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Caribbean Beat Magazine

Voyager among gods

Eighty years ago, an African-American anthropologist stepped off a boat in Kingston, at the start of a journey to investigate Caribbean religion and spirituality. Zora Neale Hurston is better remembered for her fiction, writes James Ferguson, but her book Tell My Horse remains a fascinating record of Jamaica and Haiti in the 1930s

Johnson’s Gentleman — Francis Barber

Dr. Samuel Johnson: poet, critic, wit, essayist, playwright, author of the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language — here was one of the towering figures of 18th-century English life and literature, immortalised by his biographer Boswell. But but behind Dr. Johnson, serving and supporting the great man in his endless projects, was a little-remembered figure from the Caribbean: Francis Barber, of Jamaica. Barber's extraordinary role in Johnson's life is recalled by Frances Parkes
A Young Black by Sir Joshua Reynolds — a portrait of Francis Barber. Painting by Tate Gallery Publications

Jamaica: the Romancing Rock

Everyone knows about Jamaica, right? The gorgeous north-coast beaches, Montego Bay and Negril, wonderful resorts, the rhythm of reggae and the visions of the Rastafari, James Bond and Noel Coward, rafting down the Rio Grande... But hold on - how much of this touches real Jamaican life? Journalist Nazma Muller, who has lived and worked in Jamaica, probes beneath the familiar stereotypes, and recalls times and places which brought her face to face with a different reality
Trident Castle. Photograph by Roy O’brien/Jamaica Tourist Board

Holding pattern — Jamaica’s Michael Holding

It’s been 12 years since Michael Holding’s retirement from Test cricket. A key member of Clive Lloyd’s feared pace quartet and the legendary West Indies team which dominated world cricket for over a decade, Holding has since forged for himself a successful career as an international commentator. But, like so many other things, that was never really in his plans: Mikey never meant to lead such a charmed life. Georgia Popplewell reports
Who the Cup Fits: celebrating Jamaica’s victory in the 1989 Red Stripe Cup. Photograph by Dellmar Photos

Dubbing is a must

In recent years, the Jamaican music scene has been gripped by a “Reggae Revival,” and the movement’s ground zero is a weekly gathering of musicians and fans high in the hills above Kingston. David Katz treks up to the Kingston Dub Club and meets founder DJ Gabre Selassie