INFLUENTIAL CARIBBEAN WOMEN/UPDATE

SHIRLEY CHISHOLM

shirley-chisholm (1)Shirley St. Hill Chisholm was born on November 30, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York to Charles and Ruby St. Hill. Her father was from British Guiana and her mother was from Barbados. In 1927, Shirley was sent to Barbados to live with her maternal grandmother. She received a good education from the British school system, which she later credited with providing her with a strong academic background.

05_chisholm_women_presidentsIn 1934, she rejoined her parents in New York. Shirley excelled in academics at Girls High School in Brooklyn from which she graduated in 1942. After graduation she enrolled in Brooklyn College where she majored in sociology. Shirley encountered racism at Brooklyn College and fought against it. When the black students at Brooklyn College were denied admittance to a social club, Shirley formed an alternative one. She graduated in 1946 with honors. During this time, it was difficult for black college graduates to obtain employment commensurate to their education. After being rejected by many companies, she obtained a job at the Mt. Calvary Childcare Center in Harlem.

In 1949, she married Conrad Chisholm, a Jamaican who worked as a private investigator. Shirley and her husband participated in local politics, helping form the Bedford-Stuyvesant political League. In addition to participating in politics, Chisholm worked in the field of day care until 1959. In 1960, she started the Unity Democratic Club. The Unity Club was instrumental in mobilizing black and Hispanic voters.

No matter what the outcome, presidential contender Shirley CIn 1964 Chisholm ran for a state assembly seat. She won and served in the New York General Assembly from 1964 to 1968. During her tenure in the legislature, she proposed a bill to provide state aid to day-care centers and voted to increase funding for schools on a per-pupil basis. In 1968, After finishing her term in the legislature, Chisholm campaigned to represent New York’s Twelfth Congressional District. Her campaign slogan was “Fighting Shirley Chisholm–Unbought and Unbossed.” She won the election and became the first African American woman elected to Congress.

On January 25, 1972, Chisholm announced her candidacy for president. She stood before the cameras and in the beginning of her speech she said,

“I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States. I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the women’s movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that. I am not the candidate of any political bosses or special interests. I am the candidate of the people.” 

The 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami was the first major convention in which any woman was considered for the presidential nomination. Although she did not win the nomination, she received 151 of the delegates’ votes.

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DAME MARY EUGENIA CHARLES..DBE

Dame Mary Eugenia Charles has the distinction of being the first female lawyer in her native land of Dominica and the first female to be elected Prime Minister in the Caribbean.Her entry into the political arena came in 1968 owing to the attempt of the Dominica Labor Party (DLP) to have a Sedition Act passed. From then onward she never looked back and confidently blazed the trail for what was to become a distinguished course of statesmanship.She was appointed to the Legislature in 1970 and to the House of Assembly in 1975. She co-founded the Dominica Freedom Party in 1972 and became the Leader of the Opposition in 1975. Her involvement with her party helped her country relinquish colonial rule on 3rd November, 1978.

Mounting dissatisfaction with the pace of reconstruction after a devastating hurricane helped Ms. Charles lead a political campaign which ensured victory in the 1980 general elections. Thus it was that she was elected Prime Minister, a position which she held for fifteen years. During this period she earned for herself the title of “Iron Lady of the Caribbean”, no doubt because of her indomitable will and unflinching dedication and commitment to set principles and her fearlessness in giving utterance to her beliefs in the face of opposition or maybe, in spite of it.

Mary Eugenia Charles was knighted by Queen Elizabeth 11 at Harare, Zimbabwe in 1991, a fitting tribute to her distinguished career as lawyer, politician and journalist. She retired from the duties of Office in 1995

In February 2003 the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community conferred upon her the Order of the Caribbean Community.

Born May 15, 1919, in Pointe Michel, Dominica; died on September 6, 2005, on the island of Martinique; daughter of Jean Baptiste (businessman) and Josephine Delauney; never married; no children.
Education: University of Toronto, BA in law; further studies in law at the London School of Economics and Political Science; admitted to the bar in 1947.

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PORTIA LUCRETIA SIMPSON-MILLER, ON., MP.

Portia Lucretia Simpson-Miller, Order of the Nation (ON), Member of Parliament (December 12, 1945 – ) is Jamaica’s Leader of the Opposition and was the country’s Prime Minister from March 30, 2006 to September 11, 2007. She was Jamaica’s first female Prime Minister. She was Vice-President of the People’s National Party from 1978 until she was elected President in 2006. First elected to Parliament in 1976, she entered the Cabinet in 1989, as Minister for Labour, Welfare, and Sports and remained in government until narrowly losing the 2007 election. Before becoming Prime Minister and Minster of Defense in 2006, she held the Local Government portfolio from 2002. During her period in office as PM, she was one of only seven women in the world out of 192 nation-states who were leaders of their nations.

Throughout her career, Simpson-Miller has had a reputation as a voice for the poor and unemployed, as an advocate for women and as a face for the faceless. She helped to set up a network of child-care centers to encourage women into employment. Although her period as head of government has been short, her successful career serves as an example and model for other women to emulate. Her passion for social justice could be regarded as representative of feminine compassion, although there are no few men who are also passionate about creating more egalitarian societies. More women in public life will not automatically make the world a more just and peaceful place. However, if Simpson-Miller’s political agenda serves as an model, those who follow her are likely to help drown the voices of those who would perpetuate privilege, inequality, and injustice.

Simpson-Miller is married to The Most Honourable Errald Miller, formerly Chief executive officer (CEO) of Cable & Wireless Jamaica Ltd.

On May 29, 2006, she was invested with the Jamaican Order of the Nation, giving her (and her husband) the style “The Most Honourable.”

Union Institute awarded her an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2001, “for her exemplary efforts to improve the quality of life for all Jamaican citizens.” Following her election as Party President, the I & U President, Roger. H Sublett praised her for running on a platform that “focused on empowerment for the marginalized, especially the poor, women, and children, and uniting all classes to tackle deep-rooted problems of crime and economic underdevelopment.” When she spoke at the 2001 convocation, she told students:

 

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GRACE NICHOLS

Grace Nichols is an award-winning poet born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1950 and grew up in a small country village on the Guyanese coast. She moved to the city with her family when she was eight, an experience central to her first novel, Whole of a Morning Sky (1986), set in 1960s Guyana in the middle of the country’s struggle for independence.

She worked as a teacher and journalist and, as part of a Diploma in Communications at the University of Guyana, spent time in some of the most remote areas of Guyana, a period that influenced her writings and initiated a strong interest in Guyanese folk tales, Amerindian myths and the South American civilisations of the Aztec and Inca. She has lived in the UK since 1977.

Her first poetry collection, I is a Long-Memorized Woman, was published in 1983. The book won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize and a subsequent film adaptation of the book was awarded a gold medal at the International Film and Television Festival of New York. The book was also dramatized for radio by the BBC. Subsequent poetry collections include The Fat Black Woman’s Poems (1984), Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Woman (1989), and Sunris (1996). She also writes books for children, inspired predominantly by Guyanese folklore and Amerindian legends, including Come on into My Tropical Garden (1988) and Give Yourself a Hug (1994).  Everybody Got A Gift (2005) includes new and selected poems, and her collection, Startling the Flying Fish (2006), contains poems which tell the story of the Caribbean.

Her latest books are Picasso, I Want My Face Back (2009); and I Have Crossed an Ocean: Selected Poems (2010).

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MARIE-ELENA JOHN

Born and raised in Antigua, Marie-Elena John wasn’t considering a writing career when she left her Caribbean island for New York’s City College.  There, thanks to a semester spent at the University of Nigeria, she became fascinated by the intertwined cultural commonality of the Continent, the Caribbean, and the African-American experiences.  After graduating as CCNY’s first Black woman valedictorian, she went on to earn a Masters degree from Columbia University, focusing on culture and development in Africa.  From a Washington D.C. base throughout the 1990s, she worked with non-profit organizations, traveling throughout Africa, first in support of grassroots development efforts, later working with pro-democracy and human rights movements, and eventually becoming best known in her field for her pioneering work on the denial of women’s inheritance rights in Africa.  Recently, though, she has been channeling her vast knowledge of and passion for the African Diaspora into her dazzling literary debut, Unburnable – a multi-generational novel that powerfully brings together Caribbean history, African customs, and African-American sensibilities, published by Harper Collin’s Amistad in April 2006.

(Published Questions & Answers)

You’ve done a lot of work in the area of human rights for women and children in Africa–when did the writing come into play? Were you writing on the side? (It would seem your career would have kept you quite busy).
There was no writing – unless you count hundreds of mind-numbing proposals written to funding agencies, and even more soul-crushing quarterly project reports — until I decided to try my hand at a novel. Growing up, I’d been told I was a good writer based mostly on my English compositions and the letters I wrote as a child to cousins living in other islands. With this in mind, I though of journalism as a career option and took the requisite writing courses – mostly journalistic writing, and one creative writing course. I wrote a few short stories at that point. In the end I decided to do my Masters in International Affairs, focusing on Africa, and went on to a career as an Africa development specialist.

 

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LOUISE SIMONE BENNETT-COVERLEY, OM., OJ., MBE.

Louise Simone Bennett-Coverley, or affectionately Miss Lou, OM, OJ, MBE (September 7, 1919 – July 26, 2006) was a Jamaican folklorist, writer, and educator. She was born in Kingston, Jamaica and attended Ebenezer and Calabar Elementary Schools, St. Simon’s College, Excelsior College, and Friends College (Highgate, St Mary).

Louise Bennett remains a household name in Jamaica, a “Living Legend” and a cultural icon.
Although she lived in Toronto, Canada for the last decade she still receives the homage of the expatriate West Indian community in the north as well as a large Canadian following.

She was described as Jamaica’s leading comedienne, as the “only poet who has really hit the truth about her society through its own language”, and as an important contributor to her country of “valid social documents reflecting the way Jamaicans think and feel and live” Through her poems in Jamaican patois, she raised the dialect of the Jamaican folk to an art level which is acceptable to and appreciated by all in Jamaica.

In her poems she was able to capture all the spontaneity of the expression of Jamaicans’ joys and sorrows, their ready, poignant and even wicked wit, their religion and their philosophy of life. Her first dialect poem was written when she was fourteen years old. A British Council Scholarship took her to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where she studied in the late 1940’s.

Bennett not only had a scholarship to attend the academy but she auditioned and won a scholarship. After graduation she worked with repertory companies in Coventry, Huddersfield and Amersham as well as in intimate revues all over England.

On her return to Jamaica she taught drama to youth and adult groups both in social welfare agencies and for the University of the West Indies Extra Mural Department.

She lectured extensively in the United States and the United Kingdom on Jamaican folklore and music and represented Jamaica all over the world. She married Eric Winston Coverley in 1954 (who died in 2002) and has one stepson and several adopted children. She enjoys Theatre, Movies and Auction sales.

 

Her contribution to Jamaican cultural life was such that she was honored with the M.B.E., the Norman Manley Award for Excellence (in the field of Arts), the Order of Jamaica (1974) the Institute of Jamaica’s Musgrave Silver and Gold Medals for distinguished eminence in the field of Arts and Culture, and in 1983 the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of the West Indies. In September 1988 her composition “You’re going home now”, won a nomination from the Academy of Canadian Cinema ad Television, for the best original song in the movie “Milk and Honey.”

In 1998 she received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from York University, Toronto, Canada. The Jamaica Government also appointed her Cultural Ambassador at Large for Jamaica. On Jamaica’s independence day 2001, Bennett-Coverley was appointed as a Member of the Order of Merit for her distinguished contribution to the development of the Arts and Culture.

POEM by LOUISE  BENNETT

Dutty Tough 

Sun a shine but tings no bright;
Doah pot a bwile, bickle no nuff;
River flood but water scarce, yawl
Rain a fall but dutty tough.Tings so bad dat nowadays when
Yuh ask smaddy how dem do
Dem fraid yuh tek it tell dem back,
So dem no answer yuh.

No care omuch we dah work fa
Hard-time still een we shut;
We dah fight, Hard-time a beat we,
Dem might raise we wages, but

One poun gawn awn pon we pay, an
We no feel no merriment
For ten poun gawn pon we food
An ten pound pon we rent!

Saltfish gawn up, mackerel gawn up.
Pork en beef gawn up,
An when rice and butter ready
Dem just go pon holiday!

Claht, boot, pin an needle gawn up’
Ice, bread, taxes, water-rate
Kersene ile, gasolene, gawn up;
An de poun devaluate.

De price of bread gawn up so high
Dat we haffi agree
Fi cut we yeye pon bred an all
Tun dumplin refugee

An all dem marga smaddy weh
Dah gwan like fat is sin
All dem-deh weh dah fas wid me
Ah lef dem to dumpling!

Sun a shine an pot a bwile, but
Things no bright, bickle no nuff
Rain a fall, river dah flood, but,
Water scarce and dutty tough.

 

MICHAELLE JEAN

Michaëlle Jean, social activist, journalist, documentary filmmaker, governor general (b at Port-au-Prince, Haiti 6 Sept 1957). Jean’s early years were spent in a middle-class neighbourhood in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, where her father was principal and teacher of philosophy at an elite, Protestant preparatory school. She was educated at home because her parents, Roger and Luce, did not want her to attend school, where she would have to swear allegiance to dictator François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. In 1965, her father was arrested and tortured. In 1967 he fled to Canada; his wife and two daughters joined him the next year.

 The family settled in THETFORD MINES, a Québec mining town, where Roger taught at the local college. Jean later recalled that her father was, by this point, a “broken man,” increasingly prone to violence. Her parents’ marriage disintegrated, and Jean moved to Montréal with her mother and sister. They lived in a basement apartment, while their mother supported the family by working first in a clothing factory and then as a night orderly in a psychiatric hospital.

Jean attended the UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTRÉAL, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Italian and Spanish. She began a master’s degree in comparative literature at the Université de Montréal, taught Italian at that institution, and won scholarships that allowed her to make several trips to Italy to study at universities in Perugia, Florence, and Milan. She became fluent in five languages (French, Haitian Creole, English, Italian, and Spanish). She was also an activist on the issue of domestic violence, working with shelters for battered women and coordinating a government-funded study on spousal abuse during her time in university.

In 1986, Jean returned to Haiti with a friend to conduct research for an article on the island’s women. The two arrived to witness the ouster of Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, the country’s dictator and son of the man whose regime Jean’s family had fled. Jean’s work caught the eye of a NATIONAL FILM BOARD producer, who invited her to return to Haiti as a researcher and interviewer for a film on the 1987 Haitian elections, shown on Le Point, a newsmagazine program on Radio-Canada, the French language arm of the CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION.

When Radio-Canada subsequently hired Jean, she became the first black person on French television news in Canada. She worked as a reporter or host for several of the network’s programs, including ActuelMontréal ce soir, and Virages. In the mid-1990s, she moved to RDI, Radio-Canada’s all-news network, becoming host of le Journal RDI and other programs, winning many awards along the way, including a Gemini. By 2004, she was well enough known among Francophone Canadians to launch her own current affairs show on RDI, entitledMichaëlle. In English Canada, she was familiar to viewers of CBC Newsworld’s documentary programs The Passionate Eye and Rough Cuts, both of which she had hosted since 1999.

With filmmaker husband Jean-Daniel Lafond, Jean made several documentaries in the 1990s, including Tropique Nord (Tropic North), about the black experience in Québec; the award-winning Haiti dans tous nos rêves (Haiti in All Our Dreams); and L’heure de Cuba, on the 40th anniversary of the Cuban revolution.

In August 2005, Prime Minister Paul MARTIN announced Jean’s appointment as governor general, news that sparked controversy. A Québec sovereignist publication suggested that Jean and her husband had supported the separatist cause in that province. At first, Jean refused to respond, but then issued a brief statement insisting that she had never belonged to the separatist movement. Debate over her dual citizenship (she became a French citizen when she married Lafond, who was born in France) subsided after she renounced her French citizenship shortly before taking office.

Sworn in on 27 September 2005, she succeeded Adrienne CLARKSON. Jean became the first black person to serve as governor general. The descendant of slaves, she used her office to passionately emphasize freedom as a central part of the Canadian identity. Reflecting on her experience as an immigrant, Jean argued that it was time to “eliminate the spectre” of the two solitudes, French and English, which had long characterized the country’s history.

As governor general, Jean showed herself to be a passionate speaker and a photogenic presence. She used her office to advance human rights, support the arts, draw attention to socio-economic problems in the Canadian north, and promote Canada abroad, particularly in Africa and her native Haiti.

In December 2008, Jean agreed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s request to prorogue Parliament for seven weeks. Her controversial decision allowed Harper to escape defeat in the Commons, where the opposition parties had agreed to replace his government with a Liberal-NDP coalition led by Stéphane Dion. In keeping with Canadian parliamentary tradition, the governor general did not explain her reasons publicly.

On 1 October 2010, Jean was replaced as governor general by David JOHNSTON. She became UNESCO’s special envoy to Haiti and created the Michaëlle Jean Foundation to help underprivileged youth in rural and northern Canada.

ROSEMARY BROWN (1930-2003)

Legislator, Social Activist, Feminist

“Conservative women and women on the right continually told me that I didn’t speak for them,” said Rosemary Brown in her memoirs, “however, I did work for them.”

 “I have never lost sight of the fact that I was the women’s candidate, that they nominated me, worked for me, and elected me.”

Born and raised in Jamaica, in a household of strong, educated, political women, Rosemary came to Canada in 1950 to study at McGill University. There, she soon encountered Canadian racism: No Canadian girl wanted to be her roommate, and only other West Indians or a few white friends would speak to her in the dining hall. Prospective landlords and employers shunned her when she went job hunting and apartment hunting in Montreal after her second year at university.

 Racism was also apparent when she moved to Vancouver in mid-1955 to marry Bill Brown, and worked to support him while he finished his medical degree. The Browns joined the British Columbia Association for the Advancement of Colored People (BCAAP), and then the Voice of Women. Rosemary remained active in those groups as she birthed and reared their first two children. In the early 1960s, restless at home, Rosemary found a calling in social work, which led her to weekly appearances on a national television program called “People in Conflict.”

 By 1967, Rosemary Brown had three children, a Masters of Social Work, a hysterectomy and an unyielding depression. Somebody gave her a copy of Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique. “Suddenly it was all there,” she recalled, “the story of my life … The fact that I was not alone reassured me and mobilized me.”

 Yet she felt conflict, externally and internally – white women did not seem to understand racism, and people of color did not consider sexism a major issue. She explained her perspective in a 1973 speech, saying in part, “… to be Black and female in a society which is both racist and sexist is to be in the unique position of having nowhere to go but up!”

 With that spirit to buoy her, Brown grasped opportunities that others found daunting. She took on the position of volunteer Vancouver Ombudswoman as, “the challenge I had been waiting for all my life.” She entered provincial politics in 1972 because she was on the Board of the Vancouver Status of Women, and VSW was urging women to run.

 The first time she was approached to be a political candidate, Brown laughed. She thought no riding association would nominate her – a Black woman – not even the New Democratic Party! But they did. In 1972, she accepted the job and ran, for the sake of raising awareness and defeating the Social Credit, with no expectation of winning. But she did. She became the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Vancouver-Burrard, the first Black woman elected to the B.C. legislature, and went on to serve as an MLA for 14 years.

 Joy MacPhail, leader of the B.C. NDP, said at Rosemary’s funeral, “During her time in office, Rosemary created a committee to eliminate sexism in textbooks and educational curricula. She also introduced legislation that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex or marital status. Through her efforts, there was a marked increase in the number of women represented on boards, commissions and directorates.”

 However, Rosemary’s commitment to social justice did not begin and end with her work in the Legislature. Prior to politics, Rosemary was a founding member of the Vancouver Status of Women Council, and a founding member of the Vancouver Crisis Center. After politics, Rosemary served as the CEO of MATCH International, a development agency to promote women’s issues on a global basis.

 In 1974, the federal NDP Women’s Committee decided that the party needed a woman candidate in the leadership race. Once again, Rosemary Brown accepted the challenge, and ran for the sake of highlighting women’s issues. Her candidacy – the first woman of any color to contest the leadership of a national party – raised awareness and uplifted women’s hearts as well. She used the slogan, “Brown is Beautiful” and, out of five candidates, she finished second in a tight race.

 By 1988, Rosemary Brown was ready for a change. She announced she would not stand again for MLA. The next year, she took a job in Ottawa, as CEO for MATCH International, a development agency run by and for women. MATCH quickly became Rosemary Brown’s central work. She was CEO for 3 years, then special ambassador, then president.

“My heart is with international development now,” Brown said, “trying to work with women’s groups trying to make changes where they are.” No matter how much progress Canadian women make towards equality, she believed, “if you are surrounded by other countries where women have not achieved the same, then your achievements are at risk.”

 Her work with MATCH overshadowed all other work she’d done since leaving politics. From 1993 to 1996, Brown served as Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and always found the job challenging. She was constantly in demand as a public speaker, perhaps because she rehearsed important speeches for up to a week in advance. She maintained her membership in the B.C. NDP, paying her dues and keeping in touch. But the MATCH work brought her too much satisfaction to give up.

 Asked what advice she would give a woman who is about to enter politics, Brown replied, “Women should enter politics to bring about change. It’s a tough arena and an unpleasant one, the sacrifices called for can be only justified on the grounds that we are indeed making the world, or our community, a better place that it is.”

 The turning of the new century brought Brown her seventh grandchild and her third attempt at retirement, she said from her Vancouver home. “Thank goodness there are lots of young people to do the things we used to do.” She and Bill were married for 48 years. “It hasn’t always been easy,” she said, “but I think that once the commitment is there, you just keep redesigning it so it fits.” Then again, she laughed, “a stubborn streak helps, on both parts.”

At a Glance …

Born on June 17, 1930, in Jamaica; died on April 26, 2003 in Vancouver, British Columbia; married Dr. William Brown; children: Gary, Cleta, Jonathan. Education: McGill University, BA, 1955; University of British Columbia, BSW, 1962; University of British Columbia, MSW, social work, 1967.

 Career: Government of British Columbia, Member of Legislative Assembly, 1972-86; MATCH International, chief executive officer, 1989; Victoria University, professor at the School of Social Work, 1986-87; Simon Frazer University, Ruth Wynn Woodford Professor of the Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies, 1987-88; University of British Columbia, professor at the School of Social Work, 1988; Ontario Human Rights Commission, chief commissioner, 1993-96.

 Memberships: Advisory Council of the Global Fund for Women, board member; British Columbia Association for the Advancement of Colored People, founding member; Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Canadian Women’s Foundation, founding member; Queen’s University, board member; South African Educational Trust Fund, board member; Vancouver Status of Women Council, founding member.

 Awards: National Black Coalition Award, 1972; United Nations, Human Rights Fellowship, 1973; YWCA, Woman of Distinction Award, 1989; University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society, Great Trekker Award, 1991; Government of British Columbia, Order of British Columbia, 1995; Government of Jamaica, Commander of the Order of Distinction, 2001; Canadian Labour Congress, Award for Outstanding Service to Humanity, 2002; Harry Jerome Award, 2002; Government of Canada, Order of Canada.

 

CHRISTENE BROWNE

Christene Browne

Christene Browne (born 1065 in Saint Kitts, West Indies) is the first black woman to write, produce and direct a feature film in Canada.

Browne moved with her family to Regent Park, Canada’s oldest and largest low income community in 1970. It was in that Toronto community where the seeds of Browne’s filmmaker career were planted. There she participated and then lead the Regent Park Video workshop project and made a number of socially and culturally relevant videos. It was during this time Browne decided to go to film school. She attended the film program at Ryerson’s in Toronto.

 After leaving Ryerson, Browne worked for a small film company before starting her own production company, Syncopated Productions in 1990.

 Her very first two films “Brothers in Music”, a film about two struggling jazz musicians and “No Choices, a 6 minute film that looked at the abortion issue and how it relates to women living in poverty debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1991 and launched Browne’s film career.

 From that time onward Browne has consistently produced work that has tackled hard hitting topics such as poverty, the welfare system, social inequalities. She has worked independently and has also done projects with the National Film Board of Canada (Them that’s Not (1993) and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (Jodie Drake: Blues in My Bread, 1991). Her films have won numerous awards and have been screened and broadcast internationally.

 In 1999 Browne completed the semi autobiographical film “Another Planet”, her first dramatic feature film and the first feature film to be directed by a Black woman in Canada.

Another planet poster image

 Most Recently Browne completed “Speaking in Tongues”, a ground breaking documentary series that looks at the History of Language from prehistoric time to the present day.

 Browne resides in Toronto with her three children.

 

9 thoughts on “INFLUENTIAL CARIBBEAN WOMEN/UPDATE

Add yours

  1. As a grassroots activist myself, this was very inspirational.
    It would be wonderful if you could produce this sort of monthly influential update highlighting those of us within the US Canada and the Greater Caribbean who have done so much with our lives to serve and preserve culture to impact the lives of others. One Love. One Caribbean.

  2. Thank you for sharing this page. While reading through, I felt a great sense of pride in learning of fellow black women who have excelled, served and uplifted the community as they have. Great list for selecting a role model. Forever Grateful and Blessings to you.
    Mari P.

  3. It was interesting to see that former Canadian Prime Minister Michaëlle Jean was indeed included on the list of Influential Caribbean Women, along with such Jamaicans as our treasured legend, ‘Miss Lou’. Now, it would give me great pleasure to see future entrants such as Derrilyn Morrison (Jamaican poet) and Maxine Tulloch (Jamerican TV Talk Show Host[ess])!

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