Portal:Jamaica

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Introduction

Flag of Jamaica.svg

Jamaica (/əˈmkə/ (About this soundlisten)) is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres (4,240 sq mi) in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometres (119 mi) west of Hispaniola (the island containing the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

Previously inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Many of the indigenous people died of disease, and the Spanish transplanted African slaves to Jamaica as labourers. The island remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England (later Great Britain) conquered it and renamed it Jamaica. Under British colonial rule Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with its plantation economy highly dependent on African slaves. The British fully emancipated all slaves in 1838, and many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British utilized Chinese and Indian indentured labour to work on plantations. The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962.

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Bob Marley live in concert in Zurich, Switzerland, on May 30, 1980 *Photographer: Ueli Frey
Bob Marley OM (February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981) was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is the most widely known performer of reggae music, and is famous for popularising the genre outside Jamaica. A faithful Rastafari, Marley is regarded by many as a prophet of the religion.

Marley is best known for his ska, rocksteady, and reggae songs, which include the hits "I Shot the Sheriff", "No Woman, No Cry", "Three Little Birds", "Exodus", "Could You Be Loved", "Jammin", "Redemption Song", and "One Love". His posthumous compilation album Legend (1984) is the best-selling reggae album ever, with sales of more than 12 million copies.

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Marcus Garvey, National Hero of Jamaica.
Credit: U.S. Library of Congress, George Grantham Bain Collection

Marcus Garvey, National Hero of Jamaica.

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  • Jamaican Asafa Powell ran the year's fastest 100 meters when he clocked 9.84 seconds at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston, beating American Ryan Bailey (9.93) and Jamaican Nesta Carter (9.98) (JAMAICAN GLEANER)

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