Name: Aisha Kamilah Goodison
Residence: Miami, Florida
Hobbies: painting, guitar making, photography, architecture, interior design and gardening.
A Little Family History...
Mom: Millicent (Black Jamaican beauty queen &
Dad: Vaughn Goodison (Black Jamaican
New: 4-8-07 - My aunt's new book about our family titled "From Harvey River" is getting rave reviews. For more read about it here:
"FROM HARVEY RIVER"
An excerpt from my aunt's forthcoming book "From Harvey River":
"Lorna Goodison’s ravishingly told memoir of her family and forebears in Jamaica weaves together the exotic stories of her large and wonderfully eccentric family, who live with one foot in British colonial culture yet are firmly rooted in the land they have themselves settled and cultivated.
The book focuses on Goodison’s mother, Dorice, and her mother’s four remarkable sisters — Cleodine, Rose, Albertha, and Ann — and three brothers — Edmund, Flavius, and Howard, who was beautiful and revered, and died an early death. It also tells of how Dorice’s life changed when she met and married a young man descended from the prominent Goodison family. They eventually moved with their four children from the rural, idyllic town of Harvey River, founded by Doris’s English grandfather in the 1840s, to Kingston, where they encountered the harsh realities of urban living in close quarters.
From Harvey River is textured with the cadences of Creole speech, the sensuous beauty of the landscape, lush colours, tropical fragrances, as well as elements of the local culture and community. An internationally renowned poet, Lorna Goodison brings to bear her gift for language and for shaping narrative as she vividly evokes an era — and a complete world.
“[Goodison’s work] continually surprises with its insistently elegant, spiritual core and crystalline intelligence.” — Publishers Weekly
"Goodison advances from strength to strength. . . .
[She focuses] the diamond lens of her incantatory verse on the culture and
people of her homeland in the Caribbean. . . .”
Let's start with the maternal side. My maternal great-granddad was a Brazilian, who was half Indian, that ended up in Ireland in the 1800's. My great-grandmother was a redheaded white Irish lady named Nen. They both moved from Ireland and settled in Jamaica. There, my grandmother Hilda was born. My grandmother was known for her hair. She had hair past her waist that she would wear in a bun (a habit I have as well). She became a teacher and later married the principal of the school - a very intelligent, well educated man named David, who was black and a descendant of the Maroons.
The Maroons were Jamaica's most fierce slaves, brought there from West Africa. When most people hear they are going to Jamaica, they get excited because they think they're going on vacation. However, when the Maroons reached Jamaica and it dawned on them it wasn't an all inclusive Club Med vacation, they revolted against their slave masters and killed them.
They then moved to the mountainous region of Jamaica, which only they had the stamina to withstand. Funny, I've never had the urge to go rock climbing. That was a little joke.
So, basically they weren't city slickers. The Maroons started a colony up in the mountains with their own language and laws. They were great musicians as well, who even used music as battle calls and to specifically call someone from a distance. Today, there are still Maroons in the mountains of Jamaica.
My mom was born in 19..okay, if I write the year she will hurt me. She is a mixture of both her parents. She gets her dark skin from her dad and her curly hair and facial features from her mom. Where she gets her height from, I don't know. She's the shortest person in the family (She is 5'1). She is short and doesn't like being reminded of that, so I make it a point to remind her that she is short, every 2 weeks or so.
My mom was a secretary for many years. At one point she worked for an entertainment management company, where she would type up contracts used for different recording artists.
Later, she entered beauty pageants. She won the Miss Trelawney Pageant and then came second in the Miss Jamaica Nation Pageant. The grand prize was a trip to Malawi.
I thought she should have won. My mom was the prettiest in the pageant (maybe it was that height thing haha...I'm just kidding). Actually, she was later told it was because she was too shy and quiet, as she was the prettiest.
I've decided to post some pics from the pageant. I don't think my mom will mind. My mom is the one to the right tying the string around the new winner's neck (you know she wanted to choke her with that string for winning the next year - just kidding). Seriously, the winner from the year before was unable to perform her duties, due to family commitments in England and my mom started performing her duties for her.
The following pic is of my mom crowning the new winner the next year. I love my mom's hair in the pic, which is all hers. The other day I asked her how she did the hairstyle (not to mention it added about 4 inches to shorty's height, so you know she liked that):
left (new winner), right (my mom)
That's my mom on the float in the parade for the contest. Her sponsor was Yellow Cab:
Most of the maternal side of my family live in England now, have for three generations. It's kind of funny, my ancestors left Europe for Jamaica and their grandchildren went back there. I think it's something in the blood. There is a real sense of familiarity there, though. I think people are attracted to the places that are in their bloodline. At least, that's how it's been for me.
Now for the paternal side of the family...
Both my paternal grandparents were black. My granddad's name was Marcus. He died before I was born. I've been told that he was a very good looking man. He was a chauffer who ran an auto mechanic garage. I met one of my mom's friends' moms' in New York and she told me how good looking he was.
My grandmother's name was Doris. She was a seamstress and was excellent at it. She made her own wedding dress as well. I got to know her well, as she died when I was in my late teens. I look like my grandmother and my aunts. My grandmother was from the area of Jamaica that the Germans settled/moved to called Hanover also known as "German Town." The people in Hanover are from German decent. She even gave my dad a German first name (he doesn't go by it though, he's known by his disc jockey name).
One look at my grandmother and you could tell that she was mixed. She was very light with thick wavy hair and light brown eyes. In her eulogy, my aunt wrote of her mixed lineage and that her mom had blue eyes.
One of my paternal forbearers was a sailor named George O. Wilson. He served in the British Navy.
The Irish is on both sides. If one were to go by the stereotype, with it being on both sides, a double dose if you will, this would mean I have a temper like Drew Barrymore in Firestarter.
Another interesting note, my family founded a large town in NW Jamaica, Harvey River, that's worth millions now. And do prey tell, how did we manage to lose control of said town. It's like the Indians and Manhattan all over again!
Harvey River, Jamaica
My grandparents had 9 children. My dad was one of the youngest. They didn't have much money, but they were and still are a very loving family. In fact, one of my uncles joked the other day that my dad would try to help grandma take care of his younger brothers by singing them to sleep when it was bedtime, however, they said they didn't fall asleep from the quality of the voice, but from boredom (haha leave my dad alone - he has a nice voice). I always jokingly say, I don't care who you are, if you have nine kids, you're gonna be broke.
The Last Name...
All my life I've been taught that I have a great old English name, GOODISON. It's not a very common name. While I do love my last name, I don't use it as apart of my stage name because it sounds really corporate. So, I just use my first name.
There is a stadium in Liverpool, England for the football club (team) Everton, named Goodison (can a namesake have some free tickets please! I'm just kidding).
The documents I've read trace the name mainly back to Manchester, England. Also, from what I've read and been told, my ancestors who left England mostly went to New England (America) and the Caribbean, which is where I was born.
Another famous Goodison is my aunt Barbra Gloudon. She is a playwright and radio personality. She lectures internationally, often in Paris and has won many awards. She is the Jamaican representative for the United Nation's UNESCO. She is also a great comedian (especially the jokes about my dad! LOL).
Another famous Goodison, and my favorite Goodison of all, well, except me, is my dad Vaughn "Bunny" Goodison. My dad, as I've written before is a musicologist and DJ. He's won lots of awards, done loads of interviews with international publications, interviewed many celebrities and most importantly has done a lot of work for different charities.
He'd done some modeling as well when he was younger. No, not the runway stuff. Print ads, magazines, billboards ect. He was the first black man featured on billboard ads in Jamaica. It was a billboard ad for Honda. He did beverage, clothes and sporting goods ads as well.
He really started off playing soccer. He was a great player from what many people have told me and from what I've read in his press clippings. I've had strangers tell me how well he played. People have also said he played cricket very well. I'm sorry I didn't get to see him play either sport (but, uh, I wasn't born yet).
I've been told my dad played really well, like Ronaldo (well, my dad told me that - I'm just teasing). My dad could kick Ronaldo and Beckham's butts (Ronaldo and Becks, if you're reading this, I'm just kidding. He's my dad, I have to say that. I'm joking again).
Like I said, from what people have told me and based on what I've read, I really think he could have held his own on the pitch with anyone. My dad played internationally for Jamaica in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Nether Antilles and South America. Then he decided music is what he really wanted to do and he's been a DJ and musicologist for over 40 years.
My family has branched out into so many areas of the world and into so many professions. There seems to be a general love of the arts, politics, sports and faith that runs in the family, which I think is great.
And that explains the thing you see before you which = me.
I will add more info shortly. I'm having a genealogy search done through Jamaica's official agency that states they can go back up to 8 generations.
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