A Jamerican is a person who was born in the United States, but has a strong affinity of the roots of their Jamaican parents or guardians. It’s also a person who gets confused of which culture that he or she belongs more with. Being a Jamaican or American. To add to the confusion, he or she is neither but possesses the unique elements of both cultures. I am that person. I am a Jamerican. I happen to be the eldest in my family, so does that make me feel closer to be Jamaican because I am closer in age than my sibling(s)? No, not necessarily so. There are many middle and youngest children that affiliate with being a Jamaican by being Jamerican.
Now, what does a Jamerican looks or sound like? I can’t say, because there are many features. Some may mistake me as a black American because I do not have a strong accent or others view me as a total Jamaican because I enjoy eating ‘fish’ for breakfast. To the most, there are some that view me as a Jafakecan because my accent comes out when I communicate with Yardees, I do not force it because I know plainly I was born here. But whatever was passed off in terms of obtaining an accent in my blood, the blood circulated throughout my throat, saturated my voice box and comes out the Jamaican accent in a Jamerican tongue.
My tongue also seems to like a lot more food than what some Yardees may eat or may not eat. In order to be Jamerican, you got to try ‘pear’ even if you hate the taste of mush, but I do it for respect of the culture. Although, I have met a Jamaican, mind you that hate Ackee and Saltfish, the infamous Jamaican dish. So does that make him disrespect the culture? No, he’s just a picky Jamaican, but for me I am seen Americanized if I hate that dish.
Now, now, I am not asking for any applause or a slap in the face for being Jamerican, but I just want to big it up to where I came from. I give respect to my ancestors immensely, even to the point to the first Ghanaians that arrived on the island with a mixture of other indigenous people as well. I also want to represent NYC, a part of me that won’t get old since I was born and raised there. Plus, there is a little Jamaica in many sections of Brooklyn, so I couldn’t get away from Jamaican even if I tried. The cultures of both made me who I am today; A God-fearing woman who enjoys listening to reggae music and R&B. Beres Hammond is a sweet fusion of the two genres. Dancehall and Hip-hop give me the rhythm to dance, but at the same time, I am wary of their lyrics.
But all of these Jamerican talk is just my wardrobe, and I am going to take good care of it while I am on earth. Deep inside this Jamerican house, there is a spirit that has a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Yes, so technically you can call this body a Jafakecan all you want, because this body is not me anyway! Much love!
Isabis Inside is author of Being One: High school, the next frontier. It is about a group of West Indian teenagers going into their first year of high school in NYC. This is the beginning of a series, where many of the characters would become Christians. Her title can be found on amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and her website .