Happy Independence Day Jamaica

On this day, August 6, 56 years ago, Jamaica got her political independence from British Colonial rule.

Bow down b***hes!

Chances are you’ve been influenced by Caribbean culture in one way or another and it may have been specific to Jamaica.

So, let’s dive into how this wonderful country we all love and adore freed herself today in 1962. She’s pretty young, if we are counting her existence from then.

Big up Jamaica!

Her first constitution gave considerable powers to the colonizers, but in 1962 The Jamaican Constitution said “Not on my watch!” as it is the most fundamental legal document in the country, guaranteeing the freedom, rights & privilege of every Jamaican citizen.

However, Jamaica got here through rallying the working class with the leadership of Alexander Bustamanate; her first Prime Minister.

But first, a quick back peddle.

With World War II coming to a close, talks of decolonization were spreading throughout the world.

Like similar stories of other countries who wanted out, the colonizer’s approach remained the same.

The British decided to first cut deals with Jamaican politicians in placation. Jamaica gained a degree of local political control in the mid-1940s.

In 1938, the People’s National Party (PNP) was established and it remained uncontested for 5 years until the JLP;  The Jamaica Labour Party was formed by-you guessed it!- Alexander Bustamanate!

The first election where all adult citizens had the right to vote was in 1944.

In the 50s Norman Manley the leader of the PNP was elected Chief Minister and he expedited the decolonization process by implementing constitutional amendments which gave leeway for more self-governance.

Jamaica entered the West Indies Federation under Manley’s leadership. The West Indies Federation was a political union of Colonized entities, it’s purpose was to unite 10 British occupied territories into a single independent state.

The colonizer lacks imagination.

Naturally, as the people were fighting for their sovereignty, this move by Manley was extremely unpopular. In 1962 Jamaica withdrew from the union which subsequently collapsed a year later as Trinidad and Tobago followed suit.

During the elections held in 1962 the JLP defeated the PNP and Sir Bustamanate became Prime Minister in April.

That same year, today, Jamaica became an independent nation.

The Union Jack was ceremoniously lowered and replaced by the Jamaican flag.

Jamaica still has a long way to go in terms of LGBTQIA rights and keeping her promise to truly make sure all her people are free.

Leave a Reply