Jalan Ward | Published August 16th, 2022
Jamaica! Jamaica! Jamaica!
Never would I have ever thought I would travel to an island for the first time and at the same time, feel like I've visited before in another lifetime. Jamaica now owns a piece of my heart forever.
The intent was to attend a beautiful wedding, explore the island, and learn more about Black history in Jamaica. The PBBTravels project believes in educating Black people on different places around the world, so I definitely was planning to make the best out of my first international trip.
Before I talk about Jamaica, I want to give my blessings, and special congratulations to the newlyweds (Kenetra & Xavier Martin) for forming their union on September 10th, 2022. Truly a special moment on the waters ceremony, as everything just happened so perfectly, in accordance. Love is really an eternal concept, and when you are able to witness it through two people coming together, it makes marriage-day even more amazing. I cannot wait to see the tremendous growth within their bond of love.
WEDDING DAY!! (Introducing Mrs. Kenetra & Mr. Xavier Martin)
THE "WINNER'S CIRCLE" FAMILY (Founded at NC A&T '12)
Jamaica....Wow....Not only did I enjoy my entire trip, I also was able to understand how deeply impactful this place is towards our entire world. From the culture, music, religion, family, etc. Once you go there and see how the people of Jamaica interact in all forms, you understand this is way bigger than what you thought initially. Once I stepped foot on Jamaican soil from a 5-6 hour flight, you feel something immediately. Not sure what that feeling is exactly, but for me, it felt like I was home with my people. Literally, all you see on land is Black people, and that is nothing short of a refreshing sight. Truth be told, I've never seen that before, anywhere! Comfortability...I felt comfortable amongst the people, I've had some people on the island tell me that I kind of look like I would be from here (freaking awesome to hear!). The initial time there was spent taking in the fresh air, looking at the clear waters, and getting a chance to enjoy this moment being on a island with lifelong friends from college while enjoying the fruits of our labor.
What Jamaica wants you to know is that they are very traditional as it pertains to music, and even food. I'll be honest, I've never been a big fan of Jamaican food back home in the states, but since being in Jamaica, it was important to showcase the authenticity of foods prepared. It was definitely good as you can tell they cook their foods straight from the source, not many preservatives, or pre-cook additions. You have to respect that health-wise as I also noticed that the amount of Jamaicans were conscious of health post-pandemic. The music...I had no clue I would gravitate to the music so early on in the trip. I'm now a big fan of Reggae, and Dancehall. The music moves me in ways I didn't think I would feel until arriving on the island. It just hits a little different for me now! We went out the first two nights, and I observed everything inside the clubs. Jamaicans really enjoy music, and even has dances to each and every song. I was was shocked since it's hard for me to remember 3 strolls from my fraternity endeavors but this type of remembrance from Jamaicans, is a new level of appreciation. Jamaicans are at peace when they are in their elements. You can tell from the music, and how they move to the sounds, and waves. When I come back I'm most likely going to find a group, and get them to teach me a dance or two.
Overall, we as Americans will continue to go through life in the states, but we must travel to places that we are a majority. You learn so much mentally, and physically. I never would have learned new things about Black people if I did not travel to Jamaica last week. I know I will be back as I want to work on some forms of projects to give back a piece of me to the Caribbean islands of Jamaica.
Peace, and blessings to the ones I've encountered in Jamaica, and the ones that gave me a warm welcome. I'll never forget my very first introduction to Jamaica, and I know this will help prevail the brand, and my future views of cultural moments on the Islands just like Jamaica.
Writer/Editor - P.B.B.