Summer Camp Series: A Brief History of Seven Killings in Jamaica

By the time you finish “A Brief History of Seven Killings in Jamaica” by Marlon James, you will feel like you have really gone on a journey. This book is not really an easy summer camp kind of book, but it is the book I was reading when I thought to myself, well, I have two more months of summer (school doesn’t start until October on the quarter system) and ??? more months of social distancing. Am I revisiting old hobbies and thinking fondly of better times during Covid times? Yes.

Here are the additional activities I did along/after reading the novel. Comment if you have any ideas to add 🙂


To Eat

Jerk chicken! I ordered from a local restaurant (Janga) and got jerk chicken and an appetizer combo (fried zucchini, jerk wings, plantains, and fried shrimp).

Accompany all this good food with an iced hibiscus tea.


To Read

A Massacre in Jamaica (Mattathias Schwartz, The New Yorker, 2011)
The actual events that occurred after a certain Jamaican drug lord was extradited. It’s a good read.

Tracing Jamaica’s bloody history via A Brief History of Seven Killings (Scott Carey, Medium, 2016)
More on the actual events/people that are incorporated into the novel.

Dark Alliance (Gary Webb, San Jose Mercury News, 1996)
The OG expose linking the CIA to the crack epidemic of the ’80s. Publishing these articles ruined his life.


Consider Watching

I haven’t actually watched either (very short attention span when it comes to TV and movies) but they are related, and I did, ya know, consider it.

Kill the Messenger: (link to trailer) available on Netflix. Jeremy Renner stars as Gary Webb as he researches, writes, and publishes the Dark Alliance articles.

Snowfall: (link to trailer) available on FX and Hulu. Follows the lives of characters living through the crack epidemic in Los Angeles.

4 thoughts on “Summer Camp Series: A Brief History of Seven Killings in Jamaica

  1. A Summer Camp series – what fun! I will watch the shows you recommended and let you know how they are (in return for some iced hibiscus tea — that sounds so refreshing during this heat wave!)

    What is the book actually about? I wonder if there is a thematic craft or other activity that could also be incorporated into your summer camp.

    • there’s a lot of cocaine and gun violence, so it is not really easy to find activities to go along with the book… I will mail you some hibiscus tea bags, though 🙂

  2. I emjoyed the first half of ABHoSKiJ but thought it ran out of steam towards the end, nevertheless it was an interesting read and a good look at perspective. I went for Caribbean food afterwards as well, I plumped for curried goat and a spicy cocktail.

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