Big Up Unnuh Self! Harvard University Offers Jamaican Patois Class
Growing up as a first-generation West Indian, it’s always tickled me (but made me proud) to see my culture in mainstream spaces, especially if it didn’t include Bob Marley, weed or Jerk Chicken. And although my family is Guyanese, I became elated when a friend shared on Facebook that Harvard now offers a Jamaican Patois class.
Only offered when students demonstrate academic need, Harvard describes the language course as an: “Individualized study of Jamaican Patois at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.” Taught by Genesee Johnson, the course will explore the elementary, intermediate and advance levels of the Patois language that has a blend of English and West African languages. Students will also read Jamaican literacy to help them fully immerse in the culture, as well. To learn more about the course visit Harvard’s Language Department and check out Genesee Johnson’s welcome video to students where she shares information about the class and her personal life.