Custom Search 1

Pioneers of the past

INSPIRATIONAL: Bob Marley

WE PROFILE 20 trailblazing Jamaicans who are gone, but not forgotten

.................................................................

Louise Bennett Coverley (1919-2006)

Affectionately known as Miss Lou, the beloved poet was famed for writing and performing her work in Jamaican patois, thereby giving the dialect literary recognition.

.................................................................

Nanny of the Maroons (c. 1686-1733)

A Jamaican National Hero, Nanny was one of the leaders of Jamaican slaves (known as the Maroons) who fled their oppressive existence on plantations and formed their own communities in the rugged, hilly interior of the island.
.................................................................

George Headley (1909-1983)

The West Indies cricket player is considered one of the team’s best batsmen of all time. He was chosen as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1933.
................................................................

Rex Nettleford (1933-2010)

Scholar, social critic and choreographer, Nettleford founded the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, an ensemble which under his direction did much to incorporate traditional Jamaican music and dance into a formal ballet repertoire.
.................................................................

Mary Seacole (1805-1881)

Best known for her involvement in the Crimean War, Seacole set up and operated boarding houses Panama and Crimea to assist in her desire to treat the sick.
.................................................................

Desmond Dekker (1941-2006)

Along with his group The Aces, the ska and rocksteady star had one of the earliest international Jamaican hits with the 1968 classic, Israelites, which was a number one hit in the UK. Other hits included 007 (Shanty Town) and It Miek.
.................................................................

Bob Marley (1945-1981)

The singer and musician found fame with a string of hits including Redemption Song and One Love, and is celebrated for bringing reggae music to a worldwide audience.
................................................................

Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)

Political leader, journalist and entrepreneur, Garvey was a staunch representative of the Pan African and Black Nationalist movements. He founded the Black Star shipping line and the Back to Africa movement, which urged members of the African diaspora to return to their ancestral homelands.
................................................................

Vincent ‘Randy’ Chin (1937-2003)

A record producer and owner of Randy’s Record Shop, the entrepreneur later moved to New York where he founded the now world famous record label, VP Records – the world's largest independent label and distributor of Caribbean music.
................................................................

Claude McKay (1889-1948)

A seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance, the poet and author wrote three novels: Home to Harlem (1928), a best-seller which won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature, Banjo (1929), and Banana Bottom (1933).
................................................................

Val McCalla (1943-2002)

The founder of our very own publication, McCalla launched The Voice from a small flat in east London, after identifying that there was no other publication that served the needs of the black British at the time. The paper was launched at Notting Hill Carnival in 1982, and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
................................................................

Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd (1932-2004)

Influential in the development of ska and reggae music in the 1950s and beyond, the renowned record producer went on to launch the famed recording facility Studio One.
................................................................

Iris Collins (birth unknown, died in 2001)

A political pioneer, Collins made history when she broke through the walls of a male-dominated Parliament and became the first woman elected MP in Jamaica in 1944.
................................................................

Arthur Wint (1920-1992)

Known as the ‘gentle giant’, Wint was the first Jamaican Olympic gold medallist, winning the 400 metres at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. He was inducted into the Jamaica Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.
................................................................

Dr Cicely Williams (1893-1992)

A pioneer in the field of medicine and medical research, Williams is widely reconginsed as Jamaica's first female doctor, and an international leader in mother and child care during the early 20th century.
................................................................

Roger Mais (1905-1955)

The popular author is celebrated for his role in the development of political and cultural nationalism.
................................................................

Dennis Brown (1957-1999)

The ‘crown prince of reggae’ scored the international hits Money In My Pocket and Love Has Found Its Way.
................................................................

Paul Bogle (1820-1865)

The leader of the 1865 Morant Bay rebellion, which pushed for justice and fair treatment for all in Jamaica.
................................................................

Sam Sharpe (1801- 1832)

The slave leader behind the Jamaican Baptist War rebellion, which led to the abolition of slavery.
................................................................

Gregory Isaacs (1951-2010)

Dubbed the ‘cool ruler’, Isaacs found fame with the hits Night Nurse and My Only Lover.
................................................................

Facebook Comments