How did Jamaican Labour date originate?

by: Shaquan Brown

This national holiday is celebrated on May 23rd. This day commemorates a labor rebellion on this day in 1938 that contributed to the Jamaican independence from colonialism and slavery. The movement came out of the struggle to free workers from extreme conditions of repression, exploitation, and racism. In 1972, the Prime Minister the honourable Micheal Manley gave this National Holiday a new dimension by issuing an appeal to all Jamaicans to put some meaning into Labour Day by making it a day of
voluntary labour.

Mr. Manley announced that he would be working to clear land and planting, and generally beautifying barren strips of land. Following Manley’s lead, clubs, groups, and organizations all over
Jamaican began to give free labour to beautify public areas, repair, and paint or build old people’s homes, community centres, and churches. Since 1989, Labour Day themes have included a wide range of issues such as health and environment, youth and community, road safety, and the planting of trees. The Caribbean acknowledges this important day in history for Jamaica
so the entire region celebrates this day of independence from the British.


Shaquan is a grade 12 student at Keystone School. She is from Spanish Town, Jamaica. She is an introvert who enjoys dark humour, watching anime and true-crime series. Shaquan finds peace in late-night walks, enjoys reading, cooking, singing, and designing. Outside of school Shaquan is interested in fiction story writing. Once comfortable amongst people she becomes talkative and is quite humorous, as told by her friends.

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