Articles

Two to One … Ghana
By: Marcella Phillips-Grizzle

The Republic of Ghana is a West African nation believed to be the ancestral home of the vast majority of Jamaica’s Black population. Its national flag – much like the Ethiopian flag, which is revered by Jamaica’s Rastafari community – consists of the colours red, green and yellow, and has a black star depicted in its centre. The Republic is situated on the Gulf of Guinea and is bordered to its east by Togo, its west by Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and its north by Burkina Faso. Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana is the first sub-Saharan country to have gained independence from Great Britain on March 6, 1957, with its first Prime Minister being the pan-Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah.

THE 1865 MORANT BAY rebellion

THE PRELUDE TO THE REBELLION
With the British government’s passage of the Emancipation Act in 1834, the enslaved population throughout the colonies was granted freedom from working on the sugar plantations, and the right to establish themselves as free persons. However, by the 1860s, there was the growing feeling among the emancipated population that the British government’s interest in safeguarding their welfare in Jamaica was waning.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development


By: Marcella Phillips-Grizzle

The United Nations’ World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is recognised and celebrated around the world on May 21. The designation came in 2001 when the UN adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and, in 2002, the UN General Assembly declared May 21 as the day for dialogue and development, in direct recognition of the need for appreciation of the value of not only cultural differences, but also the tremendous role it plays in minimising poverty and achieving overall development in a sustainable manner.

Storytelling: A Vehicle for Cultural Preservation

By: Chelsea Stephenson

Storytelling is an important cultural thread that makes up the colourful fabric of Jamaican society. Louise Bennett Coverley, Ranny Williams, Charles Hyatt, Dr. Amina Blackwood Meeks, and many others, have played an integral role in promoting and protecting this aspect of Jamaica’s heritage.

Kumina

Kumina is a musico-religious form which is based mainly on communication with the ancestors of the Congo people of Africa and their descendants in Jamaica. The dance ritual is also performed at times for recreational purposes.

The History and Development of Devon House

Devon House, located at the corner of Hope Road and Waterloo Road in St. Andrew, is a historic building and is regarded as one of the finest examples of nineteenth century domestic architecture in Jamaica. It is situated a far distance from these roads and is surrounded by gardens, with scattered boulders and majestic trees, including a huge cotton tree. The entrance is graced with black iron gates and the pathways leading to the house are dotted with royal palms. It has the ambience of a great house.

Jamaica’s National Bird: The Doctor Bird

By: Rochelle Clarke

The doctor bird, also known as the Swallow-tail hummingbird, Streamer-tail, Scissors-tail or Swallow-streamer or by its scientific name, Trochilus polytmus, is considered to be one of the most outstanding of the 320 species of hummingbirds. The genus is currently split into two separate species, namely, the Red-billed and the Black-billed Streamertail. This bird is indigenous to Jamaica, which means that it lives only in Jamaica.

UNESCO International Youth Day

By: Marsha Hall

Despite almost every nation grappling with its own challenges, there is a global push for diversity, equity, and inclusion for everyone – regardless of race or ethnicity. At the core of this thrust are common topics and pervasive societal issues ranging from climate change to social justice, health disparities, food insecurity, unemployment, equitable access to technology, and a clean and safe environment. However, these debates are no longer limited by age or the domain of a few, as is evidenced in the popular triumvirate: Baby boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials. Therefore, the theme for this year’s International Youth Day – Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages – within the context of achieving the sustainable development goals, is quite appropriate and urgently requires ‘all hands on deck’.

UNESCO International Literacy Day

By: Marsha Hall

This year, UNESCO is celebrating International Literacy Day (ILD) 2022 on the 8th of September under the theme – Transforming Literacy Learning Space – a global call to action that informs and inspires people of the importance of literacy learning spaces to build inclusive education for all. More than anything, ILD is for everyone to continue the celebration of progress achieved in literacy since the day it was first established in 1967. According to UNESCO, ILD aims to remind the public of the value of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. Yet, universally, there are still serious barriers to be addressed, as seven hundred and seventy-one million people in the world, two-thirds of whom are females, lack even the most basic literacy skills.

Jamaica’s Highest Honour: The Order of National Hero

By Chelsea Stephenson

Established in 1969 through the National Honours and Awards Act, Jamaica’s Order of National Hero is the highest award that can be bestowed in the country. It, along with the other National Honours and Awards, made it possible for the nation to recognize those who have contributed meaningfully to the development of the nation. Since the systems’ inception, to this date, only seven individuals have received the award of the Order of National Hero: Marcus Garvey, Sir Alexander Bustamante, Norman Washington Manley, George William Gordon, Nanny of the Maroons, Paul Bogle and Samuel Sharpe.

A Brief History of East Indian Heritage in Jamaica

By Rochelle Clarke

The East Indians are the largest ethnic minority group living in Jamaica at present. The decision to introduce East Indian immigrant workers to the island’s plantations came after the failure of the post-slavery apprenticeship system in 1838 as well as the European immigration scheme.

The Significance of Jamaica’s National Symbol – the Coat of Arms

By Rochelle Clarke

A coat of arms is the principal part of a system of hereditary symbols, which dates back to early medieval Europe, and is used mainly to establish identity in battle. A coat of arms that is found on an escutcheon forms the central element of the entire heraldic achievement, which consists mainly of a shield, a motto, supporters, and a crest. Traditionally, a coat of arms is unique to an individual, family descent, adoption, a state, an organization, school or other institution or cooperation, alliance, property ownership and later on, a profession.