‘Out of Many One People’? National Heroes and the Process of Nation-Building in Post-Colonial Jamaica
The proposed research project aims to examine the process of nation-building in, Jamaica, the largest of the former British colonies in the Caribbean. Using the seven officially proclaimed National Heroes as a lens, the project aims to analyze the efforts to create a Jamaican nation and to unify the fragmented postcolonial society after the granting of independence in 1962, as expressed by the national motto “Out of Many One People”. These attempts will be contrasted by an examination of
alternative interpretations of the selected historical personalities, altering concepts of nationalism and alternative public figures with hero-status among the populace. Analyzing the debates surrounding the selection, proclamation and popularization of Jamaica’s National Heroes during the country’s first 50 years of existence will provide critical insights into the challenges that accompany the transition from a colonial society into a nation.