So, life is crazy. Here I am updating this page yet again, and struggling not to delete previous posts – you know how it is when you come back to your musings? And some of it’s still kinda true, some of it seems kinda cheesy? Anyway. Here’s another marker in the life of ‘Allegiance’, and very much another marker in my own. Back in Barbados, teaching primary, secondary and tertiary level all at the same time. It’s a fun ride. I’ve also c0-founded Teachers for Social Justice Barbados. If you’re intuitive, you’ll know that all these changes and happenings come with multi-dimensional baggage…and not all in a negative sense – I’m liking the eclectic mix of mental trinkets I’ve been collecting.
Hope you’ll continue with us for the ride and invite some newbies to join in. 🙂
Just thought I’d fill in those who don’t know, started yet another chapter in the Dionne Chronicles. I’ve just started a Master’s program in International Educational Development at Teachers College, Columbia University, in the City of New York. It’s already quite exciting. It’s so thrilling to study, read, talk about, write about, grapple with, the issues that I’m so passionate about. Beyond my personal satisfaction, I’m working on figuring out how to speak to the world about my Caribbean people in a way that leaves them no choice but to listen.
‘Allegiance’ is the latest landmark on a journey characterised by passionate pursuit – the journey that is the life of one of Bimshire’s daughters, Dionne Lashley.
Once upon a time (and really not so long ago), following a love for music – singing in particular – Dionne Lashley left the sun-drenched isle of Barbados for Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Westminster Choir College was her enclave as she studied towards the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. Craving the Bajan connection, Dionne formed the Facebook group, ‘Whapaxx!!‘. What started as a conversation between a few friends has grown to a community of Bajans, at home and abroad, celebrating their culture, in particular the Bajan dialect and its powers of trans-national unification of sons and daughters of the hallowed Barbadian soil.
Now a music teacher in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Dionne is at home when delving into any of the areas of her passion. Still, her time abroad created a previously unknown sense of displacement. Traveling between the United States and Barbados, she found that the maze of American Immigration policy constantly reminded her she did not quite belong, while Bajan interactions constantly referenced her ‘Yankee-zation’ – she was no longer quite the same kind of Bajan as the others were.
Dionne struggled with this almost pervasive sense of ‘otherness’, but now embraces that struggle as the threshing floor for the emergence of both an awareness and embracing of the fullness of her personal experience, and the development of a perspective that, though sharing some elements with those of others, is all her own. With a curiosity unbounded, Dionne is excited by the limitless exploration of identity through the arts and culture. The blog ‘Allegiance’ captures one dimension of that exploration. You, through your contributions of posts and comments, are specially invited to join this new foray!!