Where were you in 1962?

Submitted by Jeeraik009 on Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:05

In August 1962 I was five and too young to understand the important changes happening in Jamaica. It was different for my parents, who by then were immigrants in England; independent, but also locked into a new system of learning and earning that would change their lives and that of so many others, irrevocably. A rare photo of my parents at a gala ball to celebrate Jamaica's birthday shows their optimism about what Independence and the changes in their lives might bring. The ladies at the table are beautiful, decked out in floral satins and strings of pearls that suggest the importance of that night. The men are equally sharp, suited and full-chested as they raise a toast to freedom. The confidence gained from Jamaica's new status helped them and thousands of Jamaican families adjust to the harsh realities of life in England. That all the other couples at that table would move on to Canada and the United States in a few years also suggest the difficulties of this transition, as well as the ingrained migratory restlessness of our people. A lot has happened in the fifty years since that celebration, my parents have since returned home and we give thanks that we can still raise a glass to say cheers to Jamaica and everyone still in the Diaspora. Happy 50th Anniversary!