Folks from across the globe occasionally come and visit Jamaica, the land of wood and water. What do you love about Jamaica? Here is a video highlighting what our fellow citizens love about the island: (https://www.facebook.com/winston.steele.12/videos/2074001189282305/)
John Brown Russwurm, Claude McKay, Joel Augustus Rogers & Thaddeus Alexander Kitchener – Black History Month
John Brown Russwurm was an American abolitionist who was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica to an English father and an enslaved mother.
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 3, 2017: When Black History Month is discussed, West Indian blacks who have made a significant contribution to the United States’ black history are rarely ever acknowledged. Yet their contribution remains inedible. Here are five Jamaican immigrants – beyond Marcus Garvey – who U.S. Black History has all but forgotten:
John Brown Russwurm
John Brown Russwurm was an American abolitionist who was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica to an English father and an enslaved mother. As a child he traveled to the United States with his father and received a formal education, becoming the first African American to graduate from Bowdoin College and third African American to graduate from an American college. As a young man, Russwurm moved from Portland, Maine, to New York City, where he was a founder with Samuel Cornish of the abolitionist newspaper, Freedom’s Journal, the first paper owned and operated by African Americans. Russwurm became supportive of the American Colonization Society’s efforts to develop a colony for African Americans in Africa, and he moved in 1829 to what became Liberia. In 1836 Russwurm was selected as governor of Maryland in Africa, a small colony set up nearby by the Maryland State Colonization Society. He served there until his death in 1851. The colony was annexed to Liberia in 1857.
W. A. Domingo.
Wilfred Adolphus Domingo was born in Kingston, Jamaica and became an activist and journalist and the youngest editor of Marcus Garvey’s newspaper the Negro World. As an activist and writer, Domingo travelled to the United States advocating for Jamaican sovereignty as a leader of the Black Brotherhood and the Harlem Socialist party. Through this role, he gained the attention of Alain Locke during the Harlem Renaissance. Domingo was a contributor to Locke’s anthology The New Negro. Domingo’s essay “The Gift of the Black Tropics” gave an account of the sudden immigration of foreign-born Africans of the West Indies to Harlem during the early 1920s.
Clarendon-born Festus Claudius McKay, who later became known as Claude McKay, first wrote poems primarily in the Jamaican dialect but switched to Standard English forms after moving to the United States in 1912 to attend Tuskegee University. His militant sonnet “If We Must Die” was first published in 1919 during a period of intense racial violence. The poem noted for its revolutionary tone became popular among African American readers and is considered a landmark of Harlem Renaissance. McKay became involved with a group of black radicals who were unhappy both with Marcus Garvey’s nationalism and the middle-class reformist NAACP. These included other Caribbean writers such as Cyril Briggs, Richard B. Moore, and Wilfrid Domingo. They fought for black self-determination within the context of socialist revolution. Together they founded the semi-secret revolutionary organization, the African Blood Brotherhood. His 1928 novel Home to Harlem became a best-seller and won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature. The following year his novel Banjo was published which was hailed as a radical work that envisioned the black political identity in a global framework. McKay was among the most famous writers of the Harlem Renaissance and an influential figure of the movement.
Joel Augustus Rogers
Joel Augustus Rogers was a Negril, Jamaica-born author, journalist, and historian who contributed to the history of Africa and the African Diaspora, especially the history of African Americans in the United States. Rogers emigrated from Jamaica to the United States in 1906, where he settled in Harlem, New York and became a close personal friend of the Harlem-based intellectual and activist Hubert Harrison. Rogers’ first book From “Superman” to Man, self-published in 1917, attacked notions of African inferiority. From “Superman” to Man is a polemic against the ignorance that fuels racism. In the 1920s, Rogers worked as a journalist on the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Enterprise. He was a sub-editor of Marcus Garvey’s short-lived Daily Negro Times. He was one of the greatest popularizers of African history in the 20th century.
Thaddeus Alexander Kitchener
Thaddeus Alexander Kitchener, a Kingston, Jamaica-born immigrant, is believed to be the first black graduate of Suffolk Law School, a private, non-sectarian law school located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated class of 1913. At the time of his admittance to Suffolk, Kitchener, according to the Suffolk University Archives, was employed as a janitor at Simmons College in Boston. Kitchener was an alumnus of Wolmers High School in Jamaica.
Actor – Author
We Celebrate Black History Month…
“Never be limited by other people’s LIMITED imagination.”
— Dr. Mae Jamison
This week we acknowledge our Head Coach, Graeme Townshend, who continues with his incredible journey to achieve what others would call impossible…
Jamaica Cultural Alliance 18th Annual Tea Party (2016)
Los Angeles, California, June 20, 2016 – Jamaica Cultural Alliance, a long-standing Los Angeles based cultural organization will hold its 18 the Annual Tea Party at the historical Culver Hotel on Sunday, July 10, 2016.
The organization prides itself on sharing information about Jamaica as well as its connection to other cultures throughout the world. This event will showcase the vocal talent of a recent graduate from USC School of Music, Ms. Ashley Chanel as well as fashions by Ghanaian designer Rosemond R Sagoe and jewelry by Maasai women of the Ongata-Rongai region of Kenya. The event is sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board.
JCA has deliberately chosen this site for the event, as Culver City, which like Jamaica has a rich history, is preparing to celebrate its centennial year. The year-long celebration begins on September 20, 2016 and will conclude on September 20, 2017 – which marks the 100 year anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Culver City.
Jamaica Cultural Alliance is a Los Angeles based non-profit organization with the objective of expanding and enriching knowledge and awareness of Jamaican culture, history and heritage as well as its connection to Los Angeles, the United States and the world at large. For further information please visit >www.jamaicaculture.com or call (323) 692-0423.
Part I of II – Documentary on Jamaican National Heroine to Screen at the 24th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival.
New York, January 15, 2016 – The legendary Nanny of the Maroons is Jamaica’s only female National Heroine. She was an eighteenth-century, African warrior Queen who led a band of former enslaved Africans in the mountains of Jamaica to a decisive victory over the mighty British army. Despite all this acclaim, Queen Nanny remains a mystery. Her name is mentioned only four times in textbooks. And so most of what we know about her comes through oral tales and legends.
Conceived by veteran movie stuntman and award-winning filmmaker, Roy T. Anderson and History Professor Harcourt T. Fuller, PhD, this landmark, one-hour, documentary film will unearth and examine this mysterious figure that is Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess.
Sponsored by the Jamaica Cultural Alliance (JCA), a Los Angeles 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Queen Nanny will have its West Coast Premiere as an official selection of the 24th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival on Saturday, February 6, 2016 @ 7 pm, at the Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza 15 in Los Angeles, CA. A private, invitation-only reception will precede the film’s showing. Queen Nanny had a very successful World Premiere screening on October 19, 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, as part of the 2015 Remember Slavery Programme of Activities along with screenings of such films as Selma and Book of Negroes (BET). The World Premiere also drew attention to the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). The United Nations is also is considering the film as part of their educational outreach for Slavery Remembrance Day, to be observed Friday, March 25, 2016.
Queen Nanny was filmed in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada, and the United States over the course of two years, and include interviews with Maroons and scholars who are experts in Caribbean history and the study of slavery. As we seek to uncover the history and legacy of Queen Nanny, her intriguing story is told through songs, performances, and a series of reenactments.
This film also looks at Queen Nanny’s legacy and impact on contemporary women in general, with interviews featuring, among others: Jamaica’s current Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller; double Olympic and World Champion sprinter Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce; the “Queen of Reggae” Rita Marley; U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke; University Professors Verene Shepherd and Linda Heywood. View YouTube teaser at https://www.youtube.com/embed/nF_Os_yW-D4.
TEF Provides Over $3.4 Million to Support Venture
Kingston, Jamaica: December 11, 2015 – State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment Hon. Damion Crawford has welcomed news that the push to have Kingston designated a Creative City of Music by UNESCO has yielded significant success. This comes on the heels of the official announcement by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, that Kingston was among 10 creative music cities which were designated this year.
The designation resulted from a strategic partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment through the Entertainment Advisory Board, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and other stakeholders. The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has provided over $ 3.4 million to date to support the venture.
The process was initiated by the Ministry’s Entertainment Advisory Board in 2013 and was aimed at ensuring that Kingston becomes a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, which focuses on resuscitating the economic viability of cities through arts, culture and community. The venture then received overwhelming support from the KSAC which played a pivotal role in facilitating the successful submission of a formal application to have the city designated.
The announcement also follows a recent trip by the Ministry’s Senior Director of Entertainment, Gillian Wilkinson McDaniel and Kingston’s Town Clerk, Robert Hill to Japan to lobby for the designation to be granted at the UNESCO World Creative City Forum.
The detailed application was submitted on July 15, 2015 after several consultations spearheaded by the EAB and the KSAC with partners such as the Urban Development Corporation, University of the West Indies, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica.
Since then, a national steering committee has been formed with the objective of implementing projects across the corporate area which will foster the development of the creative industries in Kingston. “I am very pleased that the initiative was successful and it is further proof that hard-work and partnerships can have a far reaching impact. I am convinced that the designation will help to boost our efforts to position Kingston as a cultural city and will also enhance the appeal of Jamaica to travellers with a special interest in culture,” Minister Crawford expressed.
The Minister also believes that the designation will enhance Jamaica’s competiveness. “I am confident that Kingston’s designation as a Creative Music City will boost our standing as a competitive destination in accordance with the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI),” he said.
UNESCO’s Creative Cities programme was started in 2004 as an initiative to unite cities from across the globe through creative industries. It is policy-driven at the municipal and national level. The network is currently formed by 69 members from 32 countries covering seven creative fields – crafts & folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music and media arts.
Other cities also recognised creative cities of music include: Tongyeong (Republic of Korea), Varanasi (India), Adelaide (Australia), Idanha-a-Nova (Portugal), Katowice (Poland), Salvador (Brazil), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Liverpool (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and Medellín (Colombia).
For further information contact:
- Alyssa Taffe
- Public Relations Officer
- Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment
- 64 Knutsford Boulevard
- Kingston 5
- Tel: 920-4926-30, ext: 5989
Los Angeles, CA (October 6, 2015) – Former Consul General for Southern California and Jamaica Cultural Alliance (JCA) Board Member, Mr. Cleveland Neil, will on October 19th be awarded the Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service (BHM) to Jamaica and the Jamaican Community in Southern California. This award will be presented by the Governor General at a ceremony to be held at Kings House, Kingston, Jamaica.
Mr. Neil held the position of Honorary Consul of Jamaica to Southern California for over three decades, making him the longest serving Jamaican Consul. In that capacity, Mr. Neil facilitated official state actions on behalf of the Jamaican government and generally acted as a liaison between the government of Jamaica and American regional interests.
During his tenure as Honorary Counsel, Mr. Neil hosted countless dignitaries from various counties, brokered numerous business relationships and created a strong network of colleagues and friends around the globe. Between 1969 and 2003, Cleveland Neil represented not only the pride of the Jamaican people; with integrity in all of his actions, he also represented their strength and spirit.
In honor of his achievement the Jamaica Cultural Alliance has released a limited edition t-shirt to commemorate this occasion, which reflects the Jamaican spirit and the impact of the Jamaican People – “Many Peoples, One Culture, One World” you can order your t-shirts here: https://goo.gl/uHqSHL