Our Jamaica – Drown out the Negative with Positivity

The propagation of mostly negative news relating to Jamaica & Jamaicans, what causes it & the effects it has on the world view of Jamaica.

Jamaica is a beautiful island and is my home. But why are we as a people, portrayed so negatively? As I researched and pulled together some decent sources, I quickly realized that this article that I’m typing would not be an easy task. In my research, I found that some people who live abroad believe that Jamaicans are rude, rowdy and obnoxious. Isn’t it ironic that though our motto ‘out of many, one people’, the negative view of our culture stems from the public view of only a few of our people?

In order to understand why there is negative news about Jamaica, we must understand that criminal behavior and lack of self discipline have come to be associated with Jamaican pop culture, much the way it is with Jamaican dancehall as it is with the American Hip Hop culture. When I asked a couple of friends what comes to mind when they think of Jamaica, they say dreadlocks, beef patties, Rastafarians and the occasional ‘yeah mon’. But Jamaica is much more than this. The bedrock of Jamaica is hard work, commitment to family values and self development. Jamaicans are committed to education as the means to improve their lot in life. They will sacrifice almost anything to ensure that their children get a good education but you don’t hear about that in the news. Sure we Jamaicans like to party but we are serious about keeping our lives in order and maintaining good values but you won’t read about that in the news.

We are well acquainted with the exotic pictures of drinking rum on white sand beaches and riding horseback through Green Mountain Trails. But it is the out going, friendly and spontaneous personality, wit and laughter that make Jamaicans such a force of nature. Like the colors of our flag, yellow, black and green, hardships there are, but the land is green and the sun shineth. This is the Jamaica that I know and love. Why not get to know us a little bit better and not get hung up on the stereotype.