Vantage Point Jamaica – A Reporter’s Chronicle, by Earl Moxam
by Ambassador Curtis A. Ward
(23 February 2023) — Vantage Point Jamaica is a narrative well-grounded in historical facts written by a highly acclaimed Jamaican journalist which captures a plethora of game-changing events of our nation. Journalist Earl Moxam, a Jamaican, narrating his encounter with history in real time, and through the eyes of those who lived and shaped it before his time. His reporting covered a period of profound changes in the domestic and international landscape, and he told it like it was. Moxam has demonstrated how the linkages of past economic, social, and political dynamics, those with positive as well as negative effects, helped forge this history and set the stage for the current and future of Jamaica, the Caribbean, and, to some degree, the global community.
Earl Moxam seamlessly melded his personal history and experiences as a journalist with the mundane social and political experiences he encountered. He brought those experiences to life in Dickensian prose, and to borrow the words of the late great historian CLR James, his work as a journalist is “beyond the boundary.”
He infused his illuminating reporting with his personal experiences as a journalist in Jamaica, a small country with global impact, interspersed with his occasional reporting from abroad. He has provided us with a treasure trove of information on the journey of the Jamaican people and country which will resonate with older and younger generations of Jamaicans at home and across the diaspora. He has done this, not just during the years of his professional practice as a journalist, but by connecting his reporting of contemporary Jamaica with its past, including the heinous enslavement of Africans in Jamaica, and its residual impact on generations of Jamaicans in the post-enslavement period.
Among the many gems included in this erudite work of literature, are the views of Jamaica’s former leaders on their history-shaping decisions and actions extracted from their innermost thoughts and experiences by Moxam’s fearless probing and professionalism. Views which ordinarily would not have been shared without trusting in the integrity of the reporter. Moxam, true to the most sacred tenets of unbiased and nonprejudicial journalism, reported the facts untainted by his personal views.
Moxam infused some of his personal experiences of family and his cherished Treasure Beach, also my place of birth, into the narrative to show how those experiences molded his character as a journalist. Moxam highlighted the vigor, felicity, fears, and sadness of the people of the area, Jamaica’s experience, with his narration of the Snowboy tragedy and the resilience and survival of the people of Treasure Beach, including his own family.
Vantage Point Jamaica is not a mere contribution to Jamaica’s literary works. It should not only be mandatory in any journalism and history faculty, but a must read for Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora who care about their country.
If you read nothing else during 2023, read Vantage Point Jamaica – A Reporter’s Chronicle, by Earl Moxam, one of Jamaica’s preeminent journalists.
(A special note to Diaspora members visiting Jamaica. Don’t return to your country of residence without a personal copy. And be sure to bring back copies for family members and friends.)
(Warning: Don’t start reading before you get on the plane for your return trip! If you do, you will be so captivated by the contents of Vantage Point Jamaica, you will spend a lot of your time in Jamaica reading it. You will forget why you are visiting home in the first place. Enjoy!)
(Vantage Point Jamaica is available at Kingston Bookshop stores, and also available on the store’s online portal (kbonlinestore.com) in Jamaica. It will be available soon on the international booksellers’ websites in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.)
© Curtis A. Ward/The Ward Post