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Colin A. Palmer, Jamaican Historian Dies At 75



Hey guys, I just ran into a news item from The New York Times where they reported that notable Jamaican historian and son of Lambs River in Westmoreland, Colin Alphonsous Palmer has died.

He died here in Kingston on June 20, 2019. He was 75 years old.

According to the newspaper, Mr. Colin A. Palmer was a historian who broadened the understanding of the African diaspora and showed that the American slave trade was only one part of a larger phenomenon that crossed centuries and influenced cultures worldwide.

His worked spanned African-American, the African diaspora, Colonial Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mr. Palmer published his first of several books and academics papers, "Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico, 1570-1650" in 1976, which later set him on a distinguished career path.

Much of his published works can be found at Amazon.

Can I be honest with you though?

I'm a deeply puzzled why none of the top news media carried the story, especially so since he is, not only a 'son of the soil', but also that he died right here in Jamaica!

I've been checking around, and the only local mention of him I found was memoriam from The University Of The West Indies Press where they extended condolences to is his family (Source).

He published two books with the University Press, The Legacy of Eric Williams: Caribbean Scholar and Statesman and Inward Yearnings: Jamaica’s Journey to Nationhood in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

In 2009, according to Leo Gunter, he presented the Maroons of Jamaica with a prized copy of the treaty between the British Government and the Maroons signed in 1739, and later donated 15 boxes of books to the Maroon Community Center at Accompong.

Mr. Palmer reportedly received the Chancellor’s Personal Award for the publication, The Legacy of Eric Williams, at the University of the West Indies Press’s Twenty-Fourth Anniversary and Author Awards celebration in St Kitts and Nevis, in 2016.

He taught at several universities including Oakland University, the University of North Carolina, the City University of New York, and Princeton.

Last year (2018) he spoke at the topic "The 1938 Rebellion and the PNP’s vision of an independent Jamaica." at the 80th anniversary celebrations of the People’s National Party (PNP).

During the speech he challenged Jamaicans to ensure that the hard-won rights of workers are preserved.

I just wish we better recognize the distinguished contribution of persons who have not only served and represented their country well, but who has left a indelible mark on their heritage and humanity.

Many his soul rest in peace.

Note: You can learn about more famous Jamaicans here.


P.S. You can learn more about Colin A Palmer at wikipedia.


  • "Colin Palmer, Historian of the African Diaspora, Is Dead at 75", The New York Times, Retreived Online at on July 12, 2019
  • "Distinguished historian Colin Palmer for PNP 80th anniversary lecture this Sunday", Go-Jamaica Online, Retrieved Online at: on July 12, 2019
  • "Professor Colin Palmer not a stateless person", Jamaica Gleaner Editorial, Retrieved online at: on July 12, 2019

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