Welcome to Jamaican Echoes, a blog by me, Kerry-Ann Morris, that takes readers on guided tours of Jamaica’s exciting past, one post at a time! I am passionate about history, but most especially the history of my beautiful and diverse country, Jamaica land I love. Through Jamaican Echoes I share this rich history with both Jamaicans and lovers of all things Jamaican.
A Bit of History
I started Jamaican Echoes in April 2010 out of sheer homesickness! I was studying in London at the time (the first time for me living so far away from my family, friends, Jamaica, my familiars). About this time though I was learning more about blogging, and then the idea struck me: why not start a blog about Jamaica’s history? That sounded like an excellent way for me to not only distract myself from thinking about how homesick I was, but also to indulge my love of Jamaican history. Living in London had its perks as well, especially for someone like me, a lover of history. I was in this historical city, traversing bridges, roads and walkways, and walking through and touching structures I once only read about and watched in documentaries. I became wonderfully drunk with the history surrounding me!
So on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, I signed up with WordPress.com and Jamaican Echoes was born! I later self-hosted my blog with WordPress.org, using Bluehost as my hosting provider.
The reception to the blog was beyond my expectations. People, both Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans alike, warmly welcomed Jamaican Echoes and I felt like I’d found my calling.
Why the Name Jamaican Echoes?
The Chambers Giant Dictionary and Thesaurus (2007) provides us with five definitions for the word “echo:”
- the repeating of a sound caused by the sound waves striking a surface and coming back.
- a sound repeated in this way.
- an imitation or repetition, sometimes an accidental one.
- a trace; something which brings to mind memories or thoughts of something else.
- a reflected radio or radar beam, or the visual signal it produces on a screen.
Jamaican Echoes falls in line with definition 4. In the context of our history, echoes are those elements of our past that are quite audible and visible today. The past leaves behind traces in our present day in many ways. For instance, it appears in our architecture, our language, our folklore, our streets and their names, in how and what we eat and drink, in how we construct our sentences, and in our everyday language. History permeates us in every which way possible. After all: “History is the past that exists in the present.” So says Eric W. Sager, from the Times Colonist, on March 15, 2013, in his Comment: History is more than just getting the facts right:
History is not the past, dead and gone for all but a few fact-obsessed zealots. History is the past that exists in the present: It is the social memory that guides us between past, present and future. Without it, we have amnesia, and we cannot see our way clearly.
What to Expect from Jamaican Echoes
My mission with Jamaican Echoes is to instill greater interest in Jamaica’s history by providing all Jamaicans – both within the country and the Diaspora – and the worldwide community, the opportunity to learn about different aspects of our country’s past that made Jamaica the country it is today. To accomplish this I will typically post once per week, with additional snippets of Jamaican history posted on the blog’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Don’t have time to visit Jamaican Echoes to read the latest posts? Then Jamaican Echoes will come to you! Now you can sign up to receive Jamaican Echoes’ blog posts via email.
But don’t think of Jamaican Echoes as a boring history class! I write about any and everything that interests me about the Jamaican past, and my posts are usually driven by happenings within present-day Jamaica (remember, historical echoes!). See for example this post I wrote on the habit of spitting in public in Jamaica.
Come walk wid mi as I trace the sources of these echoes in Jamaica’s history through Jamaican Echoes.