The founder of the popular Jamaican website Jamaicans.com, Xavier Murphy, has been honored with the Caribbean American Heritage Award. The award was presented to Murphy on June 9, 2019, at the Signature Grand in Davie, Florida. The event was scheduled to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month and to recognize 15 individuals-everyday people doing extraordinary things. The Honorees are from Jamaica, Cuba, Guyana, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Friends from the US. In attendance at the awards event Natives of Caribbean countries, Caribbean-Americans, and supporters, all of whom recognized and celebrated the achievements of the awardees and their contribution to their communities.
Xavier Murphy created the Jamaicans.com website in 1995, a pioneering effort to facilitate communications in the Jamaican Diaspora community. The site was the first and only comprehensive website on Jamaica on the internet at the time and has become the world’s leading website covering news, travel, culture and politics in Jamaica and the Caribbean. It is the 3rd largest Jamaican website online. with only the Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer newspapers. These are the two leading daily newspapers on the island. Jamaicans.com is also an authoritative source for culture, language, current events and commentary for non-Jamaicans who frequent the website. Jamaicans.com was the 1st Caribbean website to launch an iPhone app. To celebrate the site’s 20th anniversary in 2015, the City of Miramar declared “Jamaicans.com month” per a proclamation from the Mayor Wayne Messam.
Mr. Murphy is very active in the South Florida community and has served in a leadership capacity for many organizations including President of the South Florida chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and past president of the Miami Dade Jamaican Student Association. He is the founding member as well as the current president of the Jamaica College Old Boys Association of Florida (JCOBAFL) and chair of its annual True Blue Weekend & Dennis Ziadie Cup committee. The True Blue Weekend & Dennis Ziadie Cup is the largest annual Jamaican alumni outdoor event in South Florida. Jamaica College boasts two Jamaican Prime Ministers: The Honorable Michael Manley and The Honorable Bruce Golding among its distinguished alumni. Jamaican high school alumni associations are the foundation for many local community service activities as well as philanthropic support for schools in Jamaica.
He is also is Co-founder and Coordinator of the Annual Anancy Festival event held in South Florida each June to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month. With Mr. Murphy’s coordination, the Anancy festival was also held in various countries and cities across the world including Ghana, Kenya, Washington DC, New York, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. The folk hero Anancy is the lead character in the most well-known series of children stories in Jamaica. The Anancy character was developed in Ghana and transported to Jamaica by slaves.
Mr. Murphy was honored in August 2012 as Community Luminary for Cultural Arts/ Media and Community Development by the Jamaican Consulate, Miami in its celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence. He was honored in November 2012 as one of South Florida Most Accomplished Black Community Leaders and Entrepreneurs. In 2016 Mr. Murphy was named Innovator of the Year at the People Profile Awards in South Florida.
Mr. Murphy lives in Miramar, Florida with his wife Karen and their three daughters.
Other recipients of the Caribbean American Heritage Award included Mayor Wayne M. Messam of Miramar, Florida; Kenneth Rivera; Susan Bullets; Guithele Ruiz-Nicolas; Chely Thimothee-Paul; Lourdes Diaz; Judith A. Barnes; Guilaine Regis; and Kidson W Barnes Sr. The “Friend of the Caribbean Award” was received by Jawan Strader. Caribbean American Heritage Month Lifetime Achievement Award winners included NBC 6; John Lynch of the Chairman Jamaica Tourist Board; Howard Berger, Lauderhill Commissioner’ and US Congresswoman Alcee.