Independence was not welcomed by all. There was a prevailing view amongst various sections of the society that the colonial structure was beneficial to Jamaica and should remain in place. This sentiment was shared to some extent by the leading political figures who were initially reluctant to pursue self-government as was long advocated by the Jamaica Progressive League. There was also a strong fear that such a break from England would result in the outbreak of violence. In fact, in the latter part of the 1940s, Alexander Bustamante noted, “[I]f we got complete self-government here and now, there would be bloodshed night and day”. This sentiment persisted and as such, the plan to turn off the lights for one minute for the flag change at the National Stadium on the eve of Independence caused some degree of anxiety amongst the organizers of the celebration.

Despite the reservations some harbored about Jamaica’s move towards political sovereignty, there was still a hopeful expectation that this change would have a positive impact. On the eve of Independence, even those who had initially expressed doubt about the new direction of the country joined in solidarity in celebrating with pride the achievement of Independence.

Mr. Martin W. May Shares His Thoughts About Jamaica’s Readiness For Independence.