National Heroes of Jamaica


The national heroes of Jamaica emerged at a time when the Jamaican people were under colonialism. They came and changed the course of Jamaica's history by giving social and political freedom to its people. These national heroes of Jamaica dared to challenge the institution of colonialism standing up for the people of the country. The National Heroes Park in Kingston acknowledges these seven great heroes of Jamaica where they are viewed with inspiring pride and symbols of enduring strength.

Some of the important national heroes of Jamaica are:

•  Paul Bogle

•  Alexander Bustamante

•  Marcus Mosiah Garvey

•  George William Gordon

•  Norman Washington Manley

  Nanny of the Maroons

•  Samuel 'Sam' Sharpe

Paul Bogle, born on 1822, he was a Baptist Deacon and a Jamaican rebel. By reading and applying lessons from the Bible as he was a Christian, he helped his congregation cope with the poverty and social injustices. Leader of the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion, on 24 th October he was captured and executed by the Britishers. Later named a Jamaican national hero with the title Rt. Excellent Paul Bogle, he's depicted on the heads side of the Jamaican 10-cent coin.

Sir William Alexander Clarke Bustamante, born on 24 th February, 1884 was a Jamaican politician and labour leader. Alexander Bustamante became the first Prime Minister after Jamaica's independence on 6 th August, 1962. A man of vision he saw why life was hard for the ordinary people and also knew what could be done to help them. He fought for the rights of the workers believing in what is right, through words and became a famous leader and one of the popular national heroes of Jamaica.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, born on 17 th August, 1887, was a journalist, entrepreneur, publisher, Black Nationalist, and founder of the ‘Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League'. Garvey is well remembered as an important advocate of the Back-to-Africa movement, encouraging people of African descent to return to their ancestral homelands.

George William Gordon, born in 1820 on the Cherry Gardens estate in the parish of St. Andrew, was a self taught Jamaican businessman and politician. Though born to a white planter and a slave, he was a member of the Jamaican Assembly and a reputed critic of the colonial government. In the wake of the 1938 labour rebellion, Gordon came to be known as a precursor of Jamaican nationalism. On his 100 th death anniversary, Gordon was declared as one of the national heroes of Jamaica.

Norman Washington Manley, born on 4 th July, 1893, was a well-known statesman and a one of the leading lawyers of Jamaica in the 1920s. Manley along with his cousin, Alexander Bustamante was an advocate of the universal suffrage. Founder of the left-wing People's National Party, their labor resulted in the New Constitution of 1944, granting full adult suffrage. Manley also was the countries Chief Minister.

Nanny of the Maroons, also known as Queen Nanny and Granny Nanny, lived some 250 years ago. A well-recognized leader of the Maroons in the 18 th century she was known to free over 800 slaves over a span of 50 years. She is said to have died in the 1750s.

Samuel ‘Sam' Sharpe, also known as ‘Daddy' Sharpe, was born in 1801. Though a well-educated man he was a slave throughout his life. Highly respected by other slaves, he was a good preacher and leader. He educated the slaves about Christianity and freedom traveling to different estates in St. James area. In 1975 with the title Rt. Excellent Samuel Sharpe he was proclaimed one of Jamaica's national heroes.


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