Black Jamaicans or African Americans?

Someone on Facebook said that Kamala Harris isn’t really African-American because her black father was from Jamaica.

Here’s a news flash. Blacks in Jamaica are descendants of slaves, just as blacks from Venezuela, Brazil, Barbados, anywhere in the Americas are, as well.

Jeopardy the other night had an answer that said: 40% of all African slaves were brought to this country. The question was, “What is Brazil?” I missed it, but Alex set me straight.

When I lived in Venezuela for three months while student teaching, I was amazed at all the different shades of skin – black as night, caramel, chocolate, coffee, latte, and me and my roommate, whitey-white girls. It didn’t occur to me until much later that these people were descendants of slaves or slaves and their owners. Over the generations, lots of blending and skin tones emerged.

Think about it.  Spain and Portugal sent ships across the sea to conquer new lands. Columbus sailed for Spain, even though he was Italian. He was funded by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.  He thought he was finding a short cut to the Indies but ended up in what is now called the West Indies. That’s why we have Indians from India and Indians from the Americas. It is politically correct now to call Indians in the Americas indigenous or Native American. My girlfriend in Mexico prefers Azteca.

Why does most of Latin America speak Spanish? Here is a clue. What country claimed those lands for its own?

Ding, ding, ding! If you answered Spain, you are correct.

What is Latin America? That would be most of South America and most of Central America.

What country in South America was claimed by Portugal?  Ding, ding, ding!

If you answered Brazil, you would be correct.  We know this because they speak Portuguese in Brazil.

There are three tiny countries in South America near Venezuela that were not conquered by Spain. They are Suriname (Dutch), French Guiana (French), and Guayana (English). The last one is where Jim Jones and his California cult drank Kool-Aid laced with poison and died.

What country in Central America was settled by the English?  Ding, ding, ding! If you said Belize, you would be correct. Its old name was British Honduras.  They speak English there. The other countries speak Spanish.

As a Spanish teacher, that was the first thing I taught the kids (between 6th and 12th grades).  They had to name 7 countries where Spanish is spoken. If they were bad spellers, I told them to forget Nicaragua and Guatemala and learn how to spell Cuba, Panama, Mexico, Spain, Bolivia, Chile, and Costa Rica.

On the second day, we’d go over Spanish words that they already knew – burrito, taco, tortilla, quesadilla, bueno, caliente, etc.  It seems a little corny, but they loved that they already knew a bunch of words.

So where did those black Jamaicans come from? It wasn’t just the U.S. that had slave labor going on.

Anyone living in North, Central or South America are Americans, not just people in the U.S..  Therefore, Black Jamaicans = African Americans.

What country did a huge business in the slave trade?  Think Dutch.  That would be the Netherlands. Portugal, Spain and England did, too. Why? Because they had ships and it was a way to make money.

Wrong? Of course it was. But we have to admit that it happened and stop the ignorance that pervades our world.

Rewrite the textbooks. Teach the masses. This was done.  White people did it.

Put it in the textbooks.

Let’s educate those peeps on Facebook and everyone else.

3 thoughts on “Black Jamaicans or African Americans?

  1. This post is something that everyone in the United Stares should read so they know the history of our country and why we have racial problems today. I hope once they read this, they will continue to read other posts about race and American history.


  2. Kamala Harris isn’t African American. She is half Black Jamaican half East Indian descent. To be an African American, one has to descend from the slaves brought to the United States. Kamala Harris doesn’t descend from that lineage, thus she isn’t apart of the African American ethnicity.


    1. How do you think black people got to Jamaica? They were brought there as slaves. The slave trade extended down through South America. There are lots of blacks in the countries on the East coasts of South America, Central America and throughout the Caribbean islands. The U. S. didn’t have a monopoly on slavery.


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