Handler Interviewed by Alfred Pragnell, Barbados, March 28, 2000.

Alfred Pragnell (1932-2004) was a well-known, widely respected, and popular member of the Barbadian arts establishment. At various times during his multifaceted career, he was an actor, broadcaster, satirist, storyteller — even a calypso singer. Aside from all of this, he was a terrific human being. On a visit to his home in March 28, 2000, Fred, as he was sometimes called, on an impulse decided to interview me about my first coming to Barbados in the early 1960s, living in the village of Chalky Mount, and my experiences on the island during those, and later, years. Further, how my research interests developed into studies of the life of the enslaved, archaeological research particularly at Newton plantation in the early 1970s, the African presence in Barbados, and the history of slavery on the island. Topics, including obeah and lead poisoning, are also discussed, as is the 1816 slave revolt and its alleged leadership. At the time, Pragnell had an evening radio program, “Sunday Magazine,” which involved, among other things, interviews with island visitors. So, sitting in his parlor over a cup of tea one afternoon, he positioned his hand-held recorder in front of me, and proceeded with the interview. The interview lasts about 28  minutes. In the remainder of the audio, Pragnell reads a poem, written by the late eminent Barbadian poet, Kamau Brathwaite, in Bajan, the creole dialect of Barbados.

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