When Len and Lois return to the island, Miss Aggie becomes convinced that Lois is the source of all her financial and other woes and turns to obeah, West Indian magic, to get rid of her daughter-in-law. Len tries to fight fire with fire and hires his own obeah woman but counteracting an obeah spell is not that easy, and neither is dealing with scam artists like George who has conned Miss Aggie out of her savings.
The play was written in 1981 and explores color issues which are still around today. Miss Aggie doesn't like a thing black and was clearly untouched by any reverberations of the Black Power movement in the States or even by the Rastafarian philosophy which centralizes blacks. She's an older woman and it could be argued she's a product of her time but that wouldn't explain why so many men and women are today, in 2012, risking serious health complications to bleach their skin as you can read about here and here.
|An example of a bleaching cream that doesn't use the euphemism "skin lightener" but admits what it is and what it aims to do: whiten skin. Sad that it would be be offered by a company calling itself "Mama Africa."|
The rapper Vybz Kartel is an outspoken proponent of bleaching and says it's no worse than plastic surgery or getting a weave but I have to wonder about the messages he imbibed as a child regarding his looks. Did he grow up around a Miss Aggie or was it the jeers of his own peers that turned his mind?
|Before and After|
And here he explains his reasoning...
Miss Aggie would probably give bleaching creams and soaps two thumbs up but, as we celebrate Black History Month, it's clear that it's more important than ever to continue to affirm that beauty comes in all shades. Let's celebrate our diversity and relegate the attitudes of the Miss Aggies of the world to the dustbin of history!