Renowned local musician Gylchris Sprauve received a standing ovation from students and faculty Friday for his performance of "Valiant Virgin Isles." Sprauve and other guests were part of Friday's student organized Black History and V.I. History Cultural Celebration, which took place in the Prior Jollek Hall. Sprauve said his deep love for the Virgin Islands, its history and its people inspired him to write the piece, which has been adopted as this year's Centennial song. More to come!
If the world learns nothing else about the place of my birth, I need it to know of our resilience, our innate kindness and our value. Beyond the beauty of our sun, sand and seas, the treasure that is our people, always revitalizes my sense of pride to be, “bahn” here as we say in our native tongue.
Far more valuable than any material goods or even the naturally hospitable services of Virgin Islanders, is the richness of our history, culture(s) and our faith. I don’t mean the over 300 churches that stand erected in our small archipelago… the most churches on the globe within such a small sized location. I’m not even talking about the grandeur of our architectural structures, frombuildings to step streets… as we also are the one location globally with the most step streets.
Us. The people. Are the most valuable asset that exists amongst all this… and when nature’s disasters strip away everything else, it is our true spirit that shines through ever so brightly as if only washed off and waxed by earth’s most tumultuous season of destructive forces.
I’ve much to share, but I just wanted to start with a prelude. Dear friend and proud Virgin Islander Gylchris Sprauve wrote the song Valiant Virgin Isles way before the storms shook our islands to their knees, but now I hear it ever so much clearer. A March 28th V. I. Source story shares details as quoted by Sprauve himself.
Listen and share in the strength and vulnerability of this, our theme song for what will remind our people of their greatness in this time of deep despair and great need.
Yes, send support for our islands, but do it humbly, recognizing that though we are now battered and bruised, we will soon rise again stronger, wiser and more able to shine again like the diamonds we’ve always been.
UVI Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism (CSAP) held it's Muslim Origins in the Caribbean lecture. WUVI aired it live and will re-air the recording 6am & 6pm on Saturday & Sunday 8/19/2017 & 8/20/2017. For more info about the CSAP lecture series email firstname.lastname@example.org visit:http://www.uvi.edu/announcements/articles/current/interfaith_lecture_series.aspx #Islam #USVI
The UVI Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism (CSAP) in collaboration with the Masjid Nur, held a lecture entitled “Muslim Origins in the Caribbean” with featured speaker Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick. WUVI‘s Student Radio Station aired it live on air/Facebook video and will re-air the recording 6am & 6pm on Saturday & Sunday 8/19/2017 & 8/20/2017. Listen at 6am on 1090 AM & 97.3 FM (FM only after 6pm daily).
Where else can you fly to an island paradise, engage in constant learning experiences around agriculture and culture, with some of the most uniquely intelligent and environmentally aware young people who just happen to be interested in changing the world?
Right here. I’m there… and getting paid to do it, while getting to do what I love most at my leisure: New media documenting, spending quality time with young people, and teaching them by doing.
At the beach! Follow me @UVICES as I share the play for play at #AgDiscovery Camp @uvi_edu
We spent week one on the island of St. Croix enjoying the first part of the AgDiscovery summer program at the University of the Virgin Islands. To follow us along the wayconnect with us @UVICES online via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube to stay updated. Facebook live videos to be added*
See how 20 students from all over the USA (with a few locals from the Virgin Islands) are getting the experience of a lifetime learning about agriculture and related fields, while rooming in the dorms for two weeks at the AgDiscovery summer program. All happening at the University of the Virgin Islands, Albert A. Sheen, St. Croix campus.
AgDiscovery is an outreach program to help students learn about careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness and plant pathology. To find out more information about this program click on the 2017 AgDiscovery brochure
DAY 1 | Photo Album Meet & Greet Along with a few local students, twenty “AgDiscoverers” from as far West as California to North as Seattle took the first afternoon/evening to get acquainted with each other and the staff.
DAY 2 | Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3 | Video 4 | Video 5 | Photo Album OH SHEEP! One sheep, two sheep, from scooping out sheep poop first thing in the morning to checking through ultrasound technology to see if they’re pregnant… then collecting/checking their stool and blood samples for parasites and anemia, AgDiscovery campers spent the first day getting to know Agriculture deeper than ever before, from the inside out, literally.
DAY 3 | Video 1 | Photo Album This Lil Piggy went to Market… as a dish. This little piggy’s going to market… on a plate. After a trip to the Abattoir, AgDiscoverers now know the procedure that pigs endure when being slaughtered at the VI Department of Agriculture. Then after lunch (no pig today), they walked over to the Research and Extension Center to learn horticulture from Dr. Stuart Weiss and went along with him to the greenhouse to learn about sooty mold and other potential hazards to plants. They ended the day making smoothies with 4-H Ambassadors in the CES Kitchen Lab.
DAY 4 | Video 1 | Photo Album 2 ‘Ponics & an Eggfruit Water water everywhere, putting it to use. Day 3 was about Hydro and Aquaponics systems. They helped to make and then enjoyed eggfruit smoothies with the 4-H staff in the CES Kitchen Lab.
DAY 5 | Video 1 | Video 2 | Photo Album Planting Sugar Cane, Sejah Farm & Cruzan Rum Factory Measuring the field area, Laying out the tubing and Planting sugar cane was how this day started with AgDiscovery campers having hands on setting up a SWEET hydroponics system. Then they visited their first local farm with Yvette and Dale Brown giving them an experience of local plant identification, herding lamb and making fruit smoothies. They got a quick tour of the Cruzan Rum factory before heading back on campus.
DAY 6 | Video 1 | Photo Album Ridge 2 Reef Certified Organic Farm & Salt River Bay Historic Preserve AgDiscovery campers took a long, winding, and bumpy trip up the mountain to the only USDA Approved Organic Farm in the USVI, Ridge to Reef Fa rm and spoke with it’s Driector before heading to the SaltvRiver Bay National Park site for a hike on tribal Taino land and left with jewerly that they made during the visit.
DAY 7 | Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3 | Photo Album Farmers Market, Whim Museum, Town & Beach What would learning about local agriculture be like without a trip to the farmers market?
A little historical edutainment at the Whim Museum gave the campers a new appreciation for the rich history of the islands and making it to town and the beach before eating on the Boardwalk was an excellent way to wrap up a full day…week!
Watch the interview below as collaborators share their reflections after opening day of the AgDiscovery 2017 Youth Camp held at the University of the Virgin Islands Albert A. Sheen St. Croix campus. Click the photo below to watch the video: From left to right: Sarah Dahl-Smith, UVI Cooperative Extension Service 4-H Specialist; Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr., UVI Cooperative Extension Service Assistant Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources (St. Thomas-St. John District); Tammy H. Lowry, AgDiscovery Program Manager & Management/Program Analyst (Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion (USDA); Kai Nielsen, Camp Site Coordinator.
The AgDiscovery program was initiated as an APHIS Veterinary Services pilot program in 2002. This year, we have a total of 22 universities hosting an AgDiscovery program at college campuses nationwide. Funding for AgDiscovery is enabled through cooperative agreements between APHIS and the host universities.
AgDiscovery is a summer camp outreach program designed to help middle through high school aged students explore careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness, plant pathology, aquaculture, and much more. This 2-4 week program allows participants to live on a college campus, and discover agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians, industry representatives, and professionals working for the U.S. government. Students who participate in AgDiscovery experience hands-on labs, workshops, field trips, and other group and team building activities. For more details click here!
eXtending Knowledge; Changing Lives, join us as we share the journey of AgDiscovery with youth in the U.S. Virgin Islands as they prepare themselves to change the world.
DaraMonifah Cooper, New Media Specialist
UVI Cooperative Extension Service, St. Thomas
VI Emancipation Day 2017 Program took place on Monday, July 3, 2017 between 10-5pm in the Emancipation Garden. Programs were also held on all three main islands of the USVI (St. Croix and St. John) as well as in the BVI (Tortola) today. Hear more from the VI Emancipation Day Coalition here during their pre-event radio interview with Kevon Browne on the Sankofa Saturdays program:
VI Emancipation Day Program today 10-5pm in Emancipation Garden. Programs happening on all three main islands of the USVI and in the BVI today. Stay tuned for photos, videos & more. Hear more from the VI Emancipation Day Coalition here: http://www.daramonifah.com/2017/07/03/vi-emancipation-day-2017/ #VIemancipation #EmancipationDay
Setting up at Emancipation Garden. VI Emancipation Day Program today 10-5pm in Emancipation Garden. Programs happening on all three main islands of the USVI and in the BVI today. Stay tuned for photos, videos & more. Hear more from the VI Emancipation Day Coalition here: http://www.daramonifah.com/2017/07/03/vi-emancipation-day-2017/ #VIemancipation #EmancipationDay
Know the difference between native trees and exotic trees? Get questions answered as well as learn from local specialists at the 1st annual St. Thomas/St. John “V.I. NATIVE TREES AND FLOWERS FAIR” taking place on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in the Emancipation Garden.
USVI Urban and Community Forestry Council Chairman Mario A. Francis shared some details during a radio interview on June 7, on the What’s Going on @UVICES weekly radio show. The UVI Cooperative Extension Service office’s latest publication will be available for viewing as a preview to being on sale at a later date.
Below, view a little preview from pages in the Guide to Safer Trees publication by now Commissioner Carlos Robles of the VI Department of Agriculture.
Native trees are more durable and can withstand more diseases and insects as well as natural disasters. Traditionally, our trees are also used medicinally and there is a lot of history behind them. There will be different tree related professionals. It is a skill, a science and an art to know about and care for trees.
The Fair’s objective is to build community awareness of the importance of protecting and replanting V.I. native trees; and the role of the urban and community forestry program. Also attend the fair to learn about a needed tree law so that we can better manage our trees in the territory. For more information, contact Mario Francis at 340-228-2848.
Listen/Watch and Learn abt African Liberation Day with the Pan African Support Group here on WUVI AM 1090 and FM 97.3 See the permanent webpage for this video and more info on http://www.daramonifah.com/2017/05/06/african-liberation-day-usvi-activities/
African Liberation Day (ALD) was founded in 1958 when Kwame Nkrumah convened the First Conference of Independent States held in Accra, Ghana and attended by eight independent African states. The 15th of April was declared “Africa Freedom Day,” to mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. For more details visit www.africanliberationday.net.
Upcoming Events or Related Activities:
May 4 – Showing of Documentary on Dr. John Henry Clarke/Dialogue
May 25th – ALD Ceremony at VI Legislature
May 25th – 7-8pm on WSTA 1340 AM
May 28th – 10-6pm ALD Rally at the Emancipation Garden
July 3rd – Emancipation Day Celebration at the Emancipation Garden
The Virgin Islands Code Bill No 18-0147 #5473 exists to proclaim the 3rd week in May as VI African Heritage Week as well as the African Liberation Day celebration which is celebrated at the Legislature.
More to be added to this site. Connect with the Facebook event to stay updated also.
Son of Irony is an exciting re-imagined telling, about a trial which took place on April 25th, 1811. An easy read that is guaranteed to keep you on your toes. This exciting intoxicating work is filled with tones of melancholic imagery, and memorable allusions. Author Hodge, a member of His Majesty’s council of the Virgin Islands, was hanged at the gallows, for allegedly murdering his man slave named Prosper. And was also responsible for the death of two other slaves. This work of art is timeless!
How can you get young Virgin Islanders to appreciate and be proud of themselves while also teaching history, preserving culture as well as increasing literacy? Simple as ABC.
Collaborating with a librarian and visual artists, young author Christopher Williams has found a way using cartoon illustrations drawn by another young man, Michael Dunbar and short factual sentences in his small, yet history filled children’s book, ABCs of the Virgin Islands.
Listen to the interview for more details on how it all came together. Sankofa Saturdays is sponsoring the special printing of the book in celebration of V. I. history month to be released during the last week of the month. In collaboration with WUVI, an audio book to the printed version voiced by local school children is under way including music from local musicians with songs like Queen Mary and Children’s Parade from Reginald Cyntje’s Freedom’s Children album.
Stay tuned for more details and to find out how you can get your copy!
On Sunday afternoon, March 19, 2017, Gylchris Sprauve presented ‘A Musical History of the Virgin Islands at the Dutch Reformed Churh in Charlotte Amalie. Subtitled, A Century United in Pride and Hope, Sprauve had assembled a fine cast of students from the BCB Middle School, 2 local instrumentalists, 6 musicians from Puerto Rico, 4 fine singers from the V.I. and recruited 2 percussionists at the last minute who fit the bill perfectly.
Together, united in pride and hope, “we told the story of Transfer Day from the grassroots perspective and what an amazing storytelling session it was!!! ALL HAIL THE VIRGIN ISLANDS!!!” ~Gylchris Sprauve
***(expect updates to this website and the Official Facebook Page throughout the day with more behind the scenes pics and videos like the ones below and the real video by the end of the day – Please share)***
A grassroots celebration of history, culture, and our continued struggle, Gylchris spoke and had musicians sing of out Valiant Virgin Isles in a way many are only starting to experience. His combination of classical, folk, African, Caribbean genres brought quizzical, yet proud looks on people’s smiling faces, that could be described only as awakening awe.
Merging not only a variety of instruments including brass, pan and percussion, as well as cultures as he brought over musical friends from Puerto Rico who added their ashe, Gylchris blended a few octaves of ages from the Bertha C. Bochulte middle school students, to local elders in the musical community.
Just to list a few…
Melita Etienne, Wendy A Joseph, Lorna L. Freeman, Howard Jones, Levi Farrell, Dr. LeRoy Trotman, Alexis Sanchez, Rey Omar Marcano, Eric N. Vázquez Rivera, Rafael Lebrón, Luis Miranda, Nelson Corchado, DaraMonifah Cooper, Howard Peters, Vanessa R. L. Tamar, Lonette Gumbs, Matey Sewer
Sprauve’s vision continues to exemplify the true spirit of the Virgin Islands just as a cultural melting pot of young seasonings and grounding provisions does what it does best in our melting yabba pot.
Recognizing that so many probably never had the honor, Sprauve wrote a Fanfare for the Ursulan Children, recognizing the unsung native s/heroes of the then Danish West Indies.
From the trip over* where so many never lived to see our shores, to the St. John Revolution of 1733, St. Croix Fireburn in 1848 and the 1892 Coal Workers Strike of St. Thomas, he reminds us that as some are made mute by the pomp and circumstance, that the real celebration is of our survival through it all and our continued successes along the way.
Furthermore, as he stated during the program’s beginning with a song entitled Wha de Future Gon’ Bring, he continues to keep us in requiem that no matter what remaining trials and tribulations present themselves, Papa God still in charge of this ting.
Full Lyrics to We Gon See Wha De Future Gon Bring by Gylchris Sprauve
Posting in fulfillment of DaraMonifah Cooper’s request after yesterday’s concert. This is most likely what the lower classes were thinking when they got word that Denmark was selling the islands to the USA.
ALL: We gon see what the future gon bring…
Papa God still in charge of this ting…
Beto: Come here, Matilda…
Matilda: Beto! Wha happen now? You look fraid!
Beto: Father: I ain’ know if ah fraid or ah happy,
But when ah went to get paid
The foreman was talking… to a merchant… and he say,
“King Christian gon sell”
Matilda: Sell! Jackson went up to Denmark
And he had no choice but to tell dem
Beto: The Danish West Indies struggling, and tings-dem here very bad
The glory days of sugar done gone, and folks’ condition is sad
Matilda: Beto, doan forget inspite of what they say bout the King
God on high done see and know,
And that is why we does sing
ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring…
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting…
Beto: Now, dey talking ‘bout dis transfer
Matilda: Yes, transfer…
Beto: Of the islands under our feet
Sound like countries-dem playing checkers
And the natives’ life cheap like meat!
Who gon feed the poor and hungry?
Will the young and strong go astray?
Denmark broke, the Germans-dem coming
Now the King gon’ dash us ‘way?
ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting,
We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting.
Matilda: Oh, Beto stop! De lil’ children…
Beto: Wha? You doan tink dey must know?
Matilda: Tings-dem hard enough as it is…
Beto: And when the Danes-dem pack up and go?
Matilda: They say life good in America,
And we could maybe move there
Beto: Woman, stop!
Matilda: Whatever coming been measured…
T’ain more than what we could bear
All: We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting.
Beto: I hear that Blacks in America
cahn’ move as freely as we.
They president name is Wilson,
And he hate Black people, yo see?
Matilda: Dis ting ain’ looking too pretty
Beto: Ah doan tink that we should stay
Matilda: We could just run to Tattola
Both: King George woan give them away…
ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting!