Brian Talma is a featured character in the story of Rogues in Paradise. He owes his striking golden-bronze good looks and sparkling blue eyes to his great-grandfather Edmund Ward. Edmund was a wealthy white colonial planter with 80 children from various relationships with local village girls.
Brian says that “Edmund tother with his brother, Aubrey Ward, created an entire “Bronze Class” in Barbados. Edmund worked the south villages while Aubrey worked the north.” Edmund did not marry all his romantic liaisons. However, he cared for them and their children, inviting them to his house and providing for mother and child.
Brians’s grandmother, Ellie Niles, was one of the black village women that bore Edmunds’ children. She married a multiracial schoolteacher named Herbert Talma. Their son, Trevor Talma, was Brain’s father. Trevor grew up in the Oistins fishing village and dreamt of becoming a fisherman. Instead, his parents sent him to McGill University in Montreal, Canada, to study dentistry. Dentist Trevor Talma married Norma, a beautiful mixed-race lady, and soon the beach-culture DeAction man was born.
On Brian’s maternal side, the parents of his mother, Norma, were exceptional people. Grandma (Ma) was born in Jamaica and went to America, where she met Grandad (Poppa). Originally from the island of St. Lucia, Poppa was a student at the prestigious Howard university in the USA. Several students at Howard, a notable Black university, are of mixed race like Poppa. Howard’s multiracial students identify with Black culture as a moral cause.
Brian talks about this alignment in his book DeAction when he says that aligning with the white class would be difficult as he could not follow their rules. In his own words, he was a revolutionary determined to be a beach man. Colonials already labeled him a beach bum by colonials. While his principles were at odds with the very conservative and often oppressive white minority, the Blacks did not altogether accept him:
“I always knew from the bottom of my heart that, [at that time], I wasn’t going to be fully accepted by Black Barbados either, because of my appearance or birth privileges within the bronze class.”
Given the choice of being black or white, many Bajans of mixed race find it easier to be Black or choose to be Black. For many, Black is more distinctive and worthy: There is an affinity with Black culture, lifestyle, tolerance, and values. Especially the value of freedom. White colonials had little appreciation for freedom. Though they were not slaves to man, they were slaves to rules, expectations, and obligations. Brian did not see sense in that and preferred the more unassuming attitude.
Today, mixed-race affiliation to Black culture still exists. Even though multiracialism is more prevalent and accepted as a distance class, not all mixed-race people identify as such. In fact, 61% do not (i).
Barbados society was organized along racial lines when Brian grew up. Brian’s parents wanted to break that and invited all his friends to the parties they had. His dad, Trevor, introduced him to Golf to broaden his social life. Not many youngsters were golfers then, and he soon started to hang out with them and the Black caddies, who nicknamed him “Snuffy Brown.” He said, “From a young age, I was compassionate and felt comfortable with everybody.” Playing Golf with his dad, he learned to respect the wisdom and inspirational energy of the Talma senior: Whom he had considered very disciplined and too conservative.
Golf allowed him to see beyond his limited perception, and he learned a new appreciation for the man who made it possible to follow his dream. His mother, by contrast, was a liberal and creative artist, open to all ideas and willing to break any senseless rule. She fully embraced his dreams, his passion for beach culture, and his unconventional lifestyle.
Hanging out with the South Coast Rebels, a gang of salt and pepper rogues, surfing, and organizing beach culture activities became his life. “It is more than surfing,” he told me. “Beach culture has no bounds. It is arts and crafts, music, song, poetry, and action. DeAction on land, sea, and sky, from beach cricket to kits surfing.” His mother’s art, openness, and support led to his success.
Today Brian Talma is an international star and spokesperson for beach culture worldwide.
He is crowned as Champion of Champions in beach culture for his work to support and promote all forms of beach activities, watersports, art, and music all over the world.
His motto is: “Like the ocean, beach culture breaks on every continent and feeds the hearts of hungry watermen and women across the globe. It knows no boundaries and follows no particular law. Just as wild and amped as the ocean.”
DeAction Shop at Silver Sands
Also, see Barbados People – Ethnic makeup
More about brain Talma, visit https://www.briantalma.pro/
This article will appear in the book Rogues in Paradise. When published, it will be replaced with an ou line and a link to the book.
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