If there is one word to describe Jamaicans, it would be boastful. We are a proud bunch that enjoy reminding others about our achievements, often with our faces lighted up. Here are a few things Jamaicans today can boast about:
1- Jamaican has had 4 Miss World titles with the latest one being in 2019 by 23 yr old Toni-Ann Singh. Before her there was Carole Joan Crawford (1963), Cynthia Jean Cameron Breakspeare (1976), and Lisa Rene Hanna (1993).
2- The world’s fastest man with the best 100 m time is former sprinter Usain St. Leo Bolt. Considered the greatest sprinter of all times, the eight times olympic gold medallist is the first to win four World Championship titles in 200 m and also the first sprinter to have won the 100 m and 200 m titles in 3 consecutive Olympic.
3- From the rural parish of Manchester came our very own Elaine Thompson, the first woman – and first Jamaican – in 28 years to have won both the 100 m and 200 m gold medals at the same Olympics. Based on the last Olympics, Thompson holds the title of the World’s Fastest Woman.
4- In 1977 Bob Marley and the Wailers gave us “Exodus”, a music album that would propel Bob Marley’s music career and make him the recipient for the award of Artiste with the Album of the Century. Exodus is a soundtrack mix of souls, British rock, blues and funk with a compilation of songs addressing sex, politics and changes. The album also received gold certification in the US, UK and Canada.
5- Political activist, journalist, publisher and entrepreneur Marcus Mosiah Garvey, was a very controversial figure. The Jamaican, despite the weights of discrimination, poverty and colonialism, inspired a sense of self worth and pride among Africans and the African diaspora. Founder and President of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Garvey opened many business in the U.S where he lived at the time including the Negro World newspaper as well as the Negro factories Corporation. His commitment to empowering black people to getting financial independence and be proud of themselves were remarkable.
6- Jamaicans can boast of having one of the best performing Stock Exchange. An article on the Bloomberg Businessweek describes it as the sort of stock that “tends to be a beacon for global investors”. The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) was recognized as the world’s best performing stock exchange in 2018 and in November 2019, the Jamaican flag was flown at the top of the New York Stock Exchange Building in the U.S. in honour of the successful performance of the stock exchange over the years.
7- We have a Voice – winner! Tessanne Chin, sang her heart out in December of 2013 and won first place in the 5th season of the American TV show, The Voice. Chin obtained the highest votes in the history of the votes for the Tv show and was also the first foreign born contestant to win The Voice USA. The studio version of her performances was compiled into an album that released on iTunes and went to #4 on the Heartseekers Album chart.
8- And if The Voice wasn’t enough, we can also brag about The X Factor win. Dalton Harris, went to the UK and stole the winning title for The X Factor’s 15th season! The then 24yr old singer was being mentored by One Direction star Louis Tomlinson and released his first single which was a cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power of Love. This single reached #4 on the charts and was a duet with a previous X Factor winner, James Arthur.
9- Jamaicans earned bragging rights when our flag emerged the winner of the World Cup of Flags on Twitter. The competition, which was created simply to alleviate boredom, saw the Jamican flag as being one of the most unique flags in the world and the only one of about 196 or more flags that did not contain the colours red, white or blue.
10- The latest of our bragging rights came with the U.S Presidential Elections. The Vice President, Kamala Harris, who happens to be the first woman, the first black woman and the first person of Indian descent, was also the first woman of Jamaican heritage to sit in that role! Who proud like we?!!
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