Towards Independence

In this section, find excerpts and links to The Gleaner's Special Series: Pieces Of The Past authored by Dr. Rebecca Tortello in 2003.  Where applicable, updated information can be found throughout the site.


The Road To Freedom  

Freedom can be said to have arrived in two stages; the first being the early morning of Friday, August 1, 1834. On that day many slaves were said to have walked up hills and climbed trees so as to clearly witness the literal dawning of their freedom. Around the island thousands attended "Divine Services" to give thanks and praise. August 1, 1834, marked the emancipation of all slaves in British colonies but it was a case of freedom with conditions. Although the …(READ MORE)


The Founding Of The BITU + The JLP

Alexander Bustamante, born William Alexander Clarke in Blenheim, Hanover, had made a name for himself negotiating on their behalf, addressing workers and their issues at public meetings and presenting their cases in the nation's newspaper as well as British papers. On Thursday, May 19, 1938, soon after he had negotiated a settlement for Kingston dockworkers, Bustamante was confronted with another … (READ MORE)



The Founding Of The People's National Party  

Meanwhile, his cousin, the renowned Oxford-educated Norman Manley from Roxborough, Manchester, who had mounted platforms to speak to workers upset about Bustamante's incarceration and attempted to keep the peace while he negotiated Bustamante's May release from jail, began to speak of the need for a political movement alongside the growing trade union one. This Manley believed was…(READ MORE


The Triumph Of Will – National Heroes   

Our heroes were first named in the 1960s when Jamaica celebrated its independence and celebrated what can be termed a cultural renaissance. Committees were convened to establish national emblems such as our flag, our anthem, our symbols, our coat of arms and our heroes. The order of National Hero of Jamaica was created in 1965. The first heroes named were… (READ MORE)


Birth Of Independence  

From Savannah-La-Mar to Morant Bay, from Above Rocks to Port Maria, as the clock struck midnight on August 5, 1962, the strains of our national anthem were heard for the first time while Union Jacks were lowered and the Jamaican flag unveiled.  Ceremonies took place in parish capitals across the island. In many cases… (READ MORE)


Jamaica Festival – What a Bam Bam



Jamaica Festival a national salute to local talent and ingenuity ­ in local vernacular ­ "a bam bam." How appropriate that the phrase introduced to the nation in 1966 by Toots and the Maytals in their winning festival song, can be used to aptly describe Jamaica Festival itself. A major training opportunity for thousands of Jamaicans, Jamaica Festival's mandate was (and still is) to … (READ MORE)