Discussion: Is there a divide or dislike between African Americans and Jamaicans?

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Where did I say I was lol!? Obviously didn’t read properly I said “other people” meaning the people around, so you should ask them. How can I be more special than Africans when that’s where my bloodline comes from.


This is a very interesting question. Thank you for asking it.

I would not say there’s an exact reason that would cause a divide or dislike between African Americans and Jamaicans. However, there are certainly barriers that each group of nationals dislike about each other, and it’s mainly due to culture.

I live in the United States. Many Jamaicans have voiced frustrations about African Americans. From the takes of, “Dem lazy nuh bloodclaat” to “Watch-deh, no home training. Watch this slackness” to “A suh you chat to ya madda and fatha?”

There’s a massive cultural difference and many Jamaicans are not willing to give up their pride to engage with, what most Jamaicans would call, “foolishness.”

Let’s set the record straight: it’s not about race. Jamaicans are black people. African Americans are black people, too. The issue, at least to me, is culture, up-bringing, pride, and parenting. Many Jamaicans view African Americans as privileged. A lot of Jamaicans associate African Americans with laziness. Because Jamaicans, as a young man or young woman, yuh nah tell mommy or daddy seh ya nah gwan ah di shop fi buy flour, tin-makrel, and sugar. In America, African Americans will say, “No” and go lock-up in their room.

Every Jamaican know… “if you tell mommy seh ya nah go do something, ya-go get lick [beaten by the belt].”

Jamaican parents invest their time, energy, and money into growing their child, similar to that of Spanish/Hispanic families. And at the core of growth is education. Education is VERY important in Jamaican households – God first, family second, education third, and friends last. Jamaicans are very humble people. Many of them work very hard over their lifetime. From training/playing in sports, attending school, to being employed in fields such as construction, entrepreneurship , mechanic/autobody, nursing, healthcare, childcare to taxi/van drivers, barbers, hairstylists, and to the many hundreds who are situated in corporate careers. It is RARE to find a Jamaican who sit on their ass doing absolutely nothing. Either demma play football a di ball field or dem gone a school. Jamaicans are far from lazy.

If a Jamaican were to compare contrast themselves to some African Americans, they will automatically identify traits they immediately dislike such as education level, a lack of ambition, lack of respect, no self-pride… and the list can go on. Here in the United States, many Jamaicans will prefer to befriend other Jamaicans or Caribbeans, persons of Spanish, Asian, or white decent. And while Jamaicans will not disrespect African Americans, outrightly at least, they will try to stay “in their own lanes” so one doesn’t cross each other negatively. It’s no surprise why many Jamaicans are friends with Africans, Haitians, other Caribbeans and Spanish/Hispanics people, and, of course, persons who are white. It’s about culture, pride, self-respect, and humbleness.

And like mi granny would say, “Americans put up with a lot of slackness,” and that saying cannot be more true when you look at the living of a HANDFUL of African Americans.


I’d like to hear from them is what I’m saying. The discussion is very one sided. It’s clear what Jamaicans think about AA.. it’s voiced here by Jamaicans. For the record we need to hear from some African Americans.


The answer to the question depends on who you ask. It is a complex question.

If you are talking about Jamaicans who live in the US. I just think our culture is so different but we get looped in to the general bracket.


Agreed. Most of my American friends are AA and there’s never been any serious issue. We have different cultures for sure and we have different takes on some things, but I think most differences are because they are American and not because they are African American.


I grew up with Jamaicans and Africans and then moved to the US. African Americans have a superiority complex when it comes to comparing with their brothers and sisters, which is weird because they don’t know much about their own roots.


My angst with AA culture is the vast majority will be biased towards other people of African descent because they seem to think that their version of black is the right one. I’ve heard them make off hand remarks about Jamaican and African living situations (in huts or board houses). It’s the undertone of superiority because “this is Amarica” despite the fact that they aren’t wanted in their own country and they have to fight for that right everyday. Social media shows the worst of them where comments about Africans, or Jamaicans being black when it suits them as if being black is the only way to identify themselves, and that crisis of identity is what sets us apart the majority of time.

Personally I think AA do not respect their past in the way Africans or Jamaicans do, they glorify struggle and wear it on their sleeves never moving on or using that struggle but rather wearing it like armour, and this colours their interaction with other black nationalities.


I respect the long comments on here. But what’s not addressed is how quickly any differences fall away. American-born children of Jamaicans typically don’t identify as Jamaican and tend to hide it. You may not even know it about celebrities like will.i.am, B.I.G. or Al Roker


Was speaking in general about second-generation assimilation. There’s always subdivides, but living in USA tends to force similarities. Some 93 percent of voters identifying as Black voted for Obama, for example.


Yes. I find that Jamaicans feel a sense of superiority over African Americans. But then so do Africans. And so do African Americans in regards to other black people (specifically Africans). I knew a lot of African kids growing up who would identify as Jamaican because they didn’t want to be made fun of for being African. Those who were just African American would also identify as being from somewhere in the Caribbean out of shame of not knowing where they are from.

White people in European nations also have superiority complexes when it comes to other members of their race. The French think they’re better than everyone. So do the Brit’s. And the Sweds. They all feel like they’re better than Americans. And white Americans are the only ones that genuinely don’t seem to view themselves as superior to other white people.


In the U.S., it depends where you are. It seems like NYC is where black Americans and black Jamaican Americans are divided. Those that are of Caribbean decent seem to flaunt it, so black Americans in NYC have started a new movement called foundational black americans(Fba), and have even started to say that Jamaicans are taking too much credit for influencing the creation of hiphop…in most of the U.S., though, black people are such a minority that we all stick together, regardless of where your family is from


Where I’m from the only divide is from Jamaican thinking they are better. Jamaican culture always heavily influences any community they have large numbers. Hip hop is the most influential genre ever and it was created by a Jamaican that would consider himself a New Yorker .

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