By Baldwin S. A. Howe
In just about one week time, ( seven days), from today, the Hawaii-born, African- American senator from Chicago, Illinois; Barack Obama, is set to consummate his date with history. Barack Obama is mounting a serious challenge as the Democratic Party candidate in competition with the Republican Party candidate, senator John Mc Cain of Arizona. Both are vying to become the next President of the United Stated of America.
Jamaican interest in this U. S. presidential election is unparalleled. This is due to the fact that one, historically, it is the first time that a black person, or in Obama’s particular case, a half-Black person is likely to be voted in as the President of the U.S.A. And two, historically, it is a known fact that under a Democratic Party President, Black people in the U.S., and the people of the Caribbean usually gets a better deal.
In an earlier article I posted this year, in this magazine, I referred to the fact most of the people operating in the Jamaican music/entertainment environment are in support of Barack Obama. One will remember that singer/songwriter/record producer, Cocoa Tea, is one of, if not the very first Reggae artiste to record a song about the Chicago based presidential hopeful, titled,
“Barack Obama.” Since then a slew of singers both here, in the wider Caribbean and the U.S. have also recorded songs heralding the possibility of Barack Obama becoming the first Black President of the U.S. Veteran Calypso-Soca singer, The Mighty Sparrow, of Trinidad and Tobago have recorded one titled, “Barack the Magnificent” and Florida based Jamaican
singer /songwriter, Screwdriver have also recorded a song titled, “Jah Send Him Come.” Note should be taken that most of the songs recorded relates not only to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. If one listens to the songs, one senses the realization that they really speaks to a shared African experience. Barack Obama is the son of a Black African man born in Kenya and a White woman born in the U.S.A.
The feeling emanating out of Florida, the nearest North American state of the U.S. to Jamaica, and the home away from ‘yawd’ of many Jamaicans, is one of sheer excitement and hope for a Barack Obama win. One understands, based on the Florida census, that over 350,000
Jamaicans are currently residing in South Florida alone. Reports are that the early voting lines at the City Hall in Miramar have been very long ones. Reggae Times also understands that the spirit among Jamaicans voters in South Florida, who are in support of Barack Obama, is unprecedented.
Reggae Time Magazine and this writer wishes to express here that we are fully endorse the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama and hope and pray, along with millions of others, that Barack Obama’s date with history in a week’s time will result in him coming out he winner of the U.S. presidential race.