CAHSS Faculty Articles

Making Bad Friday Better: An Interview with Deborah Thomas

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Jamaica Magazine

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Dr. Deborah A. Thomas is a professor anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, a dancer, and most recently added filmmaker to her accomplishments. Deborah directed and produced the new documentary Bad Friday in partnership with her husband John L. Jackson, Jr.; Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn; and Junior “Ista J” Manning. Bad Friday focuses on a community of Rastafarians in western Jamaica who annually commemorate the 1963 Coral Gardens “incident,” a moment just after independence when the Jamaican government rounded up, jailed and tortured hundreds of Rastafarians. It chronicles the history of violence in Jamaica through the eyes of its most iconic community, and shows how people use their recollections of past traumas to imagine new possibilities for the future. Here is our conversation with Deborah on her new film Bad Friday.

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