When you reside on this tiny island out in the Caribbean Sea, you live among folk with complexions that run the gamut of chocolate colour gradient – from white chocolate all the way up to the darkest cacao nib possible.
There is no such thing as a purebred Jamaican because there is no single physical or genetic trait that we all share. Our bloodlines reach out beyond these shores to Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond, so our Jamaican-ness is either defined by birthplace or naturalised citizenship. To that end – our motto rings true:
Out of Many, One People.
In this neck of the woods, no one kills you because you have the wrong skin tone. They kill you because you have what they desire – money, vehicle, jewellery… body – and it is unlikely that you are going to hand it to them on a silver platter. There are those of questionable mental health who will kill for the love of politics, and they show up in varying hues.
Family feuds and gang wars will sometimes lead to beheadings or bodies pumped full of lead but our news bulletins list only the names and ages of the victims. Physical descriptions appear only in the absence of such information – as mere identifiers, not character references.
For what can the skin tone tell of one’s character?