Category Archives: devalued

l’Only a Seed

The eb and flow
Rise and fall
Of it all

Maintaining the horizon
So the clouds don’t come
Crashing down

Numbness feels safest

The rage in every tear drop
Suffering in each smile

How can I dance if my feet are rooted
In volcanic mud?

Burning to ash with each step away from soil
Sunken vessels rise again when salt dries
and fish fly from its absence

Lotus blossom if sun is allowed through
When light shelters the rain
Only the ripened fruit rots from within

So remain as a seed
Promising, yet unspoiled
Perfect in all ways fathomable
Without the need to show possibilities beyond imagination

Sometimes it’s safer to not be known
©DaraMonifah 03/21/2017 8:12 a.m.

Self-Determination Symposium held at UVI

Special on location interview of Malik Sekou by Andrea Hedrington.

On June 17, 2017, approximately 20 people, many representing various organizations, attended a Self-Determination Symposium held simultaneously on both of the University of the Virgin Islands campuses.

Listen in today for more details on the Self-Determination Symposium & upcoming Emancipation Day celebration from 5-6pm on WUVI AM 1090/ FM 97.3 or click STREAMING LIVE on To be re-aired on June 25 as well as on On Air Universitf on WSTA with the Pan African Support Group and Emancipation Day Coalition.

NswNebKaRa shares his reflection

In addition to the brief remarks above from Malik Sekou and Nsw Neb KaRa, listen and share this excerpt from the Self-Determination Symposium held at the University of the Virgin Islands on June 17, 2016.

“Capacity Building Grant for the USVI in furtherance of Self Governance, Self Government, Constitutional Development and Political Status”
~ Self Determination 2017, USVI Facebook Page

Humanity over Legality: Media IRResponsibility or a Needed Wake Up Call

CCRadio & WUVI Collective Reasoning - Humanity Over Legality
“Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.” – Aristotle

“One has a legal duty to use reasonable care to avoid causing emotional distress to another individual. If one fails in this duty and unreasonably causes emotional distress to another person, that actor will be liable…”

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NEID) is, in essence, a personal injury claim that arises when one person (the defendant) acts so carelessly that he or she must compensate the injured person (the plaintiff) for his or her mental or emotional injury.

NIED claims are a unique type of personal injury claim where the plaintiff demands compensation for emotional distress, even when no physical injury occurred.

There’s a situation happening in the USVI. Recent media choices to post pictures of two slain young men have created a buzz amongst both those in opposition and in favor.

“This is heartless and insensitive indeed”

“This same outrage should happen everyday, not when the picture is blasted on social media.”

“Geez..have some decorum and respect for the dead!”

“The question is, does this actually shake up anyone anymore? I am so deeply appalled by how another day/ week-another shooting, is almost a mantra for our islands. While saddened when another senseless killing occurs, my student are fatalistic if not entirely inured. The no tell culture for personal safety in double down. To quote a student last semester. ” you snitch, you in a ditch”.
My heart weeps.” ~Pamela New, University of the Virgin Islands Professor

Again, the question is, does this actually shake up anyone anymore?
Virgin Islands Journalist April Knight shared my facebook post.

“I’m appalled at the initial act of posting Monday’s homicide photos by online media. I’m equally appalled by these so-called journalists’ subsequent act of defending their actions with the kind of guilty rationalization that must assume their readers are idiots.

If these editors think people will miraculously become sensitized and say enough is enough to crime just because they saw gruesome crime photos, they’re utterly deluded. A finely written story can accomplish the same thing without traumatizing grieving families.

Journalism is a privilege; irresponsible journalism can do as much damage to the soul of a community as any crime of violence.”

As a journalist, we have a specific code of ethics. While sometimes shock therapy works wonders in turning people around, what we don’t want to encourage is unnecessary sensationalism. Instead of getting people mad enough to do something productive, widely sharing pictures or things like the gruesome photos often desensitizes people and does the opposite of the intended purpose. People tend to look at is as ‘just another Facebook post’, or ‘another killing’ instead of thinking deeper and internalizing the motivating drive to do something productive.

1. Media can and should report on situations occurring in the public domain
2. As a newspaper, they can publish pictures captured in the public domain
3. Newspapers etc. have been successfully found legally liable for infliction of emotional distress

In order to establish a prima facie* case of negligence, one must determine that the following four elements are established:
1.) Plaintiff (P) must have suffered an injury and must demonstrate that the injury was suffered due to Defendant (D)’s actions;
2.) D must have owed a duty not to cause injury;
3.) D breached that duty, and;
4.) D’s breach was an actual and proximate cause of P’s injury

Prima Facie (defined) – In legal practice the term generally is used to describe two things: the presentation of sufficient evidence by a civil claimant to support the legal claim (a prima facie case), or a piece of evidence itself (prima facie evidence).

1. It helps people realize how bad the situation is – it’s a wake up call
2. It desensitizes people and does the opposite of the supposed intended purpose

“On Monday evening, The Virgin Islands Consortium reported a shooting incident that occurred near the Red Brick Shanty in Christiansted [St. Croix, VI]. The scene was graphic: lifeless bodies of two men on the ground, wasted; their lives cut short. The perpetrator had apparently marked his prey and attacked while they played dominoes.

Blood gushing from their spiritless bodies; the scene was horrendous. Family and friends could be seen on the sidelines grieving while dozens of onlookers — among them children who had attended an event at the same location — gazed in amazement. Emergency medical technicians searched desperately for signs of life, but none was found.

The scene was not only horrendous, it was shocking and horrific.

The Consortium, after careful consideration, made a decision to publish the story along with some of the graphic pictures that the publication had captured.”

The Consortium went on to express that though they, “expected hostile responses from residents frustrated by our decision,” they intended to accomplish something progressive.

“…we felt that the best way we could help in quelling crime in our communities was to bring attention to the graphic nature of these crimes so our leaders could wake up to the brutal reality; and take decisive action.”

After numerous social media posts, comments, direct calls, Facebook page un-liking and blocking, along with an alleged call from the mother of the victims, the Consortium took the picture down within 24 hours and posted their explanation.

Many rejoiced in the success of using people power to apply pressure in order to achieve positive results, only to find that yet another media source had posted the picture on their website and Facebook page.

I commented under the post: I notice that The Virgin Islands Consortium took down their picture, which we’re relieved for, but the Virgin Islands Free Press still has up theirs. One thing I agree with is that this is an opportunity to get people thinking and talking. Everything happens for a reason. There can be some positive out of every situation. Let’s help this one encourage change in the people of the USVI.

Pause now from pointing the finger and self-reflect. Of course, ultimately, the REAL question is,


DID YOU SHARE THE PICTURE? IF SO, WHY? DID YOU CONSIDER THE FAMILY 1st or just think, WOW, look at that?! Sharing pictures and posts that aren’t agreed with perpetuates the shock factor and increases desensitization.

#HumanityOverLegality Just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it right(eous). Keep the dialogue going and join us at the next major event related to creating awareness, providing support and bringing the community together in the name of Anti-Gun Violence. Saving Lives… Reclaiming our Families, Schools, and Community. Visit for more info.

Flyer Walk Run 2016 (002)

Personal Communication, Tregenza Roach (Attorney, Current Senator, Former UVI Journalism Law and Ethics Professor),%20INC.

A Tale of Two Perspectives: Economic Growth through Environmental Development

Internet use and multi-media documentation has facilitated community education in the recent movement to “Save Mandahl Bay” on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. While opposing stories and letters have been shared in the local online and print newspapers, Mrs. Anna Wallace-Francis of Camp Umoja and Friends of Mandahl Bay are actively strategizing towards preserving the natural environment on St. Thomas.

Anna Wallace-Francis and First Lady CECILLE DEJONGH
Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area. Photo ©SankofaSaturdays

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Camp Umoja Welcome Wall
Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area.

Camp Umoja’s Mandahl Bay area tours, similar to one held on Dec 13, 2014 with the Hotel Association and St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce including the First Lady Cecille deJongh, also help to educate the community on concerns of those in favor or opposed to transforming the Mandahl Salt Pond area to build a new “300-room Hyatt Regency Hotel,” according to a VI Daily News story.

If developers are eventually successful with building, a concern is that too often, local people are not qualified to make more than substantial salaries. “If we don’t have the skills or bonds to build a marina, then those jobs wouldn’t come to us. Those jobs would probably go to people flown in from Puerto Rico or elsewhere and the remaining service-oriented jobs would offer low wages, which still leaves Virgin Islands people needing to work two jobs,” shared Wallace-Francis.

Knowing locals who, with support, could start their own eco-tourism, agri-tourism and culture-tourism businesses almost immediately, Wallace-Francis shared that she felt entrepreneurship instead is in the best interest of helping the community.

Wallace-Francis provides eco-tours as well as kayaking, snorkeling and other environmental or educational activities. Local youth programs including student interns from the University of the Virgin Islands and Syracuse University’s collaborations have already benefitted from workshops on the campground’s location. She also envisions the ability to add horseback riding, sustainable cottage industries as well as cultural productions, performances, along with more educational marine-life and sustainable agriculture workshops.

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Port of Mandahl Project New Jobs List
Proposed New Jobs with the Port of Mandahl Proj

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Photo/Video Footage Collage from the Tour on Dec 13, 2014

V.I. Seeking Solutions in Solidarity with Ferguson

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves: Reflecting on Michael Brown. Photo by Jalani Horton
Daily News Story on the Gathering
Virgin Islands Daily News Story on the Gathering in Case you Missed it…

On a day like today all I care to do is write
The sound of my own voice instigates a useless internal fight
Why does it surprise us when we know where we are
We should’ve already had a plan before the distraction got this far

Now we’re falling right into the senseless master plan
They don’t have to see your cards if you’re always showing them your hand
Is it really that impossible to think outside the box?
The strategy should be easier to see, we’re the ones that made the locks

But just because we did it’s the end of the discussion
We also make the keys so why we accepting this concussion
Wake up my people, it’s not time to act off of emotion
Let’s use this as a reminder, to ourselves we need devotion

It’s not that I don’t care or don’t see the reason to speak out
Sometimes when the noise is so loud, I’d just rather listen than shout

I’ve learned through our confusion; in the silence comes the solution

Get to the core, constant contact now needed even more
ReBuild. We are the resounding resolution


Giving ThAnkhs for siStarQueens like Dena & Jahweh for bringing the V.I. solidarity gathering to life for the sake of our listening, learning, healing and re-building.

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves | Their Lives Matter; Our Lives Count! Headed down to Brewer’s Beach #Solidarity #BrownFriday#blackfridayblackout #BlackLivesMatter #FergusonDecision #KWANZAA365Sankofa Saturdays Unsung Sheroes VI

saving saving1 saving2 saving3

Internal Healing from within our Shores: Profile of Naturopathic Healer Ras Bobby Olivacce

Back to Basics: “Non”-traditional or “Alternative” Healing | A Natural Oxymoron

Ras Bobby Vending at Farmer's Market_AishaZakiyaBoydphoto
Ras Bobby Vending at Farmer’s Market Photo credit @AishaZakiyaBoyd

A natural healer indeed, Ras Bobby Olivacce, residing in the Virgin Islands, was born to heal. If nothing else proves it, his family lineage allowed for him to be born into healing with the use of herbs and plants as the primary source for encouraging healing and the life experiences that followed confirmed his fate to this day.

Raised in Dominica, a central Caribbean island from age of 4, most people had farms where Ras Bobby grew up and he went to their farms daily and herbs were taught to him by his family. His parents gave him herbs first thing in the morning in the form of teas for general well-being or colds and fevers.

“In 1978, a Rastafarian was the first person who spoke to me about the therapeutic uses of healing herbs.”

He travelled for a few weeks to other French Caribbean islands and on his last day, the end of the trip was Martinique. At the airport leaving, he met Dr. Sebi, a world renowned pathologist, herbalist, biochemist, and naturalist from Spanish Honduras. Someone in California had encouraged Dr. Sebi to visit Dominica.

“It was like a calling, like I just had to be doing this.”

“Meeting Sebi at 22, I was already seeing what herbs were doing,”

…experientially himself by using recommended herbs from childhood for various conditions. Within a few minutes of using the first herbs ever suggested to him by Dr. Sebi, Ras Bobby’s headache was gone. This was Dr. Sebi’s first time ever visiting so Bobby became his tour guide to Dominica. So receiving the Back to Eden book from the Rastafarian man, meeting Dr. Sebi three weeks later, then becoming his tour guide back to Dominica and experiencing the effects for himself led to Ras Bobby’s revelation that he as destined to become a healer.

According to Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina, a Naturopathic Healer, Psychotherapist, Midwife and commonly consulted resource on natural healers, Ras Bobby’s qualifications are based on his experiential background.

“His area falls under a non-traditional or alternative medicine approach.”

She’s experienced some of his presentations, met with some of his clients/patients and witnessed the work that he’s done here in the Virgin Islands as well as in Dominica.

“He’s had a chance to learn from his family line and do the research and educational reinforcement as well as practical use of the various elixirs and herbal medicinal products that he’s produced over the years.”

Though he didn’t spend clinical hours per se in a contemporary collegiate setting going through clinical evaluative processes, “his evaluative processes were learned from what was passed down through his family lineage as well as his actual practical experiences.” He has alliances with international herbal and traditional healing organizations and learned directly from the onset of his training from noted Naturopaths including Dr. Sebi.

Ras BobbyBobby has successfully assisted with the healing of severe ailments including cancer, kidney stones, fibroids insulin use and others. What makes him more unique from other healers is his open and public desire to highlight and support all other healers and healing art forms. Ras Bobby has been the driving force of the highly anticipated International Healers Symposium. Held annually on St. Thomas, a major focus on September 21st, 2014 will be the use of local herbs to aid in the healing from the Chikungunya virus.

As he shared, some call him a Naturopathic Healer, Traditional Healer, “some people call me a Rasta Shaman.”

Whichever the terms, which to him are synonymous, the story of Healer Ras Bobby Olivacce, would make anyone question the need for the prefix “non” in the expression, non-traditional healer.

Ras Bobby Interview at Farmer's Market_SankofaSaturdaysphoto
DaraMonifah interviewing Ras Bobby at the Bordeaux Farmer’s Market on St. Thomas, VI @SankofaSaturdays photo by Majestik Freedom and Harmony Olivacce

For more info about Ras Bobby and the Healing Symposium, call 340-775-0851 or email

LIVE Radio Interview: for the full LIVE radio interview and the upload immediately after on Saturday, September 20th during the 2nd hour of our weekly radio program. Listen live on or #TuneIn at


Dried bones worn as jewelry
Back bones used as decoration
Who or what did these once clothe?
Does it even matter or do we just use them as we see fit
As long as it pleases us
Do we even ask permission to selfishly distance them
Or do we appreciate…

Their journeys
And give thanks for their sacrifices
Before we bore yet another hole in

To dangle from our person

As if we have conquered them all on our own.

And so now they are trophies to be worn by Kings and Queens
Who Labor not.

I too sing America… I am the darker sister
They send me to eat in the kitchen, when company comes
But I laugh, and eat well and grow strong

They’ll get it

Or they won’t
And I will keep on keepin’ on
With my external smile
And my internal tears
Will flow no more
For shame of their perceptions of my abused beauty

I appreciate the stones, the shells, the broken smoothed glass
For I know not their Journeys

And should I choose to request their presence on my person?
I will do so wearing the pride of their accomplishments

And the awareness of their struggles

So that I will not be adding to their demise
But strengthening their story
With my own

As they in turn
Strengthen mine
With theirs


Unconditionally yours

If you do no more than touch me
do it from the depth of you

If you do no more than hold me
embrace me like I’m priceless

if you do nothing more than look at me
see me for my innermost beauty, pain, fears, love

if you do nothing
just love me
from a distance

but do it so that I know
how you truly adore me
how you know I cherish you, and us
and appreciate you as you are
even with all the unknown complexities that you hold dear
to yourself
know that I am truth

and that if nothing else
I love you
for trying


Need to write my own song

I woke up hearing a song in my head
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls
Just stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re use to…”

A similar pain as I had the morning right before
but this time, the tears were trying to follow close behind

Why do we set our selves up for disappointment
and take it even further and put ourselves out to be hung?

I feel like I opened up my vest,
exposed my chest
and was shot in the back of my head

I feel like I wore my heart on my sleeve
and you walked around to my other shoulder
pretended it wasn’t there
and never looked me in the eye

are my tears even worth shedding for this?
or should I just go back and continue focusing on
my rivers…

lakes stand waiting for me
staying available whenever I need to use them

and rivers just run through me

but at least they’re not like the rain from your blue skies
showering all around me as if I’m not even there

every now and then allowing me a little sunlight
rays warming me like the golden warmth of comfort and promise
rising in the morning after a storm

only to last occasionally
before it again
begins to rain

“I wanna go outside….
in the rain.”
your rain
“…cause I…”
“it’s so crazy, it’s so crazy.”

your music drowns out my own existence sometimes
i need to write
my own song


Cuff Linked.

You tell me I’m broken…
yet still wear me on,
your sleeve

Turning me to the side
this way and that way
Only to blind others
with my shine

Funny how you think
they don’t see…

The rust you stain me with…

(…From behind)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011