Thursday, August 02, 2012

Celebrating Jamaica 50

ForwardEver would be well remiss if we neglected to publicize the most important date for Jamaica in, well, 50 years: Monday August 6 is the nation's 50th year of independence and celebrations have been going on all year. With the day looming, things are really 'hotting" up.

Music outlets like Google Play are offering musical collection tributes, while the Jamaican Observer news site has a calendar of daily events in yard. Events and gatherings are happening in the Jamaican diasporas of England and Canada, who both have their own web-portals to inform émigrés and international observers. 

This Jamaica 50 outlet touts itself as the "official" JA 50 site; the graphics and interactivity are indeed impressive. Personally, I've been enjoying the regular reflections on Big Blackbarry's blogFrom Jamaica men's love of ample women, to "big belly brown man rumbar reggae" and what's up with those Red Stripe commercials, plus many more serious topics to boot, this hands down the best Jamaican blog by a Jamaican on the web.

Of course there's been too much music to mention -- anniversary compilations, tribute tracks etc. Reggae artist Konshens,though, has sumed up the spirit nicely with "I Am Jamaican." Grab this excellent one-drop track on the Butterflies riddim  right here, and check the lyrics too:

"Jamaican blood run through my veins, 
Jamaican thoughts run through my brain, 
Jamaican words come from my mouth, 
I am Jamaican, inside and out."
- Konshens

There's plenty to celebrate too: from the philosophies of Marcus Garvey, to the words of poet Ms. Lou and Mutabaruka, to Usain's Bolt's lightning speed to the everyday wit, wisdom, ingenuity and innovation of the Jamaican nation: Out of Many, One. For many years to come.

Celebrate with The Skatalites "Independence Anniversary Ska"