My native Jamaica has a really big birthday coming up and while I count down the days to our 50th year as an independent commonwealth nation, I wanted to post outfits that are inspired by our culture and our flag. The Jamaican flag has three colors, black, yellow and green. I used the champagne color in the blouse and shoes as a substitute for yellow. This is what I wore to work last Monday.
Coming To America
I want to share with you an excerpt of a post that I did on this blog last year. I unpublished it from the blog for various reasons.
Just a brief background on how and why I moved to the United States. In the early 80′s, I was summoned to the United States, to escape the political violence that had taken hold of the island. I was quite young, but I still remember my trip to the American Embassy in Kingston. Maybe it was my age, but I don’t remember the “official” interrogating me or scrutinizing my application like they are doing now. Matter of fact, it was just one question. Him, “Do you want to go to America?” Me, “Yes.” Maybe he was just ready to go home or he needed to take a bathroom break or something but just like that, I was granted a visa to enter the United States as a permanent resident.
I would have loved to tell you that my entire District crowded into an open back Leyland or Tata truck to follow me to the Airport (as was the tradition then) to see me off, but my Grandmother was appointed with that duty and I arrived at the airport without any fanfare. I still remember clutching my little shoulder bag and the tell tale “first timer” big brown envelope, which held my chest x-rays as I entered the crowded airport. Since I was traveling as an unaccompanied minor, I was handed off to my appointed Airline stewardess after saying my good-byes and promises to write. I was led onto the tarmac where I strained against the blazing sun and sweltering Kingston heat to make out my grandmother’s face amongst the hundreds on the viewing stand. Unable to see her, I gave a general wave to the crowd and hoped that she would see it before I mounted the portable steps into the silver jet which brought me to this magical place that I had always heard of known as America.
In America, I joined my Mom and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins, most of whom I had never met, but heard about in passing stories or saw only in photos. To sum up my American experience, I endured a ditsy flight attendant who lost me at the Kennedy airport…*kissing teeth*… alright, I admit that I kind of sort of went exploring when I got off the plane); snow (which really wasn’t pretty up close); my second grade classmates (with all their inappropriate questions, mean spirited banana boat jokes, and go back to Jamaica songs); the trauma of the barrage of vaccinations that I was forced to take AGAIN, (so I didn’t contaminate any of the American kids with third-world diseases that I didn’t have); middle school crushes; high school crushes; Syracuse University crushes; two career changes; bias; and earlier this year , overt sexism from my own Jamaican men. Despite, all this, I love America, all that she is, all that she can be, and all that she offers. However, even after all of these years of carrying on my duty as American (paying taxes, participating in the process to make this a better place for you and me and the rest), I still really miss Jamaica.
What I am wearing:
Top: Vince Camuto Blouse from Marshalls
Pants: Slim Fit boot cut pants from Asos
Shoes: Franco Sarto shoes from Marshalls
Ossie took these photos!
One Love, Natasha