The Jamaican Exodus
Micro-Narrative Capture, Intertwine, Quantitative Analysis
Jamaica has long been an ethnic melting pot, with a population made up of, among others, blacks,
whites, Indians, Chinese, Syrians, Lebanese, and Jews. Despite the explicit recognition of this diversity
demonstrated by the island's motto, "Out of Many, One People," a pervasive racism in the 1960s along
with the rise of a socialist regime in the 1970s resulted in hundreds of thousands fleeing the island
for North America.
Working with a Jamaican American author writing a book about this period of the island's history, we constructed
an on-line instrument to capture both quantitative metrics and qualitative narrative that was administered
through large Jamaican organizations in both the United States and Canada. Through a combination of
traditional analysis and narrative analysis, including our proprietary tool, Intertwine
, we helped the author to
understand that not all shared the halcyon core narrative that he himself remembered and that many of his
compatriots were still struggling with questions about their own identities decades after their departure.
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