Countries often name streets and roads after people they admire. Jamaica’s government has named some local roads on the island after foreigners, and nations overseas have returned the favor by naming some of their roads after Jamaicans they want to honor. Below is a list of eight roads in foreign countries that are named after Jamaicans.
1 – Jamaica Way in Paterson, New Jersey
In 2021, Vreeland Avenue, located between 17th and 19th Avenues in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, in the United States was renamed “Jamaica Way” to honor the outstanding contributions made by Jamaicans to the city.
2 – Dr. Marcus Garvey Street in Windhoek, Namibia
The Namibian government named a street in its capital city of Windhoek after Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero, in 2018. Garvey was a well-known Pan-Africanist, philosopher, and major proponent of Black pride. Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, was present at the street naming in Namibia in 2018.
3 – Bob Marley Boulevard in Brooklyn, New York
Church Avenue between Remsen Avenue and East 98th Street in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, was renamed Bob Marley Boulevard for Jamaica’s legendary reggae artist Bob Marley in 2006.
4 – Marcus Garvey Square in the Bronx, New York
In 2009, the four corners of White Plains Road and Gun Hill Road in the Bronx were renamed Marcus Garvey Square to honor the Black activist, Pan Africanist, and Jamaican National Hero.
5 – Moses Matalon Causeway in St Lucia
In 2015, the Pigeon Island Causeway in St. Lucia was renamed the Moses Matalon Causeway for the late Jamaican who engineered the Causeway, which has been described as “an engineering masterpiece,” and reclaimed acres of land to create a picturesque bay in the 1970s. Matalon was born in Kingston in 1921 and was known as a visionary. His family is credited for their nation-building initiatives, especially housing developments, built in Jamaica in the 1940s and 1950s.
6 – Jolly Way in Scarborough, Toronto, Canada
In 2019, a street in Scarborough, Toronto, in Canada was renamed Jolly way to honor B. Denham Jolly, an award-winning, Jamaican-born businessman. Jolly was presented with the Order of Canada in 2020 and is recognized for his work as a philanthropist, author, publisher, and civil rights activist.
7 – Jimmy Wisdom Way in Little Jamaica, Toronto, Canada
In 2020, Locksley Avenue in Toronto, Canada’s Little Jamaica community of Eglinton West was renamed Jimmy Wisdom Way for the late Jamaican-born entrepreneur, Ronald Jimmy Wisdom. He had lived, worked, mentored, and inspired people at Wisdom’s Barber Shop for over 35 years before his death at the age of 72 in 2019.
8 – Jamaica Road in Southwark, London, England
The road now known as Jamaica Road was created in the 18th century and was called the New Road at that time. It was named Jamaica Road in reference to the trade between London and Jamaica. It is unclear when the road name was changed.
Photo – Jamaica Organization of New Jersey Essex County Chapter