Jamaica has historically been classified as “The Pearl of the Caribbean” with its shores washed daily by its azure waters. The island’s history, not unlike the other members of the archipelago has been similarly shaped by its colonization by Britain, its last colonial master who had captured the island from Spain in 1655 administering it through 173 years of slavery till August 6, 1962 when it granted the island Independence and its autonomous political leadership.
In the years since Independence, Jamaica’s stature has risen in the international sphere due largely to the contributions made by Jamaicans daily, at home and abroad. Culturally, the island has been ranked by the United States of America’s CNN among the top ten most culturally influential countries in the world, led by its pulsating Reggae music courtesy of a long line of musicians piloted by its long deceased Icon Robert Nesta Marley. Since the Gong's death, a litany of current performers including Chronixx and Romaine Virgo have all combined to keep the island’s flag flying in this industry as it maintains the pre-eminence of the genre in a global industry.
In the area of sports, Jamaica’s dominance in athletics has been a matter of record. From Herbert McKinley to Usain Bolt, from Marilyn Neuville to Elaine Thompson, Jamaica has established an enviable record of performance in Track & Field athletics that spans some 70 years.
Beyond the lights and the stage, Jamaicans have dominated in industry and technology at home and abroad, yet the island operates within a shadow of decadence that produces results that are negatively as grating as its positive strides in the social and political space.
This has been the source of my writings for more than half a decade as I sought to bring to public attention, topics that require serious consideration, especially if we are to have meaningful discussion on these issues within the public sphere. Jamaica, for example has been one of the leading voices in the call for regional integration from as far back as 1957 when early discussions were being held with respect to the establishment of the West Indian Federation, an idea that was eventually scuttled because of individual island insularities, which eventually drove the movement for political independence for the larger island states.