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WASHINGTON — Jamaicans in Atlanta, Georgia, will mark Jamaica's 49th year of Independence with a wide range of activities from July 30 to August 6.

Jamaica's Honorary Consul to Atlanta and patron of the eight-day celebration, Vin Martin, said the activities run the gamut "from the religious, to the literary, to the creative and of course, the parties".

"Our culture and heritage are strong and we are delighted that we can come together to celebrate this anniversary and allow others to get a glimpse of the history and culture of our beloved Jamaica," he stated.

The programme of activities, which are being planned by the Union of Jamaican Organizations in Atlanta (UJOIA), commence with a festival dance at the Vibes Night Club in Decatur and continues on Sunday (July 31), with a Thanksgiving Service at Hillside Presbyterian Church in Decatur at 5:00 p.m.  The service will feature music, songs and poetry, which capture Jamaica's rich cultural heritage.

On Wednesday, August 3, media consultant and author, Dr. Marcia Forbes, will host the Atlanta launch of her highly regarded book, 'Music, Media & Adolescent Sexuality in Jamaica' at the St. Timothy United Methodist church hall in Stone Mountain commencing at 5:00 p.m. 

She will also sign copies of the book, which examines the impact of various styles of music and media on teens.

St. Timothy United will also be the venue for a 'Cultural Extravaganza', showcasing the diverse talents of Jamaicans in Atlanta, on Wednesday, August 3, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

The celebrations come to a close on Independence Day, Saturday, August 6, with the annual Independence Ball hosted by the Atlanta Jamaican Association at the Georgia International Convention Centre in College Park. Dr. Forbes will be the keynote speaker.

Mr. Martin said as soon as the activities have concluded, UJOIA will begin planning year-long celebrations to mark Jamaica's 50th year of Independence in 2012.

He said the 50th anniversary events will have input from all Jamaican organisations in Atlanta. 

"This is a once in a life time celebration and all Jamaicans in metro-Atlanta should plan to join together in remembrance and celebration of the wonderful heritage of our island home, as we reach 50 years of Independence." Mr. Martin said.

By Derrick Scott
JIS INFORMATION ATTACHE
JAMAICAN EMBASSY
WASHINGTON