THE underprivileged are the majority of most townships where bloodline networks do not necessarily participate as it may more likely happen with villages. In both cases, if you’re poor, you’re poor, and help may sometimes come, with an imposing psychological jumbie that will inflict life-span haunting.
This article is directed on how our society has become subject to a grotesque transmogrification, as a result of narcotics, its justification philosophy and cultural detachment from values, driven by a creed of getting rich at any cost- that in the roughest of times were maintained or enforced to protect the tribe against the other. Many of the cultural values were not subject to community changes, but were imposed by the clash of cultural values in a social purgatory, where no opposing inspiration or interception exists, from the extreme leadership. The inner South Georgetown wards and a few others are the more vulnerable, or I should say have been the most vulnerable.
Rarely have there been analyses done to make comparisons of opportunity between socio-economic areas in our modern times, the last such report was ‘the Royal Commission in 1896-97’ but none of its recommendations were effective. From then to 2021, no real social documentation was done except for the Schools Welfare Division that recorded student incidents. I’m not sure that this was done beyond Georgetown.
The young male of the wards of Georgetown is faced with subcultural ideals that supplement his social challenges of overcrowding; his struggle for individualism and perspectives derived from such. While enveloped by sub-cultural machismo and an alternative hustler culture, that toughens him to resist the crumbling humanity of young but aged humanity of addicts, watchmen exploited by entities, who can barely walk to work etc. that exist on the environs of his existence.
The survivors are in two categories, the quiet unassuming business people like the Robinsons (now closed since the murder of a kin by bandits) of Drysdale and Lombard Streets, the Stephens on High Street, and a few out of business that still own their real estate like the Weithers, among others. Many others upon arriving at levels of success migrate out of the area and are not conspicuous inspiration to upcoming youth who stare with innate anger as total strangers can illegitimately obtain the real estate they have lived on for generations, while they grapple to understand the procedures of prescriptive ownership. One example is High and Drysdale Streets.
Also known as the ‘Big Yard.’ The inspiration that remain are mainly the custodians of the narratives of past times, mainly the old-time bad men, street fighters and streetwise women, all retain a grudging due respect from upcoming restless youth, changing times have had a severe impact on many of that era.
Unfortunately and sad, the hopefuls are the drug dealers, their presence has served to impose a vicious community disconnect, as many of the people they sell their poisons to, are known to them, and have shared growing up working and dancehall memories with, and there was a time when wrong was not done to community kith and kin, but the imposition of survival in the face of disappearing traditional income with no visible alternatives provided in an economy that is more loyal to its colonial inherited definition of business, than to innovation suggested by internal perspectives that don’t fit into their political camaraderie, or alumni, the merit of an idea from raw unknown talent will be discarded or stolen, but hardly considered for a fertile equal engagement.
I should explain that categories like grassroots, bourgeois, underprivileged, middle class are not genetic constructs; these definitions are based on having economic means, as against the challenges of growth without enough economic means, they do not constitute potential or what is described as ‘hidden talent’ the wards of Georgetown that are the object of this article are such a balanced case study.
The youth man without an alternate exposure at a corner, without economic means, is confronted by a warning that my father always echoed in my ears, “A white beard like Moses, with tragic stories that sound tough and exciting, don’t be conned into thinking that age is wisdom, bad deeds grow old too” the reality is, all suggestions must be paused and thoroughly explored, or you could be initiated into a mindset of some joy, but with much greater regrets because the tales the old corner prophet tells, may be his way of fighting off regret and sustaining the ‘Will’ to rise tomorrow.
There is a vacuum that our schools are subjected to, that there are no avenues for the expression of challenges towards self-definition, or the exploration of ability in the areas of drama and expression, which can lead to later income. The structure of the southern wards of Georgetown, and similarly other areas are devoid of the space, pavilions and community centre construct and programmes that can nurture dormant alternatives, than the impositions of the sole ‘live economic downside of de- Bad bwoy survivor culture’ even if the buildings are built, the innovative programmes must be in effect with experienced drop-in tutors to make it work. Next, we must look at why a serious directive of investment has always been directed to towns and cities.