The Jamaican Gleaner-Jamaica And The Diaspora: Working Together As One

Jamaica And The Diaspora: Working Together As One

Published:Monday | May 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Delano Franklyn

In recent times, the word ‘diaspora’ has become one of self-identification among many varied groups who migrated or whose forebears migrated from one place to another.

The Jamaican diaspora must be seen in this context. It refers to persons who migrated from Jamaica as well as second- and third-generation progeny born in the countries to which their parents and fore-parents migrated.

The maintenance of a Jamaican identity, values and culture is a necessary condition for a person to be included in the Jamaican diaspora. The only thing which separates them from Jamaicans in Jamaica is geography, but for all intent and purpose, they are all one.

To date, no one knows exactly how many Jamaicans make up the Jamaican diaspora. Estimates vary from 3.7 million to five million. The precise number must be determined. This will help to define the policies and programmes to be pursued by the Government, or any other entity, in order to meaningfully address the concerns of this segment of the population.