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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: October 25th – 31st, 2014

LEADER IN MANCHESTER SAYS LGBT COMMUNITY LIVES IN FEAR IN JAMAICA—10/25/14
According to Washington Alcott, who moved to the United Kingdom from Jamaica to work as a teacher 15 years ago, lack of education results in the intolerance shown to LGBT individuals in Jamaica. Alcott, who is the secretary of Manchester’s Jamaica Society, said the issue is not adequately discussed on the island, and no educational efforts on the topic have been encouraged by individuals, the church or the government.

JAMAICAN WOMAN SUCCEEDS AS LEGAL P:RACTITIONER IN U.S.—10/26/14
Georgette Miller faced some serious obstacles in her life, but she has succeeded in becoming an important legal practitioner in the United States. She experienced significant hardships after being abandoned by her father at age 18, living in poverty and even spending some time homeless. Originally from Queen Hill in St. Andrew, Miller now operates law offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. She also broadcasts a weekly radio show in the U.S. and is the author of a book on how to live debt-free.

JAMAICAN ARTISTES POPULAR IN UK FAIL TO MAKE MARK ON HOME ISLAND—10/27/14
A number of British-Jamaican artistes have been featured on the pop music charts in the United Kingdom, but they have not been able to have similar success in Jamaica. These artistes include Stylo G, who won the MOBO Award for Best Reggae Artiste, Wretch 32, Melissa Steel, and Krishane Levy. Aldin “Smood Face” Taylor, a producer, believes that if British-Jamaican artistes spent more time in Jamaica to promote themselves, they would receive greater recognition there.

CONSULS, FOREIGN MISSIONS PROTECT INTERESTS OF JAMAICA—10/28/14
Lloyd Wilks, the director of Diaspora consular affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said that missions around the world are instrumental in protecting the interests of Jamaica and its citizens. He made his remarks following a call from Edmund Bartlett, Opposition spokesman on foreign affairs and foreign trade, called for more government support for Paul Stephens, a Jamaica pilot imprisoned in Qatar for three years. The duties of the missions and consulates include overseeing the well being of Jamaicans in foreign lands.

VAL BENT, JAMAICAN SONGWRITER, DIES—10/29/14
Jamaican songwriter Val Bent, who was known for his contributions to the collection “Jamaica to Toronto: Soul, Funk and Reggae 1967-1974,” has died. The cause of death was not immediately known. Bent traveled to Toronto in Canada from Jamaica in 1964 has a member of the Sheiks. He became a key member of the Caribbean music community in that city.

HIGH COMMISSIONER OF JAMAICA VISITS REDDITCH—10/30/14
Jamaica’s High Commissioner Aloun Ndombet Assamba joined more than 100 attendees at an event designed to commemorate Black History Month in the United Kingdom. The event was organized by the Caribbean Roots Connection and was held in Redditch. The mayor of Redditch, Pat Witherspoon, was in attendance. The event featured musical performances and poetry readings.

FARMER FROM NORFOLK RECEIVES JAMAICAN HONOR—10/31/14
Canadian farmer and berry grower Gary Cooper made a trip to Jamaica to receive an award from the Governor-General, Cooper may be the most famous berry farmer in the Caribbean after being awarded the Badge of Honor for Meritorious Service. The award is Jamaica’s equivalent of the Order of Canada. Cooper was recognized for his contribution to Jamaica by employing thousands of Jamaicans in the Farm Work Program in Canada for more than 30 years.

PROFESSOR AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY HOLDS JAMAICAN DANCE WORKSHOPS—10/31/14
Assistance professor Sydney Hutchinson of the Department of Art and Music Histories at the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University in New York is hosting a series of Jamaican dance workshops. The workshops will feature Candace Thompson, professional dancer from Trinidad, who received the Ruth St. Denis Award for Excellence. She will teach soca, a popular carnival dance. At another workshop, participants will learn Jamaican dancehall, one of the most popular dances in the Caribbean region.

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Written by Staff Writer