It happened the way Tanny prayed for it not to, with every detail vivid and cruel
beyond one’s imagination… in the end, victory, not justice. Born and raised in Jamaica,
Tanny Anderson’s childhood was filled with obstacles, even more so than what the
average adult faced. She recalled going to school at the age of five— children traveling
over dangerous terrain, dodging storms, grabbing onto branches to prevent drowning,
at times hiding in bushes to eluded rapists. Things were rough especially for those
living in a rural area where little if any opportunities were available. People
living in these parts relied mainly on agriculture. Many small farmers practiced
mixed farming, planting coconuts, bananas, citrus, pumpkins, peppers, and coffee
for domestic purposes. The larger farms produced sugar cane and bananas primarily
Tanny used to live on the outskirts of St. Catherine at the northern section of the
parish. St. Catherine is one of fourteen parishes in Jamaica, and is bordered by
St. Andrew in the east, Clarendon in the west, and by St. Mary and St. Ann in the
While living in Riversdale, St. Catherine, Tanny attended a basic school several
miles away. From where she lived the road to school was a rugged and narrow uphill
path. To get to and from school was a major task, and as she grew older the calculation
became clearer. Looking back Tanny realized the tremendous distanced she used to
travel, and not to mention if late¾ the teacher would most likely inflict some form
At four o’clock almost every morning Tanny woke and got dressed for school. The
crowing of roosters at the crack of dawn signaled the time for her to join other
children from her community who were also preparing for the long journey ahead.
On top of a hill a small house stood alone, barely visible in the dark, except for
light flickering from a window. Nearby, an outline of trees and shrubs danced in
the early morning wind.
Inside the front room a kerosene lamp rested on top of a dresser, a bed stood parallel
to the dresser, perpendicular to the bed stood an antique chest of drawers. Tanny’s
school uniform, a blue dress and a white blouse, rested on one section of the bed,
on the other section sheets and pillows bundled.
Tanny, wearing her nightgown, scrambled through a dresser drawer; panties and socks
scattered where she stooped.