Worship Center used their weekly Friday night meetings to write poetry about the territory’s culture, history and physical attributes, then recited their verses at several of the 200 churches. members on Friday, March 25.

Janice Simon and six other church members worked with the young people on the project. They have compiled a list of topics on the US Virgin Islands. Then they turned the list around – parents, students and the team – and the students started working on their poems.

They were given their deadlines and Simon directed them to the University of the Virgin Islands Library and Google for research.

“A big shout out to the parents for trusting us,” Simon said.

Jahnir Boulogne, Samya Levine (behind the speaker), Eendya Richard (speaking), Lamar Williams and Jah’Mira Joseph recite poems honoring heroes and monuments VI. (Photo credit by Susan Ellis)

E’leeya Richard’s poem rhymed about her grandmother’s bush tea. Other poets were Madison Davis, Jahmilah Romain, Mario Samuel, Jr. Nicali Levine, and Naisha Jarvis who wrote about farming and farming, island fruits, and the rainforest.

“Because my grandmother used to always say how beneficial bush tea was,” Richard told the Source, which is why she chose her subject. “It was easy because I had my grandmother with me and her life experiences with bush tea.”

Richard said she heard about bush tea from her grandmother, her parents and GOOGLE. She carried a basket of lemongrass and other bush tea ingredients as she recited her poem.

In another group, Mario Samuel, Jr. wrote about the importance of agriculture and madras work from head to toe. He said from sugar cane to sugar apples, from cotton to coconuts and animals to provide food that “agriculture is here to stay”.

Seniya Pitts, Cadyjah Yarwood (behind the speaker), Geniya Silverio (speaking), Nadiarah Yarwood, Nadine Samuel and Gabriella Tobierre praise the sun and the sea in the Virgin Islands. (Photo credit by Susan Ellis)

Antenysha Lafond was the first to recite her poem to the public. She spoke of the bravery of General Buddhoe – John Gottlieb – one of the slave leaders whose rebellion led to the emancipation of the territory in 1848, and of the civil rights leader of St. Croix, David Hamilton Jackson. Lafond said she learned about black history and thought USVI history was important.

“Because I’m from the Virgin Islands and it sounds pretty good to me,” she said. “At first it was difficult because I couldn’t think of anything, but then I thought of people and wrote my poem.”

The other poets, in Lafond’s group, who rhymed on VI culture, history, and manners were Emmanuel Samuel, Hailey Maisoner, and Rupert Campbell. Mark McIntoch III and Jahmiyra Johannes praised the beautiful beaches of the Virgin Islands.

Another group included Jahnai Peter who wrote his Caruso dance poem. J’Shawn Campbell, Lamar’e Williams and Kayla Ault spoke about Fort Frederick, Whim Plantation and Hotel on the Cay. J’Quan Campbell said he would like to see Hams Bluff Lighthouse and Joshua Bryan updated on things to see and do in St. Croix. Sandy Point Beach.

Another group included Jah’Mira Joseph, Eendya Richard, Jahnir Boulogne and Samya Levine. They wrote about Queen Mary, the proud maroons and slavery. Lamar Williams wrote about 200 sugar mills around the island.

Boulogne’s poem on slavery was said in the first person. He said he got information about slavery from a video in his US history class. He has written poetry in the past and said it only took him about five minutes to write.

“I didn’t want people to forget what our ancestors did for us,” he said, which is why he chose the subject.

In another group, Geniyah Silverio, Seniya Pitts, Cadyjah Yarwood, Nadiarah Yarwood, Nadine Samuel and Gabriella Tobierre spoke poetically of the sun and the sea – Sandy Point, Salt River, turtles, conch horns, Rainbow beach and Buck Island.

The last group of young poets were Jahliyah Boulogne, Gabriel Tobierre, Elijah Romain and Laniya Christopher who wrote verses about Saint John, Quelbe, Gallows Bay and the flag of the Virgin Islands.

Most young people were dressed in cultural madras clothing, made by their parents, from dresses and skirts to shirts, pants and hats. Some girls wore headdresses, scarves and flowers in their hair and some boys wore brimless hats. The headpieces were constructed with molded starched fabric over each head for a perfect fit, by quadrille caller Kareem Smith. Headdresses convey a message about the person wearing them – for example, they can announce that someone is single and pretty.

Several adults spoke to the young poets, including Frandelle Gérard of Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism. She said it’s important to preserve history and culture and to remember that the sugar mills and the machete are reminders that “represented the hardships our ancestors went through.”

“But the sugar mills are beautiful and hold the spirits of our ancestors,” she said.

Poet and English teacher Geron AW Richards, focusing on young people, spoke about the history of the bamboola dance, which originated in West Africa and encouraged people not only to read more history on the islands, but also to write about their history.

“Read a lot and keep writing,” he addressed the young people.

St. Clair Williams, host of the radio show, addressed the group and Sacha Alexander and his music students sang a cappella a moving song about Buddhoe and enslaved families.

The event ended with Smith calling out steps and eight couples dancing a quadrille.

There are about 200 church members and 55 in the youth group between the ages of 3 and 15, according to Mona Barnes, an apostle and church leader. Most of the young people in the group are children of church members, she said. When the youth group meets weekly, they are sometimes divided by age according to topics or topics to be learned or they mingle for social functions.

By Jahnir Boulogne

They keep me here all day and all night
They beat me to stay awake
I have to fight to prove what’s right
So I could save my family if I had what it took

I beg to save myself
But we can never run away
But some believe we’re free

Then we were sold in 1917
From Denmark to the United States
Costs only $25 million
Can we rejoice
Some still don’t know

By Jahnai Peter

Caruso, who are you?
Caruso had roots in Africa
From West African song
Caruso was born in the cane fields
Used when African slaves wanted to talk to each other
They sang messages, news, gossip
And other information
End of slavery
Caruso is still there
It was once a popular dance in Sainte-Croix
Compared to the Bamboula of Saint Thomas
The only instruments were drums, just imagine drums
Caruso, it’ll be great to hear your rhythm
The beat of the drum

VI History
By Antenysha Lafond

VI History is the history of bravery
Bravery and Brave Queen Mary
She led the fire in Sainte-Croix

The bravery of Anna Heeguard
Which help to improve the condition
To enslave African Americans

David HamiltonJackson
Played a key role in St. Croix labor rights in the 1900s

General Buddhoe
Who was a brave and courageous leader

These people just fight for the cause
These people inspire me
They help me understand my story
The story of my people
And the legacy

It shows me where we come from
He shows me where we’re going
It shows us that there is hope for all
It shows me how strong we are
History of the Virgin Islands
Means a lot to me

My grandmother’s bush tea
By E’leeya Richard

My grandmother used to say: “Bush tea is good for everything.
In the VI, it grows all year round, summer, autumn and spring.

You have a fever, drink lemongrass tea
Grandmother says, “It will cure you, that’s a guarantee.

You can’t sleep, soursop leaves will help you rest
Get the flu, then drink mint to feel better

Grandma says, “If you have a headache, take bay leaf”
“Remember the earth heals if you want quick relief.”

You can drink bush tea morning, noon and night
All day. My grandma says, just make sure you drink something
warm to start the day.

The nice thing about bush tea is that we don’t have to get it
You can find it on the street at most job sites, which makes it free.

Know Your Bush Tea, “Bush Tea Good for Everything.”

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