In Jamaica news, behind bars for over two years, facing murder charges, dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel still manages to make the news. This time the news is less than controversial. In fact this can be seen as positive news. No it is not the news about him being acquitted of one of the two murder charges he is facing. This bit of good news is about his recently released book, “The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto?” Recently, the book penned by Vybz Kartel was added to the library collection at Princeton University; one of the Ivy League universities in the United States.
This recent development begs the question, “Will the Jamaican authorities now yield to the calls of lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Carolyn Cooper who has suggested that the book be added to the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) syllabus?” Recently Miss Cooper advocated for the book to be added to the CXC Social Studies syllabus as the students will be more interested to read a book written by someone they are familiar with. Carolyn Cooper recommended adding Kartel’s book to Social Studies CXC syllabus to teach the topic about ‘The Individual’ which is the first topic on the Social Studies syllabus.
Cooper also noted that the book is also a recommended text for her course offered at the University of the West Indies, Reggae Poetry. She also urges the publishers to send a copy of the book to Education minister, Ronny Thwaites and have him read it in a bid to get it on the reading list for CXC students. The problem with this however is that Vybz Kartel is known to be very controversial; and Education Minister, Ronnie Thwaites is known to be a very conservative Christian. So can he get past Vybz Kartel’s portrayed persona in the media to get past the cover of a book written by Mr. Controversial?