The once passive cultural celebration held yearly for over a decade is suffering from its own success as it struggles to coexist commercially in a market heavily saturated by fans of urban music.
Jouvert is culturally diverse and has always included a large percentage of individuals from the West Indies including Americans of West Indian descent, but the “One Love” appeal of the Caribbean culture is being defied and is in danger of becoming a display of violence.
4 people were taken to the hospital after gunfire took place during the Houston Caribbean Festival in Houston Texas early Saturday morning. The chaos broke out at the amphitheater near Almeda Genoa Road and Highway 288, where two other people, both women, were injured after being trampled by those running from the scene.
It’s reported that someone opened fire into the crowd during the traditionally Caribbean themed event hosting 5,000 that night.
The shooting victims were all male according to police. Two of them were taken to local Memorial Herman Hospital, and the others to Ben Taub Hospital. At least one victim is in critical condition according to investigators.
Deion Woodson, a witness to the event, said “It’s usually a friendly Caribbean fest, everybody have fun, but this time one person started fighting and that’s basically what happened and started shooting.”
Regular patrons to Houston Jouvert have witnessed the erosion of the festival over the past few years. Local Hip Hop radio station 97.9 The Box’s G.T., a popular DJ of Caribbean descent, has been instrumental in the commercial growth of Houston Jouvert over the years.
Nonetheless, the question often echoed among West Indians is how do you reconcile the message of Bob Marley’s “One Love” within a music mix that includes Rick Ross?