colourism in jamaica, usain bolt, carnival, jamaican flag

Strolling through colourism & class in Jamaica

Jamaica is a beautiful island, tourism is one of its biggest industries. Like most Caribbean islands, there is more to Jamaica than sunshine, white sandy beaches and good rum!

Despite all her beauty, there is an ugly which lurks beneath. Colourism, a negative racial construct is endemic within ethnic communities globally and Jamaica hasn’t escaped. Earlier this year, the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper reported sprinting legend Usain Bolt, discussing being discriminated against by his fellow ‘upper class’ Jamaicans, at the start of his rise to success, due to his humble beginnings.

“Especially when I started out. It was more shocking than anything else. That was how I ended up buying my house..I was living in a complex and I had issues with a few of the lighter-skinned people. I used to live near a lawyer and when I moved in, he said to me ‘be careful, they don’t like to see young people strive’.”

 Strolling, is an online documentary series by  director Cecile Emeke from London – “connecting the scattered stories of the black diaspora”. One episode follows two Jamaicans, recounting their experiences of Jamaica’s class/colour divide.

Ad+s Diaspora:

Snippets of an African legacy from a colourful perspective

Twitter: @adsdiaspora



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