There's something about Bahamian out islands. I don't know if it's the isolation that allows for a more peaceful vibe or the honor for tradition and culture that permeates most of these tiny slips of paradise. All I know is that it feels different whenever I land on an out island and Bimini is no exception. Serenity seems to fill the air. Clearly, I'm not the only one to feel this way since two historic African American activists, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr, both found inspiration on Bimini. New York congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. paved the way for equality and justice in the U.S. Flashy and bold, his favorite phrase was "keep the faith baby." And he demonstrated plenty of faith, first as the pastor of the country's leading African American church, Abyssinian Baptist Church and then as the first African American to represent New York in the House of Representatives. He battled and pushed against segregation a
Showing posts from March, 2015
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Observing the interactions and perceptions of the local police around the world is always interesting to me. I watched this parade for the Annual Police Church Service in Bimini. Citizens started lining up early and waved and smiled as the officers marched by in their crisp white uniforms. The band played reverently and the pageantry and excitement that surrounded the whole event was fascinating. I learned that a church service is held annually at a different church each year, to pray for the officers safety. It was sobering witnessing this proud spectacle and comparing it to the volatile police situation in the U.S. My country carries a complex and violent police history that is being challenged to change and I hope that one day that it can grow where respect is given on both sides, like I saw in Bimini.
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The legend of the Fountain of Youth and Ponce De Leon's search for it covers many lands and eras. It was actually the Arawak Indians who first described a mythical land with curative waters, enticing Ponce De Leon, who was the ousted governor of Puerto Rico, to search for it in 1513. Spain's King Ferdinand actually offered the verdant land of "Beniny" to Ponce, sending him off on an expedition to find it. But like the European explorers before him, Ponce got it wrong. He landed in St. Augustine, Florida and never made it to Bimini, as we now call it. Although Florida boasts a Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park , where visitors can actually buy bottles from the supposed Fountain of Youth, Florida was simply where the conquistador landed. There was no mention of him locating the fountain. But deep in the forest of South Bimini, the fountain that the Arawaks were referencing still supplies healing water. Actually, it's a well and the water is burie