From the Islands to the City


From the Islands to the City




An interview between Junine and I about how New Orleans impacted her life when she moved.


I sat down and interviewed Ms. Junine Goodison, and we discussed her life changing when she moved from Jamaica to New Orleans. I wanted to understand the impact it had on her, and how it has shaped who she is today.


Piper Thurman


Junine Goodison


Xavier University of Louisiana Mass Communications Department.


November 28th, 2017


Junine Goodison
Piper Thurman


XULA Mass Communication Department, Piper Thurman, & Junine Goodison


My Nola My Story, 2017




Brief Article


From the Islands to the City

Original Format

From the Islands to the City

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Meet Junine Goodison, a Jamaican native who moved to New Orleans chasing a dream and an opportunity. Imagine leaving everything you know because there’s another opportunity
elsewhere. As soon as I walk into her room, there is a big Jamaican flag sitting on the wall and Junine is sitting on her bed wearing a pink aerocrombie hoodie and sweats. “I grew up with my grandparents and my mother, and when my Mom couldn’t do as much for us as she wanted, my grandmother stepped up,” she
says. Junine grew up very disciplined and describes her grandmother as ‘gangster’. “I started off in a good neighborhood, but we had to move and the new neighborhood wasn’t the best. There were frequent robberies, gunshots at night, and even recent wars going on,” she says, her eyes fading away. It wasn’t until Ms. Goodison discovered her love for track that her life changed.

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“I remember I didn’t get into one of the schools I applied for and I was devastated . . . until a school in America called me about track. My grandmother convinced me to take a
chance, so I did. You see, going to America is a big deal for us, because there are so many opportunities, and I knew this could be something good for my family and I.” Junine got on a plane once she was granted embassy, and although
she couldn’t stop crying, she took a flight to New Orleans, Louisiana. “It was so weird. People were much nicer, and people held doors for me! It may sound
small, but people weren’t that way at home.” she says almost astounded.  Back in Jamaica, Junine admits she wasn’t surrounded by much positivity, but people in New Orleans made a negative into a positive. She was surrounded by a very different culture than what she was used
to, and she admits that although there is no place like home, New Orleans benefitted her.

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“Life in New Orleans has made me a much calmer person, I’ve learned to enjoy my own company, be more independent, and most importantly, being here has helped me focus on my goals. New Orleans is full of culture, and because I go to an HBCU, I am able to see people my color doing big things, the same things I am going to be doing one day.” Living in NOLA, Junine gets to do what she loves at an amazing school, as well as get a better education. Our conversation ends with Junine showing me her flag, and her gushing about how she hasn’t seen her mother since 9th grade. She will get that opportunity in a few days, and she couldn’t be happier. Jamaica will always be home, but New Orleans will is just, “the start of something new,” she smiles as we walk out of her dorm room.

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Date Added
December 5, 2017
Item Type
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Piper Thurman, “From the Islands to the City,” MY NOLA, MY STORY , accessed May 17, 2024,