Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Geoffrey Philp: Who's Your Daddy?



As some of you may know, June is Caribbean Heritage month. Now, when many of us (Americans) think of Caribbean heritage or culture, we think of the festive carnivals, Reggae music, the phrase “Yah Mon,” a “Booze Cruise,” and let’s not forget Jerk chicken. This is especially true when it comes to Jamaican culture. How many times have we heard someone do a terrible imitation of a Jamaican accent? This is ususally followed with a stereotypical persona sometimes accompanied with locks/dreads, a Bob Marley or tie-die t-shirt, and lots of Marijuana. I like to call these types, “Fakin’Jamaicans.” Good or bad, this is a testament of Jamaica’s influence on the world. People love Jamaicans!

However, there is more to Jamaican and Caribbean culture than curried goat or tasty fruit drinks mixed with rum. Let us not forget the people of Jamaica who love, laugh, and cry just like everyone else. This leads me to the main subject of this post: Geoffrey Philp’s new collection of short stories, Who’s Your Daddy? Geoffrey’s stories speak on the very heart of Jamaican culture and heritage – the people. They are people in search for acceptance, success, and truth.

The collection opens with a story titled, “Third Time.” This story explores infidelity with a very interesting and humorous twist. In other stories like “First Love,” Geoffrey touches on the issue of homophobia in Jamaican society and the damaging effect that it can have on those suspected. One of my favorite stories in this collection was, “The Day Jesus Christ came to Mount Airy.” For me, the overriding theme in this story is faith. Set in Jamaica, this story has Jesus Christ, the savior of all, walking among us once again. As a Christian, I was a bit concerned when I first started reading that story, but in the end I was very pleased. Check it out for yourself and tell us what you think.

Overall, Who’s Your Daddy? is a great collection of stories examining the many faces and personalities of Jamaican culture. This is writing with a conscious. Other stories included in this collection is the title story, “Who’s Your Daddy?” “Fattie, Fattie,” and “Bobby Bijani and the Rolling Calf.” This collection has stories so humorous that they will make your belly shake. However, despite the humor or seriousness of these stories, they will all cause you to think and perhaps even take action. So, do you want to order a copy for yourself? You can do so by visiting Geoffrey Philp’s website or go to Amazon.com. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Plus, maybe you will learn a new Jamaican phrase or two besides “Yah Mon” or "Rude bwoy." Fiah!


About the author: Geoffrey Philp was born in rural Struie in Jamaica. He is the author of Benjamin, My Son, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien, Twelve Poems and A Story for Christmas, and four poetry collection, Exodus and Other Poems, Florida Bound, Hurricane Center, and Xango Music. He teaches English at Miami Dade College in Florida.
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