On Wednesday, August 1, 1838, the enslaved people in Jamaica were granted emancipation from their arduous lives as slaves. On that day thousands congregated in front of Government House in Spanish Town (then the capital of Jamaica), to listen to the Governor, Sir Lionel Smith, read Queen Victoria’s Proclamation of Freedom. But, did you know that this granting of freedom occurred five years after the Emancipation Act was actually passed?
On Sunday, May 23, 2010, effective at 6:00 p.m., a limited state of emergency was declared for Kingston and St Andrew due to the instability being experienced in the capital as a result of criminals seeking to prevent the arrest of crime lord and Tivoli Gardens strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. Sections of West Kingston became unstable after the Government approved the extradition request for Coke on May 17/18, 2010, a request that was first made by the United States Government in the summer of 2009.
The 2010 state of emergency was the fifth such declaration made in Jamaica since Independence in 1962; declarations made for differing reasons. The following are summaries of these five states of emergency in Jamaica’s history.
Jamaica has a long history of activism, defined as “the doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, etc.” (Dictionary.com). We can view the slave rebellions of the 18th and 19th centuries as forms of activism for the rights of those enslaved to freedom. This Adolphe Duperly 1833 creation depicts the destruction of Roehamtion Estate in St James during the 1831-1832 slave rebellion.
Sometimes, this spirit of activism has brought the country into contention with its northerly neighbour, the United States of America (USA), specifically as it concerns slavery.
Have you ever wondered about the historical basis for our fascination and pre-occupation with colour in Jamaica? I don’t mean as in race relations such as black vs. white. Nope. I mean our pre-occupation with shades of skin colour. Obviously we have to start with slavery and colonialism. I saw you rolling your eyes and […]
“We must have both turtle and vegetable soups.”
“… and turtle served in the shell…”
Thus said fictional character, Caroline Mortimer, mistress of fictional sugar plantation, Amity, in Andrea Levy’s historical fiction “The Long Song” (2010). Although a fictional conversation, it does reveal what many historians have found in their research about the gastronomic extent of Jamaica’s plantation days: turtle meat was once greatly indulged in by the colonialists, as well as exported.
Have you ever wondered what it means when local authorities give the symbolic key to the city to someone? Well, if you haven’t I have … and in the most random way possible!
During one of my sojourns across the internet (I really don’t remember what I was searching for; but like my mother and YouTube videos, I moved from blog, video, podcast, etc. etc., etc) I came across a blog post with a picture of a set of keys as its featured image. And just like that the following phrase popped into my head: keys to the city.
HAPPY 51st INDEPENDENCE DAY, JAMAICA!!!
We’ve reached another milestone on our path as a sovereign nation, which began on midnight, Monday, August 6, 1962. We’re now 51 years old! This is still quite young in the scheme of things, which means we’re still going through growing pains – in some instances, these growing pains are very painful indeed! – but still we must recognise this as a moment of reflection, remembrance and celebration.
Yes, everybody knows that Emancipation came about 175 years ago today, on August 1, 1838; however, this was five years after the Emancipation Act was actually passed. Today’s post takes a short tour of the circumstances leading up to the full Emancipation of the enslaved black population in Jamaica.
In 1973, in a further effort to create a permanent space in our national memory for our National Heroes, and to create a physical place for honouring our Heroes, the Government renamed the George VI Memorial Park the National Heroes Park, and suitable monuments have been erected in their memory in an area known as the Shrine. I took a stroll through the Park on Saturday, October 13, 2012, to share photos of the monuments with you.
Do you guys remember the National Song for schools, “I Pledge My Heart?” I absolutely love this song and used to look forward to singing it during devotions at the Queen’s School. Sometimes, I find myself humming the song or singing it quietly to myself.