Finding Samuel Lowe (HarperCollins/Amistad) is a lush tome chronicling veteran journalist and executive Paula Williams Madison’s quest to trace her lineage from Jamaica to the Hakka culture in China.
The author’s journey of self-discovery begins with her Chinese-Jamaican mother, Nell Vera Lowe, and then blossoms after discovering her mother’s father, Samuel Lowe (Luo).
Like Samuel Lowe, around 22,000 Chinese immigrants arrived in the British West Indies between the mid-to-late 1800s and the 1940s, settling in Guiana, Trinidad and Jamaica first as indentured workers on sugar cane plantations. Later voluntary migration would bring small traders and business owners. It is estimated today that between 70 million and 80 million people identify as being of Hakka descent; those of Chinese-Jamaican lineage include American Idol’s Tessann Chin, noted Canadian businessman Michael Lee-Chin, reggae artist Sean Paul and models Naomi Campbell and Tyson Beckford.