Wed | Dec 1, 2021

A Jamaican is a Jamaican

Published:Friday | September 11, 2015 | 2:24 PM


With regard to Jhanelle Adams' column ('Who is Jamaican enough?', Gleaner, September 11, 2015), it truly is amazing that 53 years after Independence, we are still struggling with identity, triggered by beauty contests.

The irony of it all is that in the numerous fields in which Jamaicans excel either at home or abroad, the ethnicity, race, skin colour, place of residence are never issues. We embrace the accomplishments and beam with pride. However, once it is a beauty contest, the controversy starts.

I clearly remember the dilemma when the gorgeous Patsy Yuen, a true Jamaican of Chinese ethnicity, won the Miss Jamaica crown and went on to a third-place finish in the Miss World. This was 1973 and there was quite the debate of a Chinese representing Jamaica. She handled it with poise and grace.

Here we are 42 years later having the same issues surrounding a beauty contest. A Jamaican is a Jamaican, whatever they look like or wherever they reside. We are an outstanding breed of people who have made our mark on every continent.

This petty local conversation needs to stop. It is time for us to grow up.