Xavier Murphy, the founder of Jamaicans.com, launched the interview docuseries, “Jamaicans to the World,” in 2020, with a simple question, “What’s it like to be a Jamaican living as an expatriate in a foreign country?”
The original plan was to document the successes and struggles of Jamaicans living abroad with interviewees in ten countries around the world. Plans changed once the series became so popular and sparked such interest from Jamaicans everywhere who used it as a guide to their own expatriate adventures, and now it is an ongoing project.
Now, many Black travelers use “Jamaicans to the World” to help them connect with people living in the destination country to learn from them about what the country has to offer beyond the usual tourist fare and to talk openly about race issues to obtain a real perspective on conditions in a country from a real person. Such discussions give them a good idea of the differences/similarities between their home country and the destination.
Jamaican-American Mary Ann Raymond wanted to connect with a Jamaican in South Africa. “I felt that it would give me a deeper understanding of the country & what it had to offer. I wanted to be able to see it through the eyes of a Jamaican with knowledge of the area & not just as a tourist,” she said.
Travel consultant Barbara Blake said, “I always like to connect to a Jamaican when I travel because it gives you a sense of security, you will trust what your Jamaican says than even the person who was born in that country.” She added, “Because the person is Jamaican, they will have an idea what Jamaicans will like/do so you do a process of elimination without having to waste your time.”
After doing the series for a while, Murphy discovered that Black travelers want to make connections with other Black peoplearound the world. They ask him if he can connect them with someone when they travel abroad, and some even want to connect with those interviewed in the series. “People always feel more comfortable traveling overseas if they can connect with other Black people at their destination to find out how things really are,’” he said. Murphy noted that the series interviews “do not shy away from addressing more serious matters, such as racism, perceptions of Jamaicans overseas, and the challenges of moving to a country with an unfamiliar culture.”
As of August 2022, “Jamaicans to the World” covered 100 countries and had 4.3 million combined views on Facebook and YouTube.
“Jamaicans to the World” is available on Facebook and YouTube, with live broadcasts of new episodes every Sunday via StreamYard.
Photo – Xavier Murphy’s Facebook Profile