Professor Donald J. Harris Among Jamaica’s National Honours Recipients

Professor Donald J Harris

Professor Donald J Harris

by Howard Campbell

[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Professor Donald Jasper Harris, father of US vice president Kamala Harris, is to receive the Order of Merit, Jamaica’s third highest honor. This was announced on August 6, Independence Day in the Caribbean country.

The Jamaican government cited his “significant contribution to the field of development economics” for giving him the award. The award will be handed out on October 18 during the annual National Honours and Awards ceremony in Kingston.

Harris was born in St. Ann parish where National Hero and Pan African giant Marcus Garvey and reggae king Bob Marley are also from.  He is a professor emeritus at Stanford University.

Order of Jamaica

Also acknowledged this year is Ernie Ranglin, the legendary jazz guitarist whose career began in the 1950s. He will receive the Order of Jamaica, his country’s fifth highest honor.

Ranglin has played on or arranged some of Jamaican music’s classic songs including It Hurts to be Alone by The Wailers and My Boy Lollipop by Millie Small.

Order of Distinction 

Recipients of the Order of Distinction, Jamaica’s sixth highest honor, are Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Marley’s outstanding bass guitarist; Donald Shaw, Fitzroy Simpson and Lloyd Ferguson of The Mighty Diamonds; and deejay Cleve “Stitchie” Laing.

All are recognized for contribution to the development of Jamaican music.

Sprinters Elaine Thompson-Herah (triple gold medalist at the current Olympic Games in Tokyo) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a multiple Olympic gold medalist, will also receive the OD.

Badge of Honour

Cheryl Wynter, a longstanding administrator at the Jamaican Consulate in Miami, has been awarded a Badge of Honour for Meritorious Service for contribution to the Diaspora.



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