I hope to give my perspective on history and hopefully inform one and all a little bit about what Jamaican independence means to me. Let's start off with five fun facts.
5 fun facts
1) "Out of many, one people" quite a popular phrase but not always understood. We recognise this is a part of the coat of arms on the Jamaican emblem. It is often mentioned as a line to encourage unity.
My understanding of the phrase points to the diverse inhabitants of the island. From the Tainos, to the Spanish, the English, the Africans and Indians.
2) Xaymaca is actually the name from which Jamaica comes from. It means "the land of wood and water". It stems from the Arawak language from which the Tainos spoke.
3) The national dish of Jamaica is Ackee and Salt fish. The Ackee fruit origins from Ghana and is a direct link to some of their West African ancestors. It was thought to be brought over in the 18th Century. Salted fish was a common way to preserve for particularly in the western hemisphere.
4) Jamaica is divided into 14 parishes Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James, Trelawny, St. Ann, St. Mary, Portland and St. Thomas. These Parishes are named after British
5) Jamaica became independent after decades of struggle, bloodshed, injustice and oppression from their colonial British rule. From the Maroons wars that forced the British slave owners to stop slavery in a bid to save their lives, to the struggle for Jamaicans to take claim on the island they were born in. Jamaica gained independence from British rule in 6 August 1962.
The disappointment in the HMT Empire Windrush generation has appalled many in 2018. Essentially after the wars there was a shortage in the workforce. With England in a state from the bombings and the economy needing workers the British went all over the carribean to persuade people to come to England. Jobs that were available were jobs in transport for London, construction, nursing and other sectors. Jamaica not being independent was a colony and thus its citizens were British. Therefore it was understandable that various people did not apply for documentation as some felt they didn't need it.
Unfortunately for a minority who did not secure citizenship the records were conveniently destroyed and Jamaicans who had worked till pension age for the country who invited them in dusted their feet off them and created policies to deport them. To have given your all for a country, then thrown away once you are deemed no longer useful is appalling. I fully understand why people are outraged by the decisions of the United Kingdom government via the home secretary/s.
These immigrants are people who have contributed economy and also to the culture of the United Kingdom which we all are beneficiaries of. Significant influence in fashion, food and music to name a few. Bands like the Beatles were heavily influenced by the black musicians of the day. Styles such as the skin heads and other trends were directly linked to the influence of the Windrush generation.
Celebration of Independence
The Crystal Palace Independence day was sponsored by Grace and took place on the 5th of August 2018. It was a pleasant atmosphere though very hot all day will little shade. I was fortunate enough to be asked to help out with family, but spent my time mixed between supporting them and getting out there to get some pictures.
The people who made it this year turned out in style and with a smile. I usually avoid this event, but I was glad I came out this year. I was really able to get myself out there and meet the local community in a positive event.
There were a few stalls from Black businesses present from books to stall. Here are some of the fellow businesses who turned up at the day. They engaged with the crowds and sold jewellery, books, food, clothes, property and much more.
We were also fortunate to have present the Jamaican High commissioner His Excellency Mr. Seth George Ramocan. He came by and addressed the crowd and promoted positivity. He was warmly received by the crowd.
We were also blessed to have John Fisher and IDMC perform some gospel music tracks. They were full of energy and viger and sang songs of praise and worship.
I met so many interesting faces, and characters. Capturing them was pleasure. Here are some of those who came to support.
Jamaican independence in Palace was a lovely get together. I enjoyed meeting faces and capturing moments. As you can see there was a great turn out, it was hot but the people turned out in style and in numbers. Thank you for reading my blog and your support.