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century, independence, African roots, sugar plantations, African slaves

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Jamaica, island country, situated in the Caribbean Sea south of Cuba. With its lush mountains and pristine beaches, the island is known for its beautiful natural surroundings and is a popular tourist destination. Jamaica became a British colony in 1670. During the 18th century, planters began importing African slaves to work on the sugar plantations. Today the island’s culture and customs blend its British and African roots. Jamaica gained its independence from Britain in 1962 and maintains a strong two-party political system. The island is named after the Native American word Xaymaca, meaning “land of wood and water.”



Alleyne, Mervin C. Roots of Jamaican Culture. Pluto, 1988. Study of religion, music, dance, and language.

Bakan, Abigail B. Ideology and Class Conflict in Jamaica: The Politics of Rebellion. McGill-Queens University Press, 1990. An analysis of three significant events in Jamaican history: the 1831 slave rebellion, the Morant Bay uprising of 1865, and the labor riots of 1938.

Chevannes, Barry. Rastafari: Roots and Ideology. Syracuse University Press, 1994. An accessible historical overview of the origins of Rastafarianism in Jamaica.

Gray, Obika. Radicalism and Social Change in Jamaica, 1960-1972. University of Tennessee Press, 1991. A political history of Jamaica during its first decade of independence.

Levi, Darrell E. Michael Manley: The Making of a Leader. University of Georgia Press, 1990. A biography of the Jamaican prime minister.


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Article key phrases:

century, independence, African roots, sugar plantations, African slaves, island country, British colony, Caribbean Sea, planters, Cuba, Jamaica, culture, water, Britain, customs

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