For those who are unsure of who we refer to as the “Jamaican Diaspora,” we’re talking about Jamaicans who now live outside of the island. Not just the rich ones, not just the business people, and maybe not even only the people who were born on our soil, but all of us who have ever claimed Jamaica as home.
But our diaspora is a huge, multi-faceted, multi-national, multi-ethnic superpower. A creature with over 3 million heads and arms and legs reaching across the globe. Some people might take offense, but I call it the Diaspora Monster, not because it is an evil thing, but because it is so big and so strong and so untamed. Efforts are being made to pull it together. There’s always a lot of talk, but why does it feel like nothing is happening? Is it because there’s a stigma that the only people who can do anything for Jamaica are people with long pockets and plenty of plane fare?
Toward the end of 2013, Tessanne Chin’s competing on The Voice galvanized the Diaspora in a way that not only brought about a surge of patriotic pride in all of us, but also started a conversation about the power in our numbers; a power that is legendary – but almost seemingly mythical. This Jamaican Diaspora whose power, if harnessed, can do much more than win a singing competition. It has so much wealth and influence. Members came out in their numbers to that 2013 conference back home. We saw the pictures, the united front, in the coverage of that event.
But afterwards, individuals went back to their lives in London, and Toronto, and New York, and South Florida. And then, the Diaspora – as a united, uniform thing – again became a concept, a number of little groups with big plans and great intentions and often great achievements, that find success only in their own neighborhoods. This week on The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly, we’ll talk about taming this Diaspora Monster that we’ve created. Watch it Sunday morning at 11:30AM on The CW, or online.
About the Author; Calibe Thompson is the host and producer of the TV show The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly and multiple other radio and television projects reflecting modern Caribbean culture. Watch The CDW Sunday mornings at 11:30AM on SFL (The CW Network) through fall 2014 and on South Florida Times website SFLTimes.com coming soon. Calibe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.