According to AtlantaBlackStar.com in “10 Amazing Facts about Jamaica,” if people look beyond stereotypes and the reputation of Jamaica as a poor country, they will see numerous success stories among Jamaicans and their descendants—I would have started by mentioning Mary Seacole (or even earlier heroic figures), but the article focuses on the 20th century and the present. Some of the figures mentioned are billionaires such as Michael Lee-Chin, noted politicians such former Prime Minister Michael Manley, famous entertainers and athletes (that I need not list here), and important figures in the Diaspora such as Colin Powell, Louis Farrakhan, Harry Belafonte, among others. It also highlights its often progressive political and cultural influence, historical events, and its nature. The Jamaica Observer summarizes here:
Although Jamaica isn’t a particularly rich country, it has created some of the most successful business people in the Caribbean, including Michael Lee-Chin, one of the first Caribbean billionaires, and Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, who revolutionised the hotel industry with his “all-inclusive” luxury hotel chain Sandals, the website said.
AtlantaBlackStar.com also said that by virtue of Jamaica’s location, the island is primed to become the economic hub for trade between the West and the rest of the world.
Jamaica’s Diaspora power also made the list, with the website stating: “Estimates sometimes point to there being as many Jamaicans outside the island nation as there are in it, with 1.7 million in the US, Canada and the UK alone. Native Jamaicans and their descendants are often in influential positions internationally, the website added, citing former US Secretary of State Colin Powell as one such individual.
Jamaica’s music industry was not to be left off the list, with the website saying the island’s “socially conscious music serves as the soundtrack to various socio-political movements in Jamaica and the broader world”. The website also said Jamaica’s music industry is one of the most “influential in the world” with popular dancehall artists like Beenie Man and Sean Paul constantly topping charts across the world and selling out stadiums all over Europe and Asia.
Jamaica’s athletes also made the list but the island’s athletic supremacy is well known so OBSERVER ONLINE will instead look further at another among the 10 Amazing Facts about Jamaica: the island’s geo-politics.
According to AtlantaBlackStar.com, “Although smaller compared to countries like the US, Jamaica has been a global thought-leader in politics… Jamaica was at the forefront of the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa. It was also the first country to declare a trade embargo against South Africa, as early as 1957.” The website also said Jamaica has “historically not been afraid to go against the grain politically” which is most evident by the election of former Prime Minister Michael Manley who pushed for economic equality for all developing nations, “even when his positions were unpopular with the US”.
AtlantaBlackStar.com, which says it endeavours “to cover the global black community with timely, relevant, sophisticated stories”, rounded off their 10 Amazing Facts about Jamaica with the island’s population, cultural influence, heroes and heroine, historical narrative, and nature.
[Photo of Manley and the Mandela’s from http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130612/news/706129914/photos/EP38/]
See the original article at http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/11/14/10-amazing-facts-jamaica/