'If the upright and noble are forgotten, it is because we chose to forget them.' J. Robert Love, 1894
While doing research on many topics in Jamaica's history in the period between 1865 and 1944, I frequently come across considerable amounts of information about Jamaicans who never hit the headlines, who were . . . just ordinary Jamaicans. However it is sometimes possible to put together enough information to get a good picture of these men and women and how they lived their lives, which were not, in fact, - 'just ordinary'. 'In fact', there are many truly 'extraordinary' Jamaicans whose lives, and contributions to Jamaica's history, can be retrieved in this fashion. On these pages a few of these people will be introduced.
I am particularly interested in what I think of as 'Generation 1900' - Jamaicans alive in 1900 were just half way between two significant dates in Jamaica's history - 1838, marking the final ending of slavery, and 1962, the beginning of Jamaica's story as an independent nation.
'I found out that those folks in the history books were real people. They didn't live in the past. They inhabited the present, their present, and it was filled with problems and stress and nastiness and decency and heroism – just as any time is.'
Joy Hakim, teacher, writer, historian