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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: December 20th – 26th, 2014

LIFE IN PRISON FOR JAMAICAN CONVICTED OF UK DOUBLE MURDER—12/20/14
Roland McKoy, a Jamaican who was convicted in the attack of his ex-girlfriend and their daughter in the United Kingdom, was sentenced to life in prison for the crime. McKoy, 54, will serve a minimum of 35 years for the double murder. Police say that in March 2014, McKoy, a handyman, used a hammer, machete, and screwdriver to attack the woman and their 22-month-old child.

PAULINE JOLLY HONORED FOR TEACHING ACHIEVEMENTS—12/21/14
Jamaican professor in public health, Pauline Jolly, was honored with the Ellen Gregg Ingalls/UAB National Alumni Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Teaching. Jolly, who has a Ph.D. and who in addition to teaching public health is the director of the UAB Minority Health International Research Training Program’s Epidemiology Department. The award represents an acknowledgement that she has succeeded in fulfilling her “calling in life, which is to teach,” Jolly said.

JAMAICAN SURRENDERS IN ARIPO AFTER 35 HOURS ON THE RUN—12/22/14
Jeremy Nelson, 20, a Jamaican detainee, surrendered to the Immigration Detention Center in Aripo in Trinidad and Tobago after some 35 hours spent evading authorities. He was taken into custody right after his surrender and sent to the Segregation Housing Unit pending additional investigation.

JAMAICAN CONVICTED OF TRAFFICKING DRUGS—12/23/14
Carlos McKenzie, a 35-year-old Jamaican man, has been convicted for his part in a drug trafficking ring that smuggled ecstasy from Canada to the United States. A federal grand jury issued the conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He will serve a minimum of ten years in prison and faces a maximum sentence of life behind bars. A fine totaling $5 million could also be levied on McKenzie. He and 28 others were charged in 2009 but not arrested until 2013 after being taken into custody in Arizona.

TRADITIONAL DUTCH “BLACK PETER” PARADE FACES OPPOSITION—12/24/14
The Netherlands have traditionally held a “blackface” parade in December, but a growing number of Black Dutch young people want the event discontinued because it is an insulting reminder of colonial and racial bondage in the Caribbean. The parade, known as Zwarte Piet, is based on the caricature of an unintelligent slave of St. Nicholas, and it has been celebrated in the Netherlands since the 1950s. In 2011, two activists were arrested protesting the event. Since then, the activists, Quinsy Gario and Jerry Afriyie, have organized a “Zwarte Piet Is Racism” campaign, which has resulted in a human rights debate in a court in Amsterdam. Activists also called for a United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent investigation into the event in 2013.

IN UK, JAMAICAN HIGH COMMISSIONER WANTS SUPPORT FOR REFORM OF APD—12/25/14
Jamaica’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, is calling for Jamaicans and others in the Caribbean community there to support efforts to reform the air passenger duty (APD). The move would change the Caribbean from the Band C tax band into a lower one.

GABRIEL JOSEPH TAKES MISS TEEN CARIBBEAN UK TITLE—12/26/14
Gabriel Joseph, 14, received her crown after winning the first Miss Teen Caribbean UK competition in London. Her parents are natives of Trinidad and Tobago. A number of contestants from backgrounds in various Caribbean nations had entered the competition. In second place was Jahmila Heath, 17, of Jamaica. Joseph has visited Trinidad on several occasions and even attended school there as an ambassador for her London school.

EXHIBIT OF AFRICANS IN CARIBBEAN OPENS AT ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY—12/26/14
The Royal Geographical Society in Kensington Gardens in the United Kingdom is holding an exhibition con the lives of Africans in the Caribbean and the ways in which they battled the British in order to end slavery and forced servitude. Some one million Africans in the region gained freedom from slavery in 1838. The exhibit is presented by the Windrush Foundation with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It commemorates the 175th anniversary of Emancipation.

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Written by Staff Writer