#Bahamas, August 18, 2017 – Nassau – Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Michael Pintard applauded the exchange of about 20 books by Bahamian authors with New York State’s Cornell University and called the initiative “powerful.”
“To the extent that we can have more Bahamian publications placed in libraries around the world, it would increase the appreciation that persons have for The Bahamas – that we are more than sand, sun and sea,” Minister Pintard said at the Official Ceremony marking the exchange, held at the National Art Gallery, August 16, 2017.
According to a release by the Ministry, Dr. Carole Boyce-Davies, distinguished professor of African Studies and English at the African Studies Research Center at Cornell University presented and donated an Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora to Dr. Rita Pratt of The Bahamas Heritage Cultural Institute & African Bahamian Museum/Research Centre at the ceremony held that day. In exchange the Department of Culture, in conjunction with Dr. Rita Pratt, donated 20 books by Bahamian authors to the Cornell University Library of African Studies and Research Center.
Dr. Rita Pratt has been doing cultural research in The Bahamas for more than 30 years and has a museum located off Kemp Road, the release stated.
“Dr. Pratt is a gem,” Minister Pintard said. “Her selfless spirit is something that the country needs to look more closely at – what she is doing – and certainly I, as Minister, will be taking a keener interest in what she is doing and find ways we could contribute to her efforts.”
“The Department of Culture is pleased to organize this exchange of books which will greatly benefit the cultural research capabilities of persons in The Bahamas and Cornell University and provide students from The Bahamas in particular and others interested in the field with a nice range of materials with which they can do further research,” Assistant Director of Culture Dereka Deleveaux-Grant said. “The donation of the Bahamian books will mark the first opportunity for Bahamian authors to be at the Cornell University library and provides the opportunity for millions of persons to research and learn more about The Bahamas.”
Among the exchanged books were works by Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel, Obediah Michael Smith, Sir Randol Fawkes, Rev. Dr. Philip Rahming, as well as a number of publications from the National Art Gallery on artists such as Max Taylor, Amos Ferguson, R. Brent Malone and Kendal Hanna.
“We are a people with a powerful cultural history and heritage, and, of course, an intellectual heritage; so this is a very important step forward and we are appreciative of the contribution that Dr. Davis is making – her attachment to the region in general; but to The Bahamas in particular,” Minister Pintard added.
“We are appreciative of it and we are going to build on those relationships.”
Story by: Eric Rose
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture (MYSC) the Hon. Michael Pintard, culture stakeholders, Bahamian writers and their representatives were photographed on August 16, 2017, with Dr. Carole Boyce-Davies, professor of African Studies and English at the African Studies Research Center at Cornell University, during the official ceremony for the exchange of Bahamian books with that university, held at the National Art Gallery. Pictured (from left) are Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, MYSC Director of Culture Rowena Sutherland, Dr. Boyce-Davies, Minister Pintard, Dr. Rita Pratt, Rev. Dr. Philip Rahming, Dr. Jacinta Higgs, RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel, Mia Smith-Johnson (representing her father, Bahamian poet Obediah Michael Smith) and Sandra Clarke. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)