Monday, 1 February 2016

Day 12: What's the problem?

W. Rains Browning

I’ve spent much time on this trip thinking and reflecting on the things I’ve seen. Maybe it’s just the whole angry teen thing, but their seems to be a problem here in Falmouth.
Falmouth is a town with a rich history, happy people, beautiful beaches and yummy food. Places like this usually draw in tourism. The question is then, why do the people of Falmouth not benefit more from the tourism. While it’s only been about 10 years since the construction of the port, Falmouth remains to have degrading houses and people who work on unlivable wages or have no job at all.
The problem has many roots. Let’s start with the port. The port is a quasi-American Jamaican fantasy land with modern buildings that vaguely resemble Jamaica because of the colors they’re painted. There are American business like Quiznos, Frank’s and various jewelry stores. There are also Jamaican “stores” that sell wooden crafts, t-shirts and fruits. For a tourist, it’s seemingly perfect. They have what they think is everything they could ever want out of Jamaica in this port surrounded by 10 foot walls. Ok, we know this is a problem, but there are also other problems.
For the tourist that “bravely” ventures outside the wall it is very difficult. They take one step outside the gate and they are SWAMPED by at least 20 taxi driver. If they attempt to venture into the more authentic craft market they get yelled at more by people trying to sell them things. The tourist are overwhelmed. They would rather feel safe and comfortable in the fake Jamaica, opposed to feeling scared and overwhelmed in the real Jamaica. If the tourist were able to get past the chaos that meets them it can be nice. In the town square they are harassed far less. Jamaica also has much more to offer than a Bob Marley T-shirt.
Their are more things that contribute the problems in Falmouth. My perception of the port over the first week in Falmouth was that it’s evil and needed to go. After thinking more objectively, I realized that the port can be a blessing. The port can bring amazing things to this town however, both the people and the port need to work together so that it can effectively benefit the town of Falmouth.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Essay: Jamaica's Quality of Life

The Jamaica Paradox 

      I remember a discussion we had on the trip about Jamaica and its reputation for having such a happy populace who at the same time are living in less than ideal conditions. I started thinking a lot about this discussion. I talked to Dr. Quillin about it and he told me I should look into the Jamaican “quality of life”. Before I speak about what I found, it is important to explain the difference between two terms: quality of life and standard of living. Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area(“Standard”). Quality of life is the general well-being of individuals and societies(“Quality”). Quality of life can be viewed from many different frames of reference, for example healthcare, politics, employment and social and physical environment. Standard of living is more based on income(“Standard”). Neither of these alone are good measures of what living in a place at a certain time is, but when factored together they can be very useful. 

        Upon researching Jamaica’s quality of life in comparison to other countries, I came across The 2000 Health System Ranking and The UN Human Development Index (HDI) (“Living”). The 2000 Health System Ranking was created by The World Health Organization (WHO) and examines and compares aspects of health systems around the world (WHO?). Jamaica was ranked 53 out of 190 countries and was in the top three for English-speaking Caribbean. The Human Development Index is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, education and having a decent standard of living (“Human Development Reports”). The HDI for Jamaica currently is .72 out of 1. Comparing that to the global average of .71, Jamaica appears to have a decent quality of life (“Jamaica”). But this seems to contrast Jamaica’s economic situation, where the unemployment rate in 2014 was 14.2% and the percent of unemployment among 15-24 year olds is 34% compared to the 13.4% in the US (The World Factbook). 

        I figured that there was only so much that statistical data alone could tell me. After all, some of the data between Jamaica and the US were not that different. The life expectancy in Jamaica is around 74 years and in the US its 80 years (The World Factbook). While the total percent of improved drinking water sources in the US is 99.2% of its population, Jamaica’s 93.8% of the population is not too far behind (The World Factbook). The total amount of years Jamaican children can expect to receive schooling is 12 years, only four years behind the US’s average (The World Factbook). I started looking for information and reports from Jamaica about the quality of life. A 2004 report from the Jamaica Information Service stated that the population was “better off than it was 14 years ago” (“Population”). The report stated that more and more people began to use public health facilities rather than private ones and that  much of the data they found was used to improve social welfare and combat crime in the country. After finding some information on the Jamaican economic history, it appears that the Jamaican economy has had many economic struggles, and that the inverse relationship between the economy of Jamaica and the quality of life began. 

       Jamaica got its independence from Britain in 1962, and the 1950s and 1960s were times of economic boom, as Jamaica’s rich supply of bauxite, aka aluminum, became highly desirable (“Jamaica-ECONOMY”). However, from 1972 to 1986, Jamaica’s economy didn’t really achieve any growth and actually had seven years of negative growth (“Jamaica-ECONOMY”). Moreover, the distribution of wealth was extremely skewed, which is often attributed to Jamaica’s long history of slavery. During this time, Jamaica’s fourth prime minister, Michael Manley, a democratic socialist, implemented so many social reforms (Franklyn). These included: lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, Family Court, Community Health Aid, equal pay,  National Housing Trust, maternity leave with pay, the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning and expanded land reform(Franklyn). Manley is often blamed for the economic crisis of the 70’s, but is also remembered for being the man who helped improve the livelihood of Jamaicans. Manley’s efforts clearly worked, as many Jamaicans had a relatively high quality of life in the 1980’s compared to its Caribbean neighbors (“Jamaica-ECONOMY”). It is clear that Jamaica had many avenues for its people to take to improve their livelihoods, although they may have been limited due to the sporadic nature of Jamaica’s economy at the time, but these did help the people nonetheless. It seems to me that the economy needs time to catch up with the quality of life services that Jamaica has. 

“Quality of Life.” Web. 21 Jan.16
“Standard of living.” Web. 21 Jan.16
"Living in Jamaica." Living in Jamaica. JAMPRO- Trade and Investment Jamaica. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <>.
"The World Health Report 2000 - Health Systems: Improving Performance." WHO. World Health Organization. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <>.
“Jamaica”. Rep. Pan American Health Organizaton. Web
"Human Development Reports." Human Development Index (HDI). United Nations Development Programme. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <>.
The World Factbook 2013-14. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2013. <>
"Population Better off Than Fourteen Years Ago – SLC." Jamaica Information Service. Jamaica Information Service, 12 Mar. 2004. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <>.
"Jamaica - ECONOMY." Jamaica - ECONOMY. Ed. Sasha W. Meditz and Dennis M. Hanratty. Library of Congress. Web. 21 Jan. 2016. <>.

Franklyn, Delano. "Michael Manley — the Visionary Who Will Never Be - News." Jamaica Observer News. 14 Dec. 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Essay: Bioluminescence

Asa Forman
Dr. Lee and Dr. Quillin
Falmouth Field School
22 January 2016
Bioluminescent Organisms
From January 5th to January 15th, 2016, I and several other students from the Post Oak High School went on a trip to Falmouth, a small town on the Northwest Coast of Jamaica. While we were there, we learned about the Falmouth Port, the architecture of the 19th century, the people in Falmouth, the story behind why Jamaicans run so fast, and many more interesting topics. During the trip, our group also got to experience many fun and involving activities, such as visiting John Tharp's original house, rafting on the Martha Brae River, and visiting the first Persian Water Wheel in Falmouth. We also experienced something very surreal: a bioluminescent lagoon. When we jumped into the lagoon, some microorganisms in the lagoon became irritated and illuminated themselves. The organisms were called dinoflagellates. However, before talking about dinoflagellates, I think it would be helpful to acquaint you with what bioluminescence is and other bioluminescent creatures.
Bioluminescence is a form of chemiluminescence, a chemical reaction that produces  light. The light that is produced from these creatures is what one might describe as a cold light, as less than 20% of heat is created by bioluminescent light. The light from these bioluminescent organisms is created when a compound called luciferin combines with oxygen, creating a light (“Bioluminescence”). Some bioluminescent organisms create something called a photoprotein, which is like a premade bomb on a hairpin trigger. However, the trigger can only be activated by a specific ion of an element- typically, this element is Calcium (Ocean). When this light is created it generally has a blueish-green tint to it, but some organisms illuminate in other colors. For example, the firefly, another bioluminescent organism, has an abdomen that illuminates yellow, and the railroad worm has a head that glows red. Some bioluminescent organisms don't glow continuously, and the dinoflagellates we swam with are no exception (Education, National Geographic). Many bioluminescent organisms just flash their lights at times of need. Some of these bioluminescent creatures live deep down towards the bottom of the ocean floor, allowing them to communicate in the darkness (“Creatures”). Other bioluminescent organisms have uses for their self-produced lights besides communication, such as for defending themselves, warding off opponents and predators, attracting mates, and more. For example, the male Caribbean ostracod, an extremely small crustacean, illuminates its upper lip to find a female companion. Another good example is the deep-sea squid which detaches its bioluminescent arms as a distraction if there happens to be a predator around (Education, National Geographic).
Another important fact about bioluminescence is that it is drastically different than fluorescence, and it is surprisingly easy to get the two mixed up. For example, lots of coral reefs have living plants on them, in fact all coral reefs are like one big plant. On these coral reefs some of the plants tend to glow. Now you might think,“Plant? Light? Bioluminescence!” but no, what the reef is actually doing is absorbing light and then re-emitting it, whereas bioluminescent light involves a chemical reaction inside the body of a bioluminescent organism (Education, National Geographic). Many things in the sea are bioluminescent including bacteria, algae, jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, sea stars, fish, and sharks, not to mention microorganisms such as dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates happened to be the organisms we swam in and are actually quite fascinating (The Ocean Portal Team).
Dinoflagellates, like I mentioned earlier, are microorganisms, but more specifically they are single celled protists. Dinoflagellates were first found in 1773 by O. F. Muller. These organisms were estimated to have been conceived in the Ediacaran Era or earlier. To put the dates of the Ediacaran Era in perspective, the period lasted from one billion years ago to five hundred seventy million years ago. As we know it today there are 1,200 to 2,000 different species of dinoflagellates. The majority of dinoflagellates thrive mainly in saltwater; however, there are a few species that live in fresh and brackish water.. They typically have an outer membrane called the theca. The theca is made up of the thecal plates which distinguishes one dinoflagellate from the next. There are only two groups of dinoflagellates with thecal plates, namely the "armored" dinos and the "unarmored” dinos (Reef Central). There is another distinguishing characteristic of dinoflagellates. This regards whether or not the microorganism is photosynthetic or non-photosynthetic. Generally, a photosynthetic dinoflagellate is defined by living inside another organism (a host), after being swallowed and incorporated into the host's system. A non-photosynthetic dino is just the opposite. A non-photosynthetic actually feeds on different diatoms and protists (Diatoms are a major group of algae and are among the most common types of phytoplankton) (“Dinoflagellata”).
Besides being called and known as Dinoflagellates, Dinoflagellates have been called Pyrrophyta, meaning "fire plant." These "fire plants" are practically harmless except surprisingly, during the coastal season, they do have a big effect to the ecosystem. During this time all of the surface plankton receive excess nutrients from the bottom of their living area. This creates something called a bloom. When the bloom starts the water starts to turn a golden or a red. These colors appear because of the excess amount of Dinoflagellates that are in the water. It is said that over 20 million dinoflagellates can be in one litre of water. These "red tides" although they may seem harmless are not. The organisms that create these tides let out a toxin, most commonly the toxin is called saxitoxin, and it is very harmful to numerous of fish and shellfish (Dinoflagellata: Life History and Ecology).
Overall I would say that Dinoflagellates and bioluminescent organisms are extremely interesting and fascinating. At first, all I thought of the Bioluminescent organisms was "wow, this water lights up." But now I realize that there is many more things to know about the organisms than what meets the eye, especially Dinoflagellates.

Several types of fungi are Bioluminescent, that is a Bioluminescent fungus above. According to the American Museum of Natural Science, Bioluminescent organisms have evolved over fifty times if their estimations are correct (Wynne Parry).

This is an incredible picture of what a red tide might look like during the coastal season.

These are the waters we swam in during our Bioluminescent experience.

Work Cited:
I. N/A. "Bioluminescence." Education, National Geographic. National Geographic, 1996. Web. January 19, 2016.
II. The Ocean Portal Team. "Bioluminescence." Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History. Smithsonian, N/A. Web. January 19, 2016.
III. N/A. "Creatures of the Deep Sea." The Sea. Sea and Sky Presents, 1989. Web. January 19, 2016.
IV. Wynne Parry. "Living Light: How and Why Organisms Grow." N/A. Livescience, March 27, 2012. Web. January 19, 2016.
V. N/A. "Dinoflagellata: Life History and Ecology." N/A. University of California Berkeley, N/A. Web. January 19, 2016.

VI. Reef Central. "Dinoflagellates- Predators, Pathogens, and Partners." Reefkeeping. Reef Central, N/A. Web. January 20, 2016.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Essay: The Process of Obtaining a Building Permit

        After returning from Jamaica, each of us was tasked with picking a topic to research or a project to complete. I chose to finish the AutoCAD drawing that we worked on this year and research the reasons behind making an architectural drawing in AutoCAD, as well as the process of getting a building permit in Jamaica. Within Jamaica, the process of obtaining a permit to build takes about three to four months according to KeVaughn Harding, the Executive Director of Falmouth Heritage Renewal (FHR) who we worked closely with during our stay in Jamaica.
        The process starts with a proposal to restore a historical house, which includes architectural drawings of the building, as well as “ the application form, photographs of the site, proof of ownership of the property, and endorsement of the property owner,” (Harding). These AutoCAD drawings that we have been producing will be used as some of the architectural drawings required in the proposal. Additionally, the AutoCAD drawings are used by FHR as a way of documenting and recording the history of Falmouth and as resources in their research to better interpret the history of Falmouth. By having these drawings, people are able to reference them to see what was common during different time periods, in terms of style and function; compare and contrast building layouts, structures, and designs; and develop a vocabulary to describe certain aspects of different periods. Once completed, these AutoCAD drawings, and the proposal they are a part of, have to go through a long process of checks and verifications before Falmouth Heritage Renewal is granted a building permit.
The next step in this proposal’s journey is a long process of checks, in which it travels through various levels of government to get either approved or denied. “Typically, building permits are granted by the Parish Council that has oversight for the area that you are proposing your development,” (Harding). Because Falmouth is located in Trelawny Parish, each proposal has to go through the Trelawny Parish Council, which functions as the seats of local government. The Trelawny Parish Council is made up of Councillors, which are elected officials from various regions of the parish. After one submits a proposal to the Parish Council, “it is reviewed by its different departments which include the council's Roads and Works Dept., and the Planning Dept.” (Harding). Members of these various departments “review things like the electrical plan, storm water disposal, structural integrity of the design,” (Harding) and that the proposal is following proper laws, “regarding subdivisions of properties, required setbacks of buildings from streets and publicly owned properties, allowable density within developments,” (Harding).
If needed, the proposal will be passed to the Health Department and the Fire Department for more approvals. The Health Department will review proposals if they include site sewage treatments for new bathrooms or issues regarding the disposal of waste. The Fire Department typically only reviews large-scale buildings to ensure they are following all the proper laws and are up to code, so many of Falmouth Heritage Renewal’s proposals do not pass through them as FHR normally works on restoring smaller buildings. Because FHR works within the Falmouth Historic District, which is a national monument, their proposals have to go through national government agencies such as the Jamaican National Heritage Trust (JNHT). The JNHT ensures, “that what we're proposing is in keeping with the authentic, historic character of the protected area,” (Harding). The goal of the JNHT is to make sure that, “new development doesn't destroy the overall character of the historic area,” (Harding); therefore, “both new construction and rehabilitation of existing buildings (whether ancient or modern), so long as they exist within the historic district have to be reviewed by the JNHT,” (Harding).
Once all of the agencies and departments with the Parish Council and beyond have approved the proposal, it will go to the Councillors with a recommendation that the building should be approved. The Councillors, then, get the final say in whether the proposal goes through or not. “Approval by them [the Councillors] results in the applicant receiving a building permit, along with the conditions that the applicant has to adhere to in order for the permit to remain valid,” (Harding). If denied, the proposal is sent back with recommendations of what needs to be amended.
The process of obtaining a building permit is typically a long one; however, it is fairly straightforward. After being submitted to the Trelawny Parish Council, the proposal goes through various departments and agencies to obtain approval. If it obtains approval, it is sent to the Councillors for a final stamp of approval or rejection. A significant part of this process relies on the AutoCAD drawings (some of which we made) of the proposed buildings, which are used as a way of verifying that the buildings will follow the laws, abide by the proper codes, and stay accurate to their historical design. Along with this, the AutoCAD drawings are used as a way of recording the history of Falmouth for research purposes and as a way to interpret Falmouth’s history by forming relationships between different periods and places in history.

Essay: A History of Political Violence and Corruption in Jamaica

During our trip to Jamaica we learned many things, but what was particularly interesting was the political system of Jamaica. The reason why it is so intriguing is because of how unique it is. Jamaican politics is comprised of two major political parties: the People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). This is where things start to get interesting. Both parties’ followers are rivals and sometimes in gangs. For this reason, many people think that Jamaican politics is corrupted due to the involvement of organized crime in the political system. But it is a very unique relationship between Jamaican politics and domestic gangs in that they rely on each other for power. The politicians rely on the gangs to win elections and stay in power, and the gangs rely on the politicians for legitimacy and power (“Jamaica’s Mixture”). The reason why the political system operates this way is because of Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley's actions and because of how the government has not tried to combat organized crime.
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean and was first discovered in 1494 by Christopher Columbus who originally named the island Santiago, claiming it for the spanish empire to colonize in 1510 (Arias) (“Embassy”). However, Jamaica was captured by the British in 1655 and became an official colony of the British in 1670 through the treaty of Madrid (Embassy of). Jamaica gained independence in 1962 as a British colony, they inherited a Westminster-style political system similar to that of the United Kingdom with a prime minister and a parliament (Arias). However, Jamaica began its travels down the road to independence in much earlier years. In 1938 workers rioted for better pay and working conditions with the help of organized crime (Arias). Alexander Bustamante was a major leader of the movement to gain independence mainly by how he fought for better labor rights. Norman Manley is another major leader who attempted to stop the riots, sometimes by force, in order to achieve a more positive outcome (Arias). In the aftermath of the violence, some Jamaicans created the People’s National Party (PNP) in an attempt to make a legitimate party to gain independence and appointed Manley as the leader (Arias). Bustamante left the PNP before the election of 1944 and created his own party called the Jamaica Labour Party, which would lead to violent interactions between the parties’ followers in the future.
Before Bustamante even broke off to create his own party, there were violent clashes between Bustamante and Manley followers (Arias). Violence began to escalate in the 1940s and 1950s.
Particularly during the elections, the opposing sides would send men to stop meetings and make sure voting went on in their favor (“Jamaica’s Mixture”) (Arias). Labour unions provided the muscle for the violence, but the PNP began to employ private armed groups; thus the beginning of gangs being affiliated with political parties started in the 1960s (“Jamaica’s Mixture”). Manley and Bustamante were the hypothetical fathers of the current Jamaican style of governance, having their followers fight the opposing party for power in the government. Now that Jamaica had gained independence and was now going to have a major vote for the prime minister, violence and corruption would begin to blossom.
"Inter-party violence and crime are thus an important and historic component of local political life" (Arias). In 1962 Edward Seaga, a member of the JLP, was elected prime minister of welfare and development (Arias). Mr. Seaga winning this position was very important to the JLP because they started renovating the slums and Back-o-Wall shantytown in order to create a new neighborhood called Tivoli Garden that they populated with JLP members (Arias). However, the PNP violently retaliated against being displaced from their communities and fought back for the next ten years (Arias). When the PNP won majority in 1972, they returned the favor and created their own housing projects for their followers, then won again in 1976, but the 1980 elections became the most violent time with over 800 people murdered (Arias). Party leaders imported firearms for their men and some people even made homemade guns to help their party through the affiliated gang (Arias). Gang violence has become normal in Jamaica and to its people (“Jamaica’s Mixture”).
In more recent news, on May 28th of 2010 the then prime minister Bruce Golding ordered a raid on the communities of Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens in Kingston to find Christopher “Dudus” Coke (Gray). Coke is the head of the shower posse, a major gang based in Kingston, and reportedly has a strong influence over Tivoli Garden. With the is also credited with getting the prime minister elected (“Jamaica’s Mixture”). The reason why Golding executed this order is because the United States wanted Coke to be extradited to the U.S. for drug trafficking and racketeering, but originally Golding was not cooperating because he was allied with Coke, and he is the reason why he was elected (Arias). The U.S. more, less called him out for the lack of control over his own government and for being corrupt (Arias). After escaping from the raid in 2010, Coke was eventually captured and then extradited to the U.S. in 2012 and was sentenced to 23 years in prison (Arias).
The actions of Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley have greatly influenced present day Jamaica and how it functions. Poor and innocent people are living in marginalized communities where the gang members rule over them and have more power than the government in the eyes of the people (“How Caribbean”). The two political parties do not combat organized crime because they rely on their existence in order to gain power and keep the other party weak. The gangs need the relationship in order to be protected from the authorities and to do as they please due to the fact they are allied with politicians. This is a very delicate and unique scenario that is very fascinating and should be known so that we do not ever stumble into the same corrupt issues as Jamaica.

Work Cited:
“Jamaica’s Mixture of Gangs and Politics Causes Grave Problem with U.S.” 2010. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.

"How Caribbean Organized Crime Is Replacing the State." How Caribbean Organized Crime Is Replacing the State. Web. 20 Jan. 2016.

Gray, Obika.  2003.  “Predation Politics and the Political Impasse in Jamaica.”  Small Axe 13, pp. 72-94.

Arias, Enrique Desmond.“Getting Smart and Scaling Up : The Impact of Organized Crime on Governance in Developing Countries”. June 2013. Web. 20Jan. 2016.

"Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, DC." Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, DC. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.

Essay: Women in Jamaican Society

Women in Jamaican Society
While we were in Jamaica, I noticed that there were many more men hanging out around town than women. Based on that observation, I wondered where the women were in Falmouth. The only women I saw around town were women who were actively working, in shops or otherwise. Moreover, I wondered, traditionally, what is a women’s role in Jamaican society? I wondered if traditional gender roles in Jamaica are normal in Jamaican society.

In my research I found, historically, women were expected to care for domestic duties such as taking care of the house and children. According to a study done by University of the West Indies, Caribbean Tribes often viewed a subservient wife and dominating husband as “proper relations” between man and women (Brereton). Although, the Jamaican government is working to eliminate bias in favor of men by creating policies that ensure women will not be underrepresented in politics, women still face struggles everyday that traditional gender roles create(Simms) .

According to the United Nations, women are more likely to have a higher education but women are “overrepresented” in the low income category, which is very interesting (United Nations). Since women are more likely to have a higher education which makes them seem more qualified for many jobs, they may be denied based on their gender. For example, women are not allowed to be head of a church and church is a fundamental part of Jamaican culture (Simms).

One other factor of this might be that historically, women were not expected to have paying jobs. They were expected to take care of domestic duties. It is also interesting that this tradition of gender roles continues and thrives in the Rastafari culture. Women are expected to respect men and do whatever they ask. Women are not equal to men. Although, less than 10% of the population identifies as Rastafari this tradition seems to carry on throughout Jamaican society (CIA). As a result of this patriarchal ideology, in 1901 only 13% of skilled laborers were women and historically only about 30% of land was owned by women (Brereton).

From my research, I have found that Jamaican society does not “promote” women being independent and self-sufficient people, but the government is trying to eliminate prejudice in politics. By request of the Jamaican Women Resource and Outreach Centre (WROC) a quota was put in place to ensure that no less than 40% of Parliament is made up of women (or men).  Representatives from WROC said it’s a step up from where women stood, but even with the quotas getting women to feel like they should participate in politics and be heard is still an “uphill struggle” (Simms).

Work Cited
Brereton, Bridget. Women and Gender in the Caribbean. University of the West Indies. Print. 2013.

Simms, Glenda. Women on the Doorsteps. The Gleaner. Print. 2011.

United Nations. Women’s Level of Participation in Jamaica Public Life Questioned by Anti-Discrimination Committee.

CIA. World Fact Book, People and Society. Web. 2011.

Essay: History of Reggae

    Reggae is a popular music genre in Jamaica. Jamaican music has a rich history. The name Reggae was created in 1960. The name is identified as a "ragged" style of dance moves  (Scaruffi). Reggae is one of the world's living music traditions (Sherman). Reggae was developed in Jamaica but was not completely developed in Jamaica. It has roots in Africa, and America (New Orleans rhythm'n'blues). It was developed with a style of chanting and emphasized the syncopated beats. When compared to Rock music; Reggae inverts the roles of the guitarist as well as the bassist's role (Scaruffi).
    Reggae is created by using the artist's experience, emotions, and traditions. Reggae Is an emotional outlet in Jamaica. The artists put their pride and soul into making a song. For many artists Reggae is their way of life. To many Reggae is entertainment for the soul. It can be used as a social force that can portray the pressures of everyday life into a powerful message. Politicians have been known to use Reggae to draw crowds towards them (Sherman). Reggae has strong connections to Rastafarians which is a common religion in Jamaica (History)
    Before Reggae there were different types of music like the precursor to Reggae which was Ska (Scaruffi). Reggae has similar properties with Ska like the walking bass lines with off beats by pianos and guitars. Reggae Is very recognizable because of the heavy backbeated rhythm (this means the second and fourth beat will be emphasized when playing a 4/4 time) (History). The different phases of music that lead up to Reggae like Ska lasted for six years from 1960 - 1966.Rocksteady was popular for two years lasting from 1966 - 1968, Reggae had a 14 year lifespan of main popularity from 1969 - 1983. Now Reggae is called Dancehall which is played in Dancehalls (which are basically adult clubs). Reggae has two meanings. The first meaning or the generic meaning is the name of all popular Jamaican music since 1960. The second meaning refers to a particular beat that was mainly popular from 1969 to early 1980s. Now modern Jamaican music is called Dub or Ragga. Reggae has been through many changes including the names and styles, but the one part that will never change is the message in the songs (Sherman).
    Reggae is an amazing genre of music because it has the power of bringing people together. It has a global audience. Every country has had its share of listening to Reggae. Many liberation movements have used Reggae as a source of inspiration. Many famous Reggae singers have been honored at ceremonies. For instance, Bob Marley was honored at the Zimbabwe 1980 independence march because of his inspiring music. There are many examples of Reggae bringing people together. An example of this is when the Berlin Wall fell people were singing a Reggae song for hours and hours; the song was "Three Little Birds"
Because of Reggae, Jamaica has gained its place in the presence of the Global music industry and pop culture (Sherman).
    To some US & UK listeners some of the lyrics in Reggae songs are not understandable because the Reggae artists are using Jamaican slang or referring to Rastafarian concepts.  Reggae has risen to international acclaim through the music, and also through the movie "The Harder They Come". Reggae also became popular because of Bob Marley, one of the most loved and famous Reggae artists. Bob Marley began in a  Rocksteady band, The Wailers, in 1963. Then in the climax of his career in 1977 his solo album "Exodus" was released. Bob Marley's music was first popularized in the western world by a cover of his song "Who Shot The Sheriff" by Eric Clapton (History).

Scaruffi, Piero. "A History of Reggae Music." A History of Reggae Music. 2002. Web. 19 Jan. 2016. <>.

Sherman, Matthew. "THE DREAD LIBRARY." The Rise of Reggae, and the Influence of Toots and the Maytals. Web. 19 Jan. 2016. <>.

"History of Reggae - The Reggaskas." The Reggaskas History of Reggae Comments. Web. 19 Jan. 2016. <>