Island Soul City Dreams

I love New York, but my heart has a Caribbean beat. It pulsates to the traditions of my people. Attuned to the rhythms of this City, I stay West Indian to the bone. I reflect. I analyze. I speak my mind. ~ I Keep it Irie ~

Archive for the tag “Journalist”

Harold Hoyte: Heart Of The Nation Barbados, Thank You, RIP

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Harold Hoyte, Co-founder, Editor Emeritus, Nation newspapers, Barbados (Left) and Nation reporters Maquita Peters (center) and Haydn Gill at the Nation’s 25th anniversary celebrations in 1998. Hoyte died on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at age 78.

This is the only photo I have of Harold Hoyte, co-founder, former editor-in-chief and editor emeritus of The Nation Publishing Ltd, Barbados and me, along with former colleague, Haydn Gill.

Despite just this one image, taken in 1998, when I was a rookie reporter at the Nation newspaper, I have countless moments and memories with Harold — a giant of a journalist and man despite his small statue.

My heart broke today when my mother gave me the news that my former boss — to this day, the best I’ve ever had — died at age 78.

I’m crying as I write this post.

Last month while in Barbados, I tried my utmost to see Harold one last time as I heard he was terribly ill and seemingly on his deathbed. His daughter Tracy was the sweetest in expressing her gratitude but explained that he was simply not up to visitors. I told her how much I appreciate him and to give him a hug for me.

In my years at the Nation — and those who knew me then know the traumatic experience I endured during that time — Harold was there for me. He gave me permission to come to his office anytime, to let my tears flow in there, to feel free to talk to him about anything.

I recall from my early assignments at the Nation, when I barely had confidence in my reporting and writing how Harold would come to me in the newsroom and say, “Peters, you took me there,” in reference to my coverage on the entertainment beat.

He’d break down why my story resonated with him, and consistently encouraged me to keep up the good work. If I covered an event and he didn’t stop by my desk to say I took him there, I knew I had to do better next time. I continued to hone my skills.

Soon enough, it became the norm for him to pay his usual compliment.

Years later after I’d left the Nation newspaper and Barbados for the U.S., Harold and I remained in touch. Every now and then we’d speak by phone from my New York apt to his home in St. George, Barbados, and I’d visit him almost every Christmastime in my early years going home for the holidays.

When I graduated with my masters from Columbia University, he reached out to congratulate me, to tell me how proud he was of my journey, and me. A few months later he wrote the most amazing letter of recommendation to help me gain employment here in the U.S.

I last saw and socialized with Harold Hoyte in 2014 in my beloved Brooklyn when he came to speak at an event to promote his book, “Eyewitness to Order and Disorder.” I attempted to buy a copy but he wouldn’t have it, gifting me one instead with an autograph acknowledging our professional and personal relationship.

Harold always was and will be special to me. I’m grateful for all he was and did for me. My condolences to his family, circle of loved ones, and the entire Caribbean journalism fraternity. May our beloved Harold in Rest In Peace and rise in glory. 🌹🙏🏾

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Cover of Harold Hoyte’s book, “Eye Wtness to Order and Disorder,” a copy of which he gifted Maquita Peters.

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Harold Hoyte autographed a copy of his book, “Eye Witness to Order and Disorder” to Maquita Peters.

~ I Keep it Irie ~

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It’s My Birthday: Me At 4, Er 25, Looking Back At My Sweet 16 Self

Ragga then and now

Man, if only this lil girl here (Left) at sweet 16 — looking at life through rose colo(u)red glasses — knew the challenges ahead, starting with the tragic death of her best friend a year later and how that would forever change her!

But through love lost, love gained, a myriad of dreams — some broken, some deferred, some of the best fulfilled, from tiny Bridgetown, Barbados to the Big Apple and now the powerful U.S. capital, she persevered with an unrelenting faith in God.

Yes, sometimes the tears still come, and increasingly those pesky grey hairs and wrinkles she chooses to call dimples, but she never lets anything or anyone steal her joy, or that smile.

As always, she gives thanks, especially for the woman (Right) she’s become, and above all, for the blessing to awake today to celebrate another birthday — her “perpetual 25th birthday.”🙏🏾 #GodisGood

~ I Keep it Irie ~

A New Chapter Begins For Me; It’s Handled

Channeling my "Olivia Pope," 'cause in 2016 I'll be approaching any challenge with, "It's handled."

Channeling my “Olivia Pope,” ’cause in 2016 I’ll be approaching any challenge with, “It’s handled.”

On this my “25th” (*cough*) birthday, I want to briefly testify of God’s grace in my life. I had no plans to make any of the following information public anytime soon, but I see the need to share it to encourage those of you “going through” to NEVER give up on God.

The past year was one of my most challenging ever – in every sphere of my life! I gave up a “safe” job for what I thought to be a better opportunity but it turned out to be otherwise. I met and fell in love with what I thought to be an amazing man, but he trampled all over my heart and even impregnated another woman. I found myself jobless, financially challenged, heartbroken and broken, dealing with what I like to call “immigrant issues” (some of which I know my fellow US transplants have encountered) and overall going through a dark period of depression, at times shutting close friends out. My faith was tested beyond measure. Sure, I continued to post photos with my ever present smile, but offline, away in my solitude, the tears scarcely stopped.

Through it all, as challenging as it was, I relied heavily on my faith. I thought of all the trials God had brought me through, times where I, in this country not having a single relative or my closest friends here felt alone, painfully lonely, lost, had no solution to the challenge at hand and figured “it’s a wrap” but somehow, He came through. And so over the past few months, I kept challenging God to order my steps, to open up new doors and to teach me to “wait on Him.” I also realized that it was OK to swallow my pride and to let my close friends in, to request their help, to tell them what I was truly feeling and going through and to ask them to pray for and with me for a much needed breakthrough.

God doesn’t always answer prayers in the manner and time we want, but it’s my testimony that He delivers in ways that far exceed our expectations. As I celebrate this birthday, this new year – my 25th for the umpteenth time – God has brought me to what is in many ways a new chapter in life: An incredible new job at an outstanding company working with some of the world’s best journalists; a fabulous new apartment; a new address – in a fantastic new neighborhood. And yesterday, for the first time in a while, I got my first bylined news article as seen here , for NPR, no less!  I’m both scared and excited at the possibilities ahead. But most importantly, I’m thankful and give God all the glory.

My favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Friends, no matter what your situation, please don’t give up on God, ’cause He won’t give up on you.

Please check out video below for highlights of the people, places and things in my beautiful Barbados that made Christmas Holidays and start of 2016 extra special.

~ I Keep it Irie ~

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