Based on recent events in my life, I find that it is totally appropriate to address this ever-annoying debate about where I am from, and inevitably, who I am.
Let me begin by saying no I was not born in Jamaica. Twenty years ago, my mother and father were up here visiting with my grandmother. Mother dearest went into labour and had me at South Miami Hospital. (Yes! That makes me an American citizen.) After I was born, we went back to Jamaica and lived in Montego Bay. I attended Mrs. Weatherburn’s pre-school–where I met my best friend–and then Mount Alvernia Preparatory school, also known as Al V. I went through Kindergarten, Intermediate, and grade one at Al V, after which we migrated to Florida. (I love Mr. Mac!)
I ask my parents all the time why they chose to leave so early, but it makes no sense arguing over spilt milk. At the end of the day, brother unlucky and I are first generation Americans.
Nonetheless, I still claim Montego Bay as my own, and for those of you who know me I go back every chance I get. Most of my family members and friends live in Jamaica and I simply love it there. Throughout my childhood, I spent plenty of time in Westmoreland and Saint Ann (Ochi). Now that I am older, I still make time to go to Westmoreland whenever I am in town, and I also frequent Trelawny and Hanover–not so much Ochi anymore. Most of my time in Ja is spent in Cornwall, but on occasion I go to Saint E and enjoy the delicious Pepper Shrimp from Middlequarters, as well as the Lobster from Little Ochi in Alligator Pond Manchester. (My father and brother unlucky do plenty more exploring than I do when they participate in Bird Bush activities.)
On another note, no I do not go to Kingston. Have I been there? Of course. We don’t ride asses in MoBay. Do I make it a priority to go? No, I don’t. When I am in Jamaica, I expect to see people who I miss–from MoBay–not the same old faces from the parties in SoFla. Furthermore, Kingston has nothing new to offer me. In fact, it is overly annoying having to defend myself whenever I tell a Kingstonian where I represent. Why should there be a big issue anyway? Is it intimidating or something? If you want MoBay to be “country” that badly then fine; it is country. That certainly does not make it any less great.
For future reference, though, please keep your anti-MoBay comments to yourself. I’ve heard them all already. (And they only make you sound like those ignorant people who believe we still live in trees.) We are all Jamaican, and as the slogan rightfully says, “Out of Many, One People.”
Perhaps the most noteworthy and amusing recent event was my being informed that I “push” that I am Jamaican because I am “really not.” This blog goes for all of you who thought I was an illegal immigrant, a resident, or here on a visa. My birth certificate says Miami, Florida. Both of my parents, who were born in Montego Bay, are American Citizens as well, and my brother and I also have dual-citizenship for Jamaica. I am thankful that my parents thought ahead and decided to have us here, because it saves me a lot of the problems I see other’s having. Because of it, I was able to travel all across the world during my childhood, and back. Not to mention I can go to Jamaica as often as I want for as long as I want. (And the lines at the airport are so much shorter for US citizens.)
Indubitably, I have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone and I will continue to represent for Jamaica all the days of my life. If that part of me bothers you then I apologise on behalf of your ignorance.