I spent last week in Nassau, Bahamas. I had been asked to serve as the attorney for the Trumpet Awards, and so I went there as part of my new duties. First, everybody who knows me, knows I like to travel, but I like to travel with my wife, and this time, she declined to go. Something about wanting to get that new closet and, besides, she has been there before.
I went because of Xernona Clayton, the president and executive director of the Trumpet Awards. I was honored to do so, because Xernona knows attorneys all across America and can have her pick. There is little I wouldn’t do for Xernona – a woman who I believe would do the same thing for me if the occasion arose. Xernona was the assistant to Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr. for years. She followed that by years in show business, becoming the place where the world saw that an Oprah-type show could and would work. The past twenty plus years, Xernona Clayton has served as an assistant to Ted Turner. She developed the Trumpet Awards to highlight the struggles and achievements of Black Americans. The Trumpet Awards was created to show the contributions that Black America has made to the world.
But this column is about The Bahamas. The Bahamas is a chain of more 700 small islands where Africans were let off during the Diaspora (African Slave Trade), to become slaves. Now the Africans are not slaves. They rule the land. They are the governors, store owners, shop keepers, janitors, and the keepers of the flame and secrets of the island.
In Nassau, you have to choose between enjoying the island and the hotel life. The hotel is kind of like Disneyland. Everything is there for you, but you spend and enjoy the island at hotel costs such as a whopping $32.00 for breakfast. Need I say more about that? I was left with trying to understand the island, but because I was on a short turn-around trip, I couldn’t tell much. However, I listened to the feelings of one person about her island and made my observations. What I recall a conversation with a young lady, named Lillie, a clerk in one of the stores. She praised the island as paradise. It was clear that there was a bit of paradise there, both on the island and at the hotel. The hotel is a story in itself. It is casino, a place to rest, and a city all to itself. Lillie wanted me to go into the city. I said no, ‘I am not accustomed to being in a foreign land all by myself, and I miss my lady. The few days away seemed like a month without her.’
Nassau is about two hours outside of Atlanta, GA, where I stopped to have lunch with my son, Jamal, in route home. My pictures show how little of the island I saw in my days there. As I reviewed the few pictures I took, I am reminded of the old poem about water, “water everywhere and none to drink.”
Miss Ruthie sounded so happy when I called her. It probably relates to the fact that she is getting her closet remodeled. When I returned home in the middle of night, she was asleep and barely knew I was back. The lights were on in areas of the house that say “Hello”, so I know that she missed me. At least I want to believe that.
Find yourself an island, visit it, and learn about what happened to your cousins: visit the locals.