Who Is A Historian?

by Karla Powell
(Jamaica, Westmoreland)

A person who writes or studies history.

Jamaica Reggae Music Vacation Response:

Thank you Karla for your question, and a resounding Yes to your statement. For we in this century to know our true Jamaican history, which is so diverse, interesting, full of tales of deceit, treachery, lies and betrayal, including the slavery trade; someone from that era had to have chronicled these events.

All these livelihoods left their mark on our country, and shape how we live today. During those earlier periods our forefathers passed on their experiences and knowledge in different formats.

The Dictionary describes a Historian as a student or writer of history. In this case the history of Jamaica's artifacts on how creative our heritage was and is. Further, a Historian is described as a writer or compiler of a chronicle.

To truly provide authentic and authoritative information you have to rely on the locally based researchers, writer, photographers and scholars to provide knowledge and discernment that only they can provide.

Historians provide reliable facts on the history of Jamaica.

They research our culture, read the writings of our black authors in literary history from Jamaican authors and especially from our first black author in literary history Claude McKay.

To show how important Jamaica's history was, in 1962 the year of our Independence, Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, then Jamaica's Ministry of Development, commissioned an anthology of Jamaican writing. These writers/authors literary work have won international prizes and are studied in American and European universities.

Here are some Jamaican facts that our Historians have provided:

  • Did you know that our national dish, ackee that is a staple of Jamaican's breakfast arrived on slave ships from West African in 1778.

  • Europeans introduced sugar cane, banana and citrus to our jewel of an island.

  • Spanish traders brought coconuts from Malaysia in the 17th Century to our shores.

From writings such as those we have chronicle important dates which we celebrate in different ways. Some research provides us with the time during which the Spanish ruled Jamaica, the British Colonization and Conquest, Sugar and Slavery, Emancipation our Independence and the start of our Two-Party Politics.

So as long as civilization continues there will be someone providing insights to our history for centuries to come.

Again thank you Karla for your question on Historians.

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