Joan Williams

Joan Williams
Looking Back
“When elephants fight it is the grass that gets crushed.” This is an old African proverb which remains relevant as small nations get caught up in the struggle by dominant nations to increase their influence.

Jamaica, an island of only 2.8 million people which lies just 90 miles from Cuba, was one such nation which during the cold war faced being enveloped by communism at the hands of their aggressive neighbor Cuba, a surrogate of the USSR.

Looking Back is the story of a Jamaican woman, Joan Williams, now an influential and successful broadcaster, who decided in the 70’s that her freedoms were more important than everything else. So she made every sacrifice, including sending away her two children, in order to ensure that Jamaica would not be brought into the USSR’s sphere of influence.

This is her story and the story of this small island where during a 4 year period; they fought an “undeclared civil war” involving the massacre of innocents, international intrigue and even treason.

After taking readers deep into that struggle, seeing the numerous problems that Jamaica still faces, Joan wonders aloud if it was worth it, but quickly answers her own question writing.

“I have visited Cuba four times, including once in 2014 to get acquainted and spend a few days with some cousins that were born there. Although the natural beauty of that country cannot be totally destroyed, life there is simply intolerable for the residents. And I am not talking about only the lack of freedoms but also the system makes it impossible for people to advance economically no matter how hard they work. For poverty is pervasive while corruption and prostitution is rampant as people turn to any means necessary to survive.”.

And she is not at all shy in thanking the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which it is said gave surreptitious assistance to those who struggled against the other side which was armed and assisted by the Russian KGB and Cuban DGI, boldly stating ;
“So if it’s the CIA that assisted us to win the battle that saved us from becoming a deprived, browbeaten and hopeless people like the Cubans, I feel nothing but gratitude towards them.”

In view of the recent warming of relations between the USA and Cuba, this is a most timely publication.

In Part 2 of her memories, Williams bares her soul at the grief that enveloped her when her only son was murdered, by the Jamaican police she thinks, takes us on some of her travels, outlines her experiences with religion, racism and even marijuana.

This book has been appropriately described in an Amazon review by Antillean Publishers as “An Intellectual Feast”
Tour Jamaica
Original Dancehall dictionary
Centinniel, Colorado
Joan Williams hails from Jamaica and was educated in Canada, USA and Jamaica and holds a BSc in Economics. Her initial tertiary training was in computer programming but she decided very early that she preferred to work with humans and not machines. In keeping with trend, Ms. Williams has over the years been involved in Public Relations, Business, Media, Politics and Real Estate in Jamaica and worked for many years as a workshop/seminar planner throughout the English Speaking Caribbean.

It was however her passion for writing that saw Ms. Williams becoming a columnist at one time or the other in Jamaica for the Gleaner, Star, Jamaica Observer, Money Index, Daily News as well as for the Miami based Caribbean Today and the Amnesty International magazine. Because of her biting written commentaries, she was also invited to do after news radio commentaries at the now defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) in the afternoons.

It was also Ms. Williams along with one of her mentor’s, the late Anthony Abrahams, a former BBC broadcaster and Rhodes Scholar, who developed the “Breakfast Club” which led to the revolution in morning talk radio in Jamaica.

She was for almost two decades the alternative host for the popular radio talk show “Perkins on Line” moderated by Jamaica’s most respected and controversial journalist, the late Wilmot (Motty) Perkins. She now moderates her own programme “Joan Williams on Line.” This is aired on Power 106 and heard worldwide at; http://go-jamaica.com/power/

Ms. Williams has authored nine books to date, beginning with the popular “Back A Yard” series in the early nineties. This series of six was a satirical review of Jamaican politics.

In 1993, She wrote the first of hilarious “dictionary” “The Original Dancehall Dictionary which explains and defines the popular words and phrases being constantly developed by young people in the music arena. The sixth edition is now available as an ebook and is a best seller.

In 1995 she wrote the first “Tour Jamaica”. The 4th edition was published in 2014 as an ebook.

Her most recent publication, “Looking Back……. the struggle to preserve our freedoms” gives an excellent overview of the period when there was an “undeclared civil war” in Jamaica in the 70’s. The cold war had spilled over to the small island of Jamaica forcing Ms. Williams to become an active participant in politics at that time.

Although concentrating on writing, Ms. Williams finds time to be active grandmother in the lives of her two grand kids, Shadrach and Madelynn; an accomplished artist; an avid cyclist and explorer of the great outdoors and a world traveler.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King