When Mama Was God: These are serious lyrics -Funny and Conscious, Riddim and Rhyme that have come from the pen of Michelle Bailey. She is one of those persons who sees cultural traditions as being evolutionary and should be passed from generation to generation not only orally but by the pen. She strongly believes that her cultural traditions and mores should not become extinct but should be valued and preserved as a result she has invested heavily in writing so that generation yet unborn along with the present generation can have a deeper appreciation of culture from an afro-centric perspective.
In Michelle's seminal work, this book is not fluff. It is simply profound. The poems, properly read and understood show her academic depth and her grasp of the vernacular which she effectively weaves in her creations to tell her stories. Her use of rhetorical questions, similes and anthropomorphism do add color, create suspense and make the reader want to say yes, yes ‘you right’. It points to issues relating to race, gender, religion, the Jamaican dialect and folk culture and Jamaicans' attitudes towards life and
work, roots and culture.
I also find this to be a potpourri of literary delight well-seasoned and well balanced and well served. I am opined it will have a cross sectional appeal to the target audience. Very appealing to me also were the poems : Somebody’s Child, Ugly Truth, and If You Only Knew. Michelle is a true Jamaican cultural icon when you read her poems you develop nostalgia, and you are drawn right back to your roots. Read these serious lyrics, funny and conscious, riddim and rhyme, laugh till your belly ‘bust’, or cry till your gland runs out of tears, or bow your head in agreement till you develop your own literary riddim.
Dr. Burnett L. Robinson
Author, Pastor, Professor