Academic journal article The Journal of Caribbean History

The Right to Be Proud: A Brief Guide to Jamaican Heritage Sites

Academic journal article The Journal of Caribbean History

The Right to Be Proud: A Brief Guide to Jamaican Heritage Sites

Article excerpt

David Buckley, The Right to be Proud: A Brief Guide to Jamaican Heritage Sites, Kingston: MAPCO Business Printers, 2005, 61 pp.

This is an imaginative study, paced for Jamaican classrooms but also offered for sale, which aims to encourage young Jamaicans to take pride in their past. David Buckley's glossy pamphlet selects ninety-odd sites from the Jamaican National Heritage Trust's official list of monuments "for importance, interest and accessibility" (p. 3). The guide offers school children, teachers and parents planning field trips, and tourists and tour guides a convenient overview of most of the island's major public monuments. Three fold-out maps are helpful. The illustrations are gorgeous and frequent.

The book should prove a useful resource: in the short term for would-be visitors, and in the long term for anyone interested in the changing condition of Jamaica's monuments. Anyone who wants to know what the post-2004 Hurricane Ivan re-roofing of St Peter's Church at Alley (the second oldest church on the island) looks like, where an older slate roof was lost and is now replaced by an orange covering, should check page 34. The concrete plinth holding two cannon recently set up at the Rio Nuevo Battlefield Site is displayed on page 30. The newly restored Garveyite Liberty Hall in downtown Kingston appears at page 54. The book is described on its cover as "Edition 1", and so we hope that later editions will record further repairs and reconstructions. Incorporating aerial or satellite photographs into subsequent versions would help to demonstrate the wider contexts of some buildings. A revision might consider extending the book's focus from single structures to include historic sites, like the free villages laid out after emancipation, and the townscapes of Spanish Town and Falmouth. …

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