Joseph (Joe) Daniel Aldred was born in the rural district of Top Mountain located in the hills of St Catherine, Jamaica. Most of the inhabitants were poor folk who tilled the land with subsistence crops and reared domestic livestock. For those who wanted to improve their lives, the choice was to either move to the island’s capital, Kingston, or migrate overseas. Most of Joe’s immediate family chose the second option and, at various times throughout the 1950s and 1960s, they emigrated to England and the United States.
The Aldred family settled in Smethwick, near Birmingham, England and in 1968, at the age of fifteen, Joe was reunited with his parents and siblings – and introduced to the chill of a British autumn! From Top Mountain is the story of one man’s journey from humble beginnings in a Jamaican countryside, through the challenges of migration and settlement in a racialised environment, to the status of a respected – sometimes controversial – community and religious leader, broadcaster, ecumenist, speaker and writer. While it is aimed at the general reader, From Top Mountain will also appeal to theologians, missiologists, sociologists and historians who are interested in the migration, settlement and cosmology of peoples across the globe.