On this occasion of the 47th year of Independence of the land of our birth, we are reminded that Jamaica is a global phenomenon — her people, her spirit, her personality, and her talents. We are bigger than 4,411 square miles. We extend way beyond a population of 2.7 million persons. We are higher than 7,402 feet at our tallest peak. We are larger than life. This is the state of our blessings. It is unquestionable.
In this spirit, I urge you to consider the depth of our presence across the globe. We bring smiles across the nations with the vibe our music. We put rhythm in the hips with the creativity of our movement. We inspire applause and gasps in the audiences of the track. We please the taste buds of millions with the spice of our plate. The diaspora of Jamaica lives through each of us in what you do on a daily basis. WE ARE JAMAICA. We share this spirit of Jamaica with our Caribbean neighbors and thousands of other persons of goodwill across the world.
If you ever doubt why you may succeed at what you do or why people may be in awe of how you express yourself, you may blame it on the blood of your culture in your veins. This spirit of Jamaica is undeniable. At times, we sometimes veer off course with this undeniable spirit in creating more challenges for ourselves. We have work to do in improving these shortcomings of our young independent nation. Notwithstanding, we manage to continue to shine the light on the positive elements and attributes of our culture. Again, we proclaim: WE ARE JAMAICA.
As we continue our global efforts to organize our communities overseas, we must recognize the common good with share for each other. We want to lead the best quality of life in our respective adopted countries. We want the best for our children in their pursuit of their educational opportunities. We want to pursue our entrepreneurial dreams. We want to make a positive contribution in our local neighborhoods and for Jamaica through our community activities and efforts. Together, all of these shared dreams move us closer to the fruits of our independence.
In October, the Jamaica Diaspora in the United States will convene community leadership from around the nation in Fort Lauderdale on October 3-4 to reflect on where we are and where we wish to go in the future. It is a long overdue conversation. At sunrise and at sunset, even after 47 years, WE ARE JAMAICA. Happy Independence!
Marlon A. Hill, Esq., Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Member, Southern United States