Jamaica turns 46–what a BAM BAM

Sweet Jamaica-Eric Donaldson-1977

Land of my birth-Eric Donaldson-1978

Jamaica celebrates 46 years of independence.


~ by RB on August 6, 2008.

10 Responses to “Jamaica turns 46–what a BAM BAM”

  1. You certainly dug up these. Definitely blasts from the past.


    As I read you post I feel alot of emotions, most distinctively pride, love and hate (anger).

    I like most Jamaicans love this country but one can not escape the anger at the problems we face after 46 years of independence. These are problems created by our ourselves. They are pro-longed year after year, party after party, generation after generation. What is even more disturbing is that these problems can be solved and we have the answers but lack the will.

    What is holding back Jamaica? selfishness, greed, people who simply put themselves first and I am not just talking about politicians here. There is plenty blame to go around and everyone of us is responsible for the state of Jamaica. We are held back because of lack of leadership in the business, academia, social, political spheres. We are AFRAID, very afraid to step out of our demise and achieve. We are afraid to offend,afraid to change our paths, afraid of the person who lives in that other community that is supposable supporting green or orange, afraid of the applicant with that address. We are afraid to stand up for what is good and proper.

    Crime, illiteracy, one of the lowest per capita income, trillion dollar debt, failing infrastructures from roads to schools. It is not like something is wrong with us because others with way less have achieved way more.

    The majority of our people are cynical and they have become accustom to the failures as norm but I am not ready to give up on Jamaica because as I said I am still proud our athletes and other sports people, our musicans, Jamaicans who have gone abroad and has done extra ordinary things, our own [people here in the business, political, academia spheres who are really try to make a difference even though their voices might be drowned out by the can’t change,won’t change, I benefit from the way it is now crowd.

    I have to consider despite our serious problems our people have remain mature enough to hold this democracy to together.

    I talk to my mother who said if she knew that Jamaica would turn out the way it is today she would not have supported independence. For some of us we are not old enough to know the difference between British rule and being independent. When I hear people who have the experience to know it makes me wonder. I will admit often being critical of those who wish we were still ruled by England.

    I am going to be a revisionist and speculate if on August 6 2008 Jamaicans gather for the first time at the national stadium and others all across the towns and districts, glued to their radios and TV to watch the black green and gold raise for the first time as we celebrate our first independence. The governor general, the governor (who represent england) Queen Elizabeth herself .Prince Charles among other distinguish Jamaicans in the political sphere gather to mark the momentous milestone of independence.

    Base on what has happended to other countries recently independentor still under British rule we would have been in better shape gaining independence today in 2008 than in 1962.Look at Hong Kong, Cayman island just to name two. Better literacy rates, lower crime, much much better infrustructre. I imagine an iland that rival offshore finiancial centers not just in the caribbean but the world. Under British rule we have a larger percentage of visitors from england and of course the close USA and tourism florish with almost 5 to 7 million a year. The north and south coast littered with cruise ship ports and 5 star hotels that rival any other destination in the world. Crime is a problem like anywhere else in the world under 200 a year it does not cripple us with fear, bogg down a diverse economy. Jamaicans being as innovative and entrepreneurial as our people are creat new industries and many small businesses that create self employment.

    Ghetto?,inner-city-. There are no garrisons because there is no PNP or JLP, just representatives of the queen at Kings house and Jamaica house, the governor general and the governor. The so called garrisons does not exist they are instead an educated middle and lower class part of Jamaica with high moral values.Because our economy is flourishing we can afford to have smaller classes provide world class education. A rainy Jamaica can not escape bad roads but they are maintained. Police abuses occur but are rare and when it does there is general out rage , a full investigation and even a pulblic inquiry, Jamaicans feel confidence in the institutions of justice and knows without a doubt that it will be served.

    Good hospitals, we still travel to the “motherland” without discrimination or need for a visa. There is no debate yet about a final court of appeal. We still use the Jamaican dollar similar to the Cayman dollar but its value is worth more than the US and Canadian dollar.

    I am not dreaming here I am just wondering out load what Jamaica would be like if we gain independence August 6 2008. I know some people are very upset at this revisionist lust that some express and I can understand. Alot of independence is not just economic or even social development but more to do with pride, autonomy and most of all self identity. I doubt strongly we would have such a strong culture under British rule. I wonder if Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Garvey what would it be like.

    This post is very long, thanks for the opportunity. I have so much ,re to say but I am rambling.

  3. Jamaica is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its physical beauty is breathtaking and majestic, grandiose and regal. Its people are even MORE intriguing and more beautiful. I say this as a person who have travelled the world extensively and may favorite place is always Jamaica – I might be a little biased but I don’t think so. 🙂

    As a 144 square mile island nation Jamaica has some of the most brilliant and innovative people – a study should be done because we truly are exceptional – for good and bad. Think of our track and field stars (in the spirit of the Olympics) and think of our blob sled team (again in the spirit of the Olympics). We have a unique culture – which many try to emulate, we created a music genre, we created a religion, we have our own foods and food groups, we have geniuses in many fields: think Colin Powell, Madge Sinclair, Harry Belafonte, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, think of the many principals and professors and scientists, even the shoe-bomber (rolling my eyes). For good or bad out minds are brilliant.

    But when it comes to celebrating the big 46 I have mixed feelings. Independence or self-government conveys freedom and liberty and self-determination. I don’t see any of those things happening in Jamaica right now and it truly saddens me deeply. After 46 years our island should be in much better shape economically, socially, politically and spiritually and civically.

    So 46 is great but I don’t see much to celebrate. 😦

  4. Stunner – I read your post with interest and must agree with you. A commonwealth Jamaica would be a much better place in 2008. Sad but true.

    We have to do better but Jamaicans seem against anyone new coming in to clean things up. We have been following the same leaders and policies for decades and it’s NOT working.

    Albert Einstein said that the definition of crazy is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a new result.

    Jamaica is on the crazy train and we need to get off.

    We need some new blood, new thoughts, new direction and completely new leadership. Not people who have been in government for years or decades. We have SO much potential that’s being wasted.

    Just a FEW famous Jamaicans:

    • Perry Henzell, writer, director
    • Carl Abrahams, painter
    • Opal Palmer Adisa, writer
    • Edward Baugh, poet
    • Louise Bennett-Coverly, poet
    • Jean “Binta” Breeze, poet
    • Erna Brodber, novelist
    • George Campbell, poet
    • Glen Carty, technology writer
    • Margaret Cezair-Thompson, novelist
    • Colin Channer, novelist, co-founder of Calabash
    • Michelle Cliff, writer
    • Carolyn Cooper, writer and cultural theorist
    • Christine Craig, writer
    • Kwame Dawes, Ghana-born/Jamaican writer, co-founder of Calabash
    • Marcia Douglas, writer
    • Garfield Ellis, novelist
    • John Figueroa, poet
    • Honor Ford-Smith, artist, writer, performer, educator
    • Marcus Garvey, political activist
    • Natalee Grant, poet, writer
    • Thomas Glave, Bronx-born writer
    • Lorna Goodison, writer
    • Jean Goulbourne, writer
    • Stuart Hall, cultural theorist
    • Thomas Duffus Hardy, historian
    • John Hearne, novelist
    • Anthony M Henry, journalist
    • Philip Henry, artist
    • Roger Mais, novelist
    • Edna Manley, sculptor
    • Una Marston, writer
    • Claude McKay, Writer
    • Alecia McKenzie, writer
    • Anthony McNeill, poet
    • Brian Meeks, novelist
    • Pamela Mordecai, poet
    • Mervyn Morris, poet
    • Kei Miller, writer
    • Mutabaruka, poet
    • Oku Onuora, writer
    • Geoffrey Philp, writer
    • Velma Pollard, writer
    • Patricia Powell, novelist
    • Claudia Rankine, poet
    • Victor Stafford Reid, writer
    • Andrew Salkey, writer
    • Dennis Scott, poet and playwright
    • Malachi Smith, poet
    • Pamela Colman Smith, artist and writer
    • Kiffra Solomon, writer and producer
    • Michael Livingston,artist and writer
    • Michael Ekweueme Thelwell, writer
    • Peter williams, actor
    • Robert Wedderburn, political activist
    • Hope Wheeler artist
    • Anthony C. Winkler, writer
    • Sylvia Wynter, writer
    • Walford Campbell, artist
    • Chris Blackwell, President & CEO of Island Records and Palm Pictures, NYC.
    • Michael Lee-Chin, Chairman/CEO of AIC Limited., Chairman of NCB Jamaica
    • Michael Mordecai, past president of the Atlanta Jamaican Association (AJA). Civil engineer, real estate entrepreneur, sportsman and longtime community leader.
    • Bob Marley, reggae singer
    • Buju Banton, reggae singer
    • Bounty Killer, reggae musician
    • Barry Vincent, guitarist (parents are Jamaican)]
    • Prince Buster, ska singer & producer
    • Charlie Chaplin, reggae singer
    • Clive Chin, record producer
    • Jimmy Cliff, reggae musician
    • Coxsone Dodd, record producer
    • Huey Dunbar, Spanish-language singer with group DLG (Jamaican father)
    • Dean Fraser, reggae musician
    • Joe Gibbs, record producer
    • Sean Paul Henriques, dancehall musician
    • Joseph Hoo Kim, record producer
    • Diana King, reggae musician
    • Ini Kamoze, reggae musician
    • Beenie Man, deejay
    • Elephant Man, reggae singer
    • Eek-a-Mouse, reggae singer
    • Bob Marley, legendary reggae musician
    • Damian Marley, reggae musician
    • Ziggy Marley, reggae musician
    • Augustus Pablo, reggae singer
    • Lee “Scratch” Perry, reggae musician
    • Duke Reid, record producer
    • Busta Rhymes, rapper (parents are Jamaican)
    • Winston Rodney, ska musician
    • Lady Saw, reggae musician
    • Mikey Smith, Dub poet
    • Shabba Ranks, reggae musician
    • LA Lewis deejay
    • Peter Tosh, reggae musician
    • King Tubby, dub musician
    • Wynton Kelly, jazz pianist
    • Canibus, rapper
    • Ernest Ranglin, jazz, ska, rocksteady and reggae guitarist
    • Shaggy, singer/songwriter
    • Patra, Dancehall musician
    • Desmond Dekker, Ska and Reggae Singer
    • Kiprich, deejay
    • Lexxus, deejay
    • Assassin, deejay
    • Mr. Vegas, deejay
    • T.O.K., a crew of Jamaican deejays
    • Sasha, deejay
    • Dawn Penn, reggae singer
    • Tami Chynn, singer/songwriter
    • Cecile, singer/songwriter
    • Grace Jones, Singer/Supermodel
    • Jeremyah Fasi, Manager, producer, musician and poet
    • Tanya Stevens, Singer
    • Handshakes, singer
    • Barrington Watson,
    • Edna Manley, Painter/Sculptor and wife of the late Jamaican National Hero; Norman Manley, Mother of Late Jamaican Prime Minister; Michael Manley.
    • Cecil Cooper,
    • Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds
    • Alexander Bustamante, trade unionist
    • Colin Luther Powell, 65th United States Secretary of State (parents are Jamaican)
    • Michael Manley, Prime Minister
    • Henry Moore, colonial governor
    • Trevor Munroe trade unionist and politician
    • P. J. Patterson, Prime Minister
    • Eddie Seaga, Prime Minister
    • Portia Simpson-Miller, Prime Minister
    • Bruce Golding, Prime Minister
    • Thomas Lecky, Portland, Jamaica. Father of the Jamaican Diary Industry. Scientific development of Jamaican livestock.
    • Donovan Bailey, Jamaica-born Canadian, world champion sprinter
    • Donald Quarrie, Jamaican 200 Metre Gold Medalist
    • Steve Bucknor, international cricket umpire
    • Linford Christie, world champion sprinter
    • Chili Davis, Jamaica-born American, former star Major League Baseball player
    • Patrick Ewing, Jamaica-born American, former NBA star
    • Ricardo Gardner, Jamaica-born Premier League and Jamaica national football team football player. He currently plays for Bolton Wanderers.
    • George Headley, cricketer
    • Michael Holding, cricketer
    • Ben Johnson, Jamaica-born Canadian, disgraced champion sprinter
    • Asafa Powell, sprinter
    • Donald Quarrie, sprinter
    • Mike McCallum, champion boxer
    • Merlene Ottey, sprinter
    • Courtney Walsh, cricketer
    • Devon White, baseball player
    • Veronica Campbell-Brown, sprinter
    • Usain Bolt, Sprinter, World Record Holder 100m
    • Brian Lara, Cricketer
    • Natasha Askale Ricketts, Gymanastic and Table Tennis player
    • Kofi Kingston, Wrestler
    • Brian Williamson, Jamaican Gay & Lesbian activist
    • Lenford “Steve” Harvey, Jamaican AIDS activist
    • Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
    • Corinne Bowes “Coco” Associate Director Florida NORML, Marijuana Law Reform Activist
    • Carla Campbell model
    • Naomi Campbell Supermodel
    • Rudolph V. Francis (ACCA Accounting Technician, Justice of the Peace St. James)
    • Karl Dalhouse former General Secretary of the Kingston YMCA
    • Venice Kong Playboy Playmate
    • Jody-Anne Maxwell – Winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee
    • Ieshia (Powell) Model
    • Voletta Wallace, Mother of late rapper The Notorious B.I.G.
    • Stacey McKenzie Supermodel, actress, and model coach
    • Cicely D Williams paediatrician noted for her early description of and work with Kwashiorkor
    • Nadine Willis Supermodel
    • Lisa Hanna Miss World 1993
    • Cindy Breakspeare Miss World 1976

  5. Dutty – is me AGAIN! I am so happy and sad about 46 so I forgot to comment on your two videos — beautiful, thank you!!!

    1977 — I don’t know how old you are but I remember in 1977 when di big ting was 7-7-07 and all ‘dem’ kept saying was going to roll down King Street “when di tree seven clash”! As a really, really, really young girl at the time I was scared out of my mind. Barely anyone ventured out of their homes on 7/7/07. Times have changed I’m sure di street dem full on 8/8/08.

  6. A couple comments:

    It says a lot to me that the more memorable festival songs – the ones that speak to something deeper and beyond us as individuals, the ones that evoke not a sense of nostalgia but one of hope – are the ones from the 1970s. I went to the JCDC site and listened to all of the songs post-1978. None resonate in quite the same way.

    Our ability to imagine ourselves is shaped by our history. Our ability to imagine is *not* determined by that history, or what has gone before.

    We don’t have to continue to debate the colony vs. independent thing. It doesn’t serve us in any way. We can’t know what remaining a colony would be like; we want to believe that it would mean that we would benefit from Britain’s goodies. Well, to do so would mean that we had been good step-children all along up until the moment of truth. We have never been so. The best point of comparison is not Cayman Islands but Puerto Rico.

    Lists of individuals who have done well do not say anything about the kind of society that this is. Conjuring such lists and relying on them as some kind of talisman (against what exactly?) is one of our chief mistakes and continues to suck the life-blood out of our ability to think our way out of the current disasters. Those people did what they did – not in the name or on behalf of Jamaica but for themselves. Claiming that these people are Jamaican does nothing for the rest of us except provide amazingly powerful false evidence that everything is alright despite the fact that our idiot leaders and selfish policymakers do not do much to improve the basic social infrastructure so that, in a different and better society, such icons of ‘success’ would not be special, just ordinary. If we always seem to generate these icons of “success” no matter how much money dem tief, lie dem tell, or people dem kill, then what’s the point of doing any different than preserving the status quo? We do not need (more) stars and famous people; we need a higher standard of existence and quality of life from which we can all begin to map out our own pathways.

    Since the inception of the new political system in the 1960s, it is clear that we have set our sights too low. Contrary to what many want to claim, we are not a people with high ambitions at all; indeed, we have very little collective ambition. The only significant moment when we deigned to think bigger and outside the box of history was killed with red-baiting and actively conjuring the specter of “communism.” Today, what binds us together collectively is a kind of bloodthirstiness – for the “culprits” who are making things “worse”. Nevermind that the culprits that we finger and go on rampages for are not the ones who are really making things go round. Cowardice is disguised by the arrogance, chest-thumping and flag-waving.

    When we start asking prospective politicians what they think, and expect them to explain and defend what they say, not just by beating the bible and repeating what we already think we know, but by introducing new ideas, then we can say that we are on the way to somewhere else, and better, even if it takes another 2 generations to accomplish that. When each successive generation is being breastfed with the same narrow-minded visions of their parents, and who cannot see beyond their own political ambitions and greedy self-serving claims, we cannot get anything different than what we already have now. If we want something different, then we have to think differently, ask for new ideas, and not be so willing to kill the messenger when they disagree with what we have been spoon-fed as “culture”.

  7. happy belated independence

  8. Hey Dutty Bwoy, wha a gwaan wid di sand dem tief? Mi unda stan dat dem might call names soon.Samuda hav report with names.A who fa name inna di report .Mi know yuh busy a watch Olympics, but yuh know anything. Respect star!

  9. ESTEBAN, I haven’t hard anything about the sand thief, it seems to have disappeared from the news like most things. I think they said they found it at two hotels one of whom is n new Spanish hotel.

  10. Good work brother!But there’s always more great Jamaicans to be added,if you do some research then you’ll find some very intresting people.The Stephens music foundation/family,such as Rudy Stephens from the 1930’s and up,was the resident Pianist at Kings House in Jamaica.Played for Queens,kings,Princes,Dukes and Earls.Then Deroy Stephens and the Comanders,was the first Jazz,blues and soul band in the the early 1940’s.What about Howard Stephens,who started the human rights,and black power,and the very early RASTA FARI movements.He was was a doctor and also apart of the early days of Sir Coxone Dodd studio one musical grooming on the gramatical and lyrical structuring of artist;such as Bob,Peter,Slim Smith,and many more.He worked with Jackie Opel,Don Drummonds,Jackie Mitto,Roland Alphonso and The Skatalites to help build that Sudio One sound.What about fame American and worldwide producer Lascelles Stephens? who discovered big pop/r&b sensation Deborah Cox,he has countless of hits with a variety of international artists.Andrew Stephes another too;it was Wayne Ottey,Super Cat and Andrew Stephens discovered Shaggy.Don’t let no one fool you!
    Andrew Stephes is also a major fame producer,songwriter,and movie scorer.He was the founder of “The Legends Of The Dance Hall” world tour series,and that was just excellent to see all these foundation Dj’s from the 60’s to the 90’s on one stage wordwide.
    What about Tom ‘the great’ Subastian? the Jamaica’s first sound system,before Coxone,Duke Reid and Jack Ruby.But speaking about Jack(Lawrence Lindo)Ruby,he made the early discovery of Burning Spear,then signed the group later on to major label deal at Island Records.Keep up the great work!I’ll post you some more info now and again when I get some time for me.Because I’m very busy researching Walter Rodney and Marcus Gavey.Marcus Garvey,of whom I know to be the greatest of them all.If it was’nt for him;they would be no Malcolm X,Matin,and President Obama! Jah Blessed and keep you mi brethren! Oneness

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: