Looking Back: The Struggle To Preserve Our Freedoms (Paperback)

Looking Back: The Struggle To Preserve Our Freedoms By Mark Smellie, Richard Foran (Editor), Joan E. Williams Cover Image

Looking Back: The Struggle To Preserve Our Freedoms (Paperback)

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In this riveting autobiography, former journalist/author, Joan Williams shares numerous dangerous and transfixing experiences that occurred during her participation in the "undeclared" civil war which wreaked havoc in her country, Jamaica, between 1977-1980. This conflict resulted from the determination of most of the island's citizens, to prevent socialism/communism from taking over their country during the cold war era. During that period, the island was "invaded" by operatives from the Russian KGB, Cuban DGI, and American CIA, all assisting the side they favored and arming the combatants. Chronicling her own political activism and fight during that period, Williams, then a young mother, adopted a slogan from the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King that "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter," as her mantra. This caused her to make heart-wrenching sacrifices to keep her small island out of the clutches of the communists. The most devastating sacrifice she said she had to make, was having to send her children away out of harm's way.With the current alarming developments in Venezuela which include shortages of basic goods, government-sanctioned violence, threats to press freedom and the liberty, continuously being on the front pages, "Looking Back" is especially relevant as many of the political happenings there mirror what is outlined as having occurred in Jamaica during their cold war era. This book will also provide a guide to Americans who are not aware of what "socialism" really is about. However, reflecting on where her country is today, Williams at times questioned whether the efforts they made and the dangers they withstood to keep the communists at bay, were worth the effort? Then, in 2014, she took her fourth trip to Cuba, this time it was to meet family which she had recently discovered lived there. Seeing the depressing conditions, lack of hope etc. which she found there, she answers her own question with a definitive "YES."In the heart-wrenching chapter entitled TO HELL AND BACK, Williams takes readers on the emotional roller coaster she tumbled helplessly on for years, when her 24-year-old son was murdered. She poignantly described how she reeled through numerous stages of grief, helplessness, agitation, inexplicable exhaustion disrupted by bouts of sobbing and the total desire to withdraw from the world. Losing a child, she concludes, is the worst tragedy that could ever befall a parent. For, while we expect the old to die, when our children go before us, that in itself disturbs the natural order and there are no short-term roads to recovery. She agrees with American author and mother of the late President John F. Kennedy, Rose Kennedy who wrote; "It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don't agree. The wounds remain. Time-the mind covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone." Williams, says she was only able to start the journey to normalcy, on accepting Hellen Keller's advice that; "Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." Looking back at her own "cold case," her son's murder, which the local police had shown no interest in solving at the time, Williams weighs the evidence and now arrives at a most startling conclusion about who really assassinated her only son Moving to the lighter side, Williams explains how she got involved in journalism, rising to become a popular radio talk show host. She also shares with readers the influence various members of her family had on her, experiences with racism both at home and abroad and in a short hilarious chapter, tells readers about her experiments with ganja (marijuana) with which the name Jamaica has always been closely associated."Looking Back" is almost impossible to put down and is indeed a must read.
Joan Williams hails from Jamaica and was educated in Canada, USA and Jamaica and is a resident of the USA. She holds 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. 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. Ms. Williams has authored nine books to date, beginning with the popular "Back A Yard" series in the early nineties. T Knowing how popular the Jamaican language is worldwide, in 1993, She wrote the first of the hilarious series, "The Original Dancehall Dictionary" which explains and defines the popular words and phrases being constantly developed by young Jamaican musicians and their fans. There are now 6 editions. She also wrote the first "Tour Jamaica" in 1993. The 4th edition was published in 2014. 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 when The cold war had spilled over to that small island, her to become an active participant in politics. 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.
Product Details ISBN: 9789769578500
ISBN-10: 9769578509
Publisher: Yard Publications
Publication Date: November 5th, 2015
Pages: 330
Language: English