On Wednesday, April 21, 2010, Arts and Culture Jamaica (ACJAM), under the patronage of Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan, hosted the launch of Yvonne Blackwood’s second book on Africa at the offices of the Jamaican Consulate General in Toronto, Canada.
As a child in the 1950s, “Yvonne Blackwood had a fascination for Africa, thanks to her grandmother, who was an excellent storyteller.” Although her dream of visiting Africa was put on hold by motherhood, family life, and a banking career with Canada’s Royal Bank, in 1997 she was finally able to fulfill her dream. After spending some time in Ghana and Nigeria, she penned her very first book, Into Africa: A Personal Journey. After a second trip in 2002, she wrote her second book, Into Africa: The Return.
Speaking at the launch, Consul General Ramocan called Ms. Blackwood “an authentic Caribbean storyteller” and praised her courageous and undaunting spirit, adding that her book “opens your eyes so much about the motherland that is unknown to many of her scattered sons and daughters.”
President of Arts and Culture Jamaica Cherita Girvan-Campbell, who lived in West Africa during the 1970s, congratulated the author, saying that through the descriptions of the people, landscapes, sights, sounds and smells, “she was able to re-trace her footsteps and re-generate the deep emotions that she felt when she was discovering Africa.” [Arts and Culture Jamaica is an organization committed to showcasing the unique arts and culture of Jamaica.]