To contribute to a Jamaican citizenry which is informed of the diversities of cultures and ethnicities and lived experiences that constitute their common ethos, with a particular emphasis on their African heritage and, by so doing, stimulate a sense of nationhood and pride while promoting a strong sense of self-esteem.
To deepen public awareness of the contribution of African cultural retention to the Jamaican social ethos through the documentation, preservation, presentation and display of information on all aspects of Jamaica’s folk culture, with a particular emphasis on the African heritage.
The African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ) and the Jamaica Memory Bank (JMB) began as independent agencies in 1972 and 1980, respectively. In 1990, they were integrated to complement each other in fulfilling the mission to collect, research, document, analyse and preserve, and disseminate information about Jamaica’s cultural heritage through the utilization of oral and scribal sources. Since its inception, the ACIJ/JMB has released numerous publications including issues of an occasional Research Review, which feature articles highlighting diverse aspects of the Caribbean’s culture.
In striving to fulfill its mandate issued it by its founders, the ACIJ/JMB has constantly engaged in the process of discovery and validation of traditions once little understood or not generally recognized as having any importance to the sociocultural psyche of the nation. This has led, throughout the years, to unqualified support for anthropological, historical and ethnological studies seeking a greater understanding of the cultural phenomena at the core of the nation’s social existence, which has for years been undervalued, and hence placed outside the realm of serious and consistent academic inquiry.
Arising from this work, the ACIJ/JMB has been able to make a significant contribution to scholarship, and to creating a greater public awareness of the totality of our cultural provenance.