Home Sports Usain Bolt Says He Has Experienced Classism and Racism in Jamaica

Usain Bolt Says He Has Experienced Classism and Racism in Jamaica

On Sunday, world sprint legend Dr Hon. Usain Bolt shared more about his life off the track, success, and teammates. During his unprecedented third consecutive appearance on personality programme, Profile aired on Television Jamaica, the now billionaire and one of the two most well-known Jamaicans said he has experienced “strong levels of classicism and racism” in Jamaica throughout his rise as a global athletics icon.


In Part 3 of the tell-all interview, Bolt, who was born and raised in the rural area of Sherwood Content, a small town in Trelawny, was asked if he had ever experienced racism or classism in Jamaica. The track and field icon said he was ‘shocked’ by the reactions of neighbours when he moved into an upscale St.Andrew apartment complex.

“A lot, a lot,” Bolt told Ian Boyne, veteran journalist and the host of Profile. “Especially when I started out. It was more shocking than anything else. That was how I ended up buying my house.”

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“I was living in a complex and I had issues with a few of the lighter-skinned people. I used to live near a lawyer and when I moved in, he said to me ‘be careful, they don’t like to see young people strive,’” Bolt recalled before revealing he was 23 when he moved in and that some neighbours weren’t happy to see him in the complex.

“When it started happening to me, I had to rush and build my house so I can have my own place. A lot of them, because dem go school and work years and years to reach, and me just come up and because of sports mi get everything, dem nuh happy. I couldn’t deal with it any more. It was getting worse and direct.” [sic]

Bolt said he has experienced ‘strong badmind’ from mostly people in the upper class in contrast to the positive reactions of ordinary Jamaicans.

A previous version of this article had the interview embedded from dailymotion.com, uploaded by user by JARADIO JAMAICA. The I AM A JAMAICAN is not responsible for the content of external sites. Updated 28/1/2016.

“Mostly people in the upper-class,” he admitted. “Because the ghetto yutes them and everybody else loves me. And they want to see me. They are just [genuinely] happy to see me, you understand?” he explained.