Why am I so proud to be Jamaican?

Why am I so proud to be Jamaican? To begin, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride when I see Jamaicans being recognized for their contributions to society and making mention of their Jamaican heritage. Former US Secretary of State, General Colin Powell who was born of Jamaican parentage stood in the thrust of America’s political arena at a time that history will not soon forget. History books document our very own Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a Jamaica National Hero, as a courageous Jamaican that spread his wings beyond the boundaries of our beautiful island. Since then, so many Jamaicans like General Powell has proved that although Jamaicans are birthed from a tiny island, our dreams have taken us way beyond the scope of the world and across all walks of life.

One accomplished Jamaican, Wayne Hewitt, was highlighted in Black Enterprise Magazine, as one of America’s successful businessmen. Mr. Hewitt is the General Manager of Petrochemicals and Global Sourcing at General Electric (GE). A recent headline in newspapers around the globe read, “Jamaican creates history/Earns three graduate degrees at one sitting.” It was just a few years ago that Saleem Josephs took on nay sayer faculty and advisors at Columbia University. He proved them wrong when he attempted and earned the almost impossibly difficult two dual degree options at the University. Saleem graduated with a Doctorate in Dental Surgery (DDS) with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), and the DDS with a Master’s in Public Health (MPH).

In 1998, Jamaican Jody-Anne Maxwell became the first non-American to win the Scripps Howard Spelling. That same year, “The Reggae Boyz” (Jamaica’s national football team) made Jamaica the first English-speaking Caribbean country to qualify for World Cup football. Not only did our football team make international history, we gained greater recognition when we presented the Winter Olympics with our very own Bobsled team. Talk about bold; we don’t even have snow in Jamaica.

Jamaicans excel in so many areas, and their accomplishments are published worldwide every single day making Jamaica a prominent little giant sitting in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.

Politicians: General Colin Powell, Marcus Garvey,
Actors: Delroy Lindo, Madge Sinclair, Grace Jones, Shari Belafonte, Sheryl Lee Ralph
Theatre: Oliver Samuels, Louise Bennett, Glen Campbell
Boxing: World Heavyweight Champion: Lennox Lewis
Musical Artists: Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Busta Rhymes, Grace Jones, Harry Belafonte, Heavy D, Notorious BIG
Sports: Patrick Ewing, Donovan Bailey
Models: Naomi Campbell, Stacey McKenzie, Tyson Beckford

Every Jamaican or those of Jamaican heritage, mentioned above has made a considerable contribution to helping put Jamaica’s name on the map. It is no wonder the Honorable Lousie Bennett-Coverley sums us up as, “we little but wi tallawah!”