"My Heritage Experience in America. Who Am I and Where Did I Come From?" An Interview of Barbara Lyons
In my quest to interview someone for this research, I decided to interview Barbara Lyons. Barbara's heritage is Jamaican. Barbara was aware of her Jamaican heritage in the early stages of her life since her father was born in Jamaica. He came to the U.S. in the early sixties and later joined the U.S. Air Force. Barbara said that she has been to her father's hometown of Hayes once. There are a few traditions that she has been accustomed to. The first tradition that has stayed with the family is Sunday dinner. Apparently Sunday is considered family day in Jamaica and Sunday dinner is the highlight. She said that they normally will eat rice and peas and roast beef or roast chicken for their Sunday dinner. Some other food that her family still eats is Ackee and Saltfish which is the Jamaica's national dish. She also loves jerk chicken and spiced bun. Barbara also enjoys the Jamaican reggae style of music. When I asked if there were any unique social expectations placed on her because of her heritage she told me that people always asked her if her dad used to smoke a lot of marijuana. She told me that her father told her that many people do use drugs, but it is not as common as people think it is. Since Barbara's dad was in the military, she had gone to several schools. She said that she never was a cast out or thought of differently because of her ethnicity. Barbara said that she is proud of her heritage, and is happy that they still embrace their Jamaican traditions. According to the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau, there are a total of 736,513 Jamaican Americans, which makes up 0.3% of the U.S. population. The median age of Jamaican Americans is 33, there are more Jamaicans that rent rather than own houses, and the average family size is 3. Out of the total Jamaican American population 47.4% are high school graduates or higher and 12.8% have a...
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