As I interview Saffron, we are interrupted by sounds of musical toys, clanging and screeches from Billie-Rae, the 16-month-old demanding her mother’s attention. I laugh and wave hello at the little girl that inspired the creation of Toya, the world’s first Jamaican Patois speaking doll.


Read article here: Meet The Woman Behind The First Patois Speaking Doll | Black Ballad


Today, Jamaicans across the world celebrate independence from the United Kingdom. Many events led up to the historic day. The Maroons waged war against the British twice, which led the British to deport hundreds of them to the newly colonised Sierra Leone. Several slave revolts took place, as well as uprisings led by the likes of Sam Sharpe, prompting the British to end the slave trade.

The loss of slave labour, the fall of the sugar trade and continued rebellions set the scene for the emergence of activists such as Marcus Garvey and the empowering Rastafari movement. While Britain bore the burden of the Great Depression and two World wars, Jamaicans continued to organise, revolt and demand the right of self-determination. The long road to independence came to an end on the 6th August 1962, however the spirit of determination and resilience among Jamaicans lives to this day.

Read article here: We Likkle But We Tallawah – Celebrating Jamaica’s Independence | Black Ballad