The Full Story
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon, Olivia Grange, says if Jamaica is to realise its dreams of being “a land of peace and love, we must find a way to instil hope in our young people”.
In a message to launch the “Jamaica-60” celebrations in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday, the Minister, in a speech delivered by Jamaica’s Consul-General in Miami, Oliver Mair, said “truth be told… we must find a way… . Too many have literally lost hope – lost hope in themselves; lost hope in the family and lost hope in the country”.
“Throughout this year, as we celebrate Jamaica 60 at home and across the Jamaican diaspora, I implore all Jamaicans to pause to reflect on the foundation laid by those who came before us,” she said.
“None other than our most revered son, Bob Marley, in No woman Nuh Cry, amidst his assurance that ‘everything’s gonna be all right’, also reminded us that ‘in this great future you can’t forget your past’,” Minister Grange reminded.
She added: “As we observe this Diamond Jubilee, we must remember the sacrifices of our ancestors who were forcibly brought to these shores and endured much pain and humiliation.
“We must recognise the foundational work of the fathers of our great nation and architects of our political independence – The Right Excellent Sir William Alexander Bustamante, National Hero and first Prime Minister of Independent Jamaica, and the Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley, National Hero.”
In chronicling Jamaica’s achievements over the years, Minister Grange pointed to Jamaica’s music, which “has been an inspiration and a balm for the oppressed both locally and abroad, spanning the world. Many distressed people across the globe took comfort in the words of Jamaican songs and continue to do so”.
“So influential is our music that in 2018, reggae was designated by UNESCO as a part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Bob Marley’s One Love was named by the BBC as the Song of the Millennium in 2000 and has become the world anthem of unity and solidarity,” she noted.
She pointed to the island’s achievements in sports, where “our accomplishments have been legendary; from the days of Arthur Wint and Herb McKenley who emerged victorious in the 1948 Olympics, to our younger cohort of athletes, including Usain Bolt, Elaine Thompson Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce”.
The Culture Minister called on members of the Jamaican diaspora in Atlanta to join hands: “Re-igniting Our Nation for Greatness as we approach our Diamond Jubilee… means we must transform our system of education, so that our children receive the highest standards of education and training to successfully compete in the 21st century global economy and beyond.
“Re-Igniting Our Nation for Greatness means we recognise that we are Out of Many One People, a nation of greatness.
“Re-Igniting Our Nation for Greatness means recognising the strength, commitment and achievements of our diaspora.
“I am pleased to announce that there will be an extensive programme of activities during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which will culminate on August 6.
We are focusing on legacy projects in an effort to ensure that there are lasting structures to truly commemorate this significant milestone,” she concluded.