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Miami Carnival 2021 is On!

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It’s one sign that normalcy is returning- no matter how slowly. There’s confirmation today that the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee (MBOCHC) and the South Florida Carnival Bandleaders Association will host the 37th annual Miami Carnival cultural festival on Columbus Day weekend in the US.

Miami Carnival is usually the last international carnival before Trinidad and Tobago’s annual festival and prior to Covid-19, thousands of islanders flocked to the festival hub for their dose of soca induced vibes and masquerade beauty. Last year, the festival went virtual, however there’s now word that the producers of the Miami Carnival have been given the green light to advance regular planning for the 2021 Miami Carnival celebrations. “With guest safety as the highest priority, the Miami Broward Carnival One Host Committee (MBOCHC) will promote and implement an event plan of reduced capacity in adherence with recommended CDC COVID guidelines. As local COVID-19 positivity rates continue to decline from the increased % of vaccinated persons, Miami Carnival may be permitted to increase attendance capacity and relax specific protocols,” a statement issued explained.

Many soca artistes are employed for events hosted on the Miami Carnival calendar. Photo: Problem Child.

“We are excited to once again be able to showcase the Miami Carnival in person. We have missed being able to present our pageantry, music, and Caribbean Culture with everyone. Our committee has been diligently working with both Miami -Dade, and Broward Counties to ensure that we can plan our cultural event, with the health and safety of our stakeholders and patrons as a key part of that plan,” said Joan Hinkson-Justin, Chair of the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee. “The South Florida Carnival Band Leaders Association (SFCBLA) is pleased and thrilled to once again work with MBOCHC with planning a safe and well-desired carnival. We invite you all to the 2021 Miami Carnival Showcase (Band Launch) on June 5th, 2021, where you will be the first to see the pageantry to be displayed for 2021,” she continued.

Noting the cultural and economic significance of the showcase, GMCVB Vice President, Multicultural Tourism & Development, Connie W. Kinnard said, “We are excited to again partner with Miami Carnival as they plan to navigate bringing the cultural event back to an in-person platform. With the generations of persons of Caribbean descent who have made Miami their home and the tourists coming in from other regions, Miami Carnival is an important part of our cultural tourism economy.”

To keep up with official updates of 2021 Miami Carnival events and programming, visit: https://miamicarnival.org. Follow on Instagram and Twitter @MiaBroCarnival or https://www.facebook.com/MiamiBrowardOneCarnival/.To reach the South Florida Caribbean Bandleaders Association, visit www.sfcbla.org and follow them on Instagram @sfcbla or https://www.facebook.com/FLCBLA/ for more information.

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Trinidad and Tobago Furious over Launch of Michael B Jordan’s ‘J’ouvert Rum.’

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He may be a well loved actor by Caribbean people around the world but today, Trinidad and Tobago’s people are kicking up against the launch of a rum by ‘Creed’ and ‘Black Panther’ actor, Michael B Jordan. He has coined the new liquor, ‘J’ouvert Rum!’

No… Trinbagonians are not happy at all.

Overnight, as the actor and his team launched the rum, voices began to erupt in utter shock and disgust for what some referred to as the blatant ‘theft’ of a Trinbagonian term that, while not trademarked, is well known worldwide as a creative piece of terminology for the Carnival festival’s pre-dawn, dirty Mas tradition.

Distinguishably packaged to include a small bottle of Trinidad and Tobago’s Angostura bitters, the launch night token for guests, which was set in a wooden box, held in its engraving, the true essence of the new Rum’s origin. “Derived from the Antillean Creole French term meaning Daybreak, J’ouvert originated in the pre-dawn streets of Trinidad as celebrations of Emancipation combined with Carnival season to serve as the festival’s informal commencement. Crafted on those same islands, J’ouvert Rum is a tribute to the party start,” it reads.

Frantically, some took to social media calling on Trinidad and Tobago’s government to intervene. Radio personality, Abeo Jackson emotionally wrote, “Trinis we eh fed up of ppl seeing the value of we ting more than we? So much so that many attempts at theft/columbusing/appropriation/neocolonial capitalism happens continuously under our noses. How we protecting and gate keeping? Sometimes we need to effect same for our “own” who would sell “us” upriver for a buck.”

The popular US actor was surrounded by friends and international influencers on Saturday night as he launched the J’ouvert rum, all of whom celebrated his entrepreneurial move.

Beauty and lifestyle “guru,” Khat Brim wrote, “There was no better way to celebrate #Juneteenth than with friends and fam witnessing the launch of a new black owned business✊🏿💯 I’m so proud of my brah brah @michaelbjordan as he continues to raise the bar high! I know for sure he’s making our ancestors proud with every great achievement🙌🏾 Therefore, I salute him & his entire team on the release of @jouvertrum 🥃🚀 #letsgo #blackboyjoy.”

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Superstar Producer Reveals Long Term Impact of COVID-19 Infection on His Health.

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While the Caribbean continues to feel the effects of COVID-19, many islands maintaining public restrictions, a popular Jamaican producer has expressed his personal experience having contracted the virus in October 2020.

A major force in the dancehall industry, Tarik Johnston, who’s best known as Rvssian, told fans on Twitter that he hasn’t gotten back his sense of smell since contracting COVID-19 back in October.

He is quite possibly one of the first Caribbean music influencers to openly state that the virus has affected his health. “Covid caused me to taste a rust taste when I have a Coca-Cola and a lot of food and drinks,” he tweeted. Prior to that, he said, “I had Covid in October 2020. I still havent got my smell back. 0%.”

Rvussian is popularly known for his production of Jamaican dancehall artist,  Vybz Kartel‘s single “Life Sweet” back in 2010. In September 2020, his name was credited for the production of one of the year’s most enjoyed reggae singles, “Lighter” by Tarrus Riley featuring Shenseea.

Responding to his tweets, fans offered advice, many suggesting home remedies which include the use of Apple Cider Vinegar. Many were happy that he used his platform to openly share his experience, triggering an open conversation on a topic that has been met with tremendous global skepticism and conspiracy theories.

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