Jamaica 1970’s

Black Political and Cultural Re-awakening

The 1970’s saw a revival of several key black activists such as Marcus Garvey.

Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican – born black nationalist who created a ‘Back to Africa’ movement in the United States. He became an inspirational figure for later civil rights activists. He returned to Jamaica in 1914 and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) where his influence became widespread, especially amongst Rastafarians. Back to Africa – Some Jamaicans started to look towards Africa – culture, history and naming their children with African names.


Marcus Garvey

Root Magazine

Haile Selassie

  1. Marcus Garvey 1978, by Ossie Murray.
  2. Haile Selassie, a central figure to the Rastafarian religion. Image from Itations of Jamaica and I Rastafari by Mihlawhdh Faristzaddi.
  3. Social Unrest: The 1970’s saw a period of intense social and political unrest in both Britain and Jamaica. Image courtesy of Neil Kenlock Archives.
  4. Root magazine – The first Black lifestyle magazine, published by Jamaican born Neil Kenlock. Roots Magazine, First Issue, Neil Kenlock Archives.
  5. An advert, enticing Jamaicans to return home, courtesy of Root Magazine. Many Jamaicans who immigrated to Britain during the Windrush returned to Jamaica during the 1970s only to find a country that was in political and economical turmoil.
Jamaica Social Unrest 1970

Come Back To Jamaica Advert

“I think that for a long time the Caribbean population had one foot here and one foot back home so they didn’t integrate fully.”

– Diane Edwards