New Book, “Jamaican By Birth American By Choice” explores cultural differences

ORLANDO – How does a poor boy from the hills of rural Jamaica arrive at a place in corporate America where the Chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 multi-national corporation seeks his advice and guidance on vexing issues regarding bias in his company?

What allows such a person to succeed in a corporate environment that is too often indifferent to the hopes and best competitive efforts of its minority employees?

A new book, Jamaican by Birth American by Choice examines the impact of deliberate personal choices as it explores interpersonal, institutional, and cultural relationships in Jamaica, the Caribbean, North America and East and Southern Africa from a unique perspective that directly influences the writer’s view of race in post Obama America.

Jamaican by Birth American by Choice, written by Jamaican, Owen James is scheduled for release on August 1st and will be available on

Legally sanctioned racial bias no longer exists in America. Nonetheless, bias remains a deeply divisive and debilitating scourge that ravages social intercourse. The inevitability of increasing diversity presents a severe dilemma that divides America — a country that remains exemplary in so many other respects.

Confronting bias is therefore as much a critically significant interpersonal challenge as it is an extremely prickly opportunity. Spectacular, relentless demographic changes along with the paranoia associated with the resulting inescapable browning, or diminution in whiteness, of America, merely complicate this already worrisome dilemma.

Especially to a Third World immigrant, America is simultaneously a place of great opportunity and much contradiction. To succeed, the immigrant must embrace the promise of bountiful opportunity even as he confronts daunting contradiction. Like Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldier, he has to persevere.

Owen James

The Author

Owen Everard James is a graduate of the Mico Teachers’ College (now the Mico University) in Jamaica and an honors graduate of Howard University in the United States. Mr. James also holds a diploma in Production Management from the Institute for Advanced Technical and Vocational Training in Italy. He has been a teacher, civil servant, banker and restaurateur and worked for nearly thirty years as a manufacturing executive with a Fortune 500 American multi-national corporation. He has lived and worked in the Caribbean, Canada, the United States and East and Southern Africa. He is retired and resides in Florida.

Book Reviews

“…….represents a prodigious achievement. It is remarkable for its panoramic range, frankness and poetic quality. It is a gripping and credible portrait of the political sociology of race, class, color and greed in American corporate and social life. This perceptive work is a justification of what a political autobiography should be: observant, honest, even-handed, compelling.” Prof. Dr. Edwin Jones, UWI, Mona.

“……your book makes interesting reading and should be enjoyed by all as it shows our mettle as a chosen people who can overcome no matter where we find ourselves.” Ambassador, Dr. Basil K. Bryan, former Jamaica Consul General to New York.

“…….great job…….I can’t wait to see it in print!” Regine Racine-Bowen, Haitian-American business executive.

“I very much enjoyed reading the book ……. I found the sections on the latter part of your career in Africa especially interesting beginning with the unique challenges associated with operating a business in a very different culture along with all HR-related politics that were always under the surface.” Scott Salmon, American business executive.

“Your remarkable navigation of the turbulent waters of American corporate racism, your improbable career journey across cultures and continents and your moral courage in tackling the obstacles that arose at every turn, are a wonderful inspiration for the young black person in Jamaica and America. Your thoughtful, pragmatic and positive approach to the intractable problem of race in America is also a model for the young.” Shirley Carby, Jamaican publisher.

“AWESOME!” Dr. Vera Rhimes retired American Educator.

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