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Humans of Samsung: The Joyous Musical Legacy of My Father

by Jonathan Mitchell


As the son of immigrants from Jamaica and Trinidad, I was born into a rich tapestry of cultures that painted my world with vibrant colors and deep, rhythmic sounds. My father played the steel drums and was a maestro of life’s symphony. He traveled with bands throughout the Caribbean and the United States, his music bridging worlds. Later, when he settled in the U.S., he transformed from a part-time musician to a finance manager for Tri-Rail, yet he always kept his rhythm. He passed on his musical gifts, teaching me how to play the steel drums and the piano.

As an adult, I try to show the same kind of strength and love that he embodied. I remember a time in the late ’90s when he underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery. It was a period that tested our family’s resilience. Yet, even while he was in obvious pain, laying in a hospital bed, my father gave us a joyous grin and said, “Daddy will be home soon.” My mother, standing by his side, squeezed his hand. The love between them was palpable as they looked at each other and gently kissed. This ordeal taught me a vital lesson about mental fortitude and the power of a positive spirit to illuminate the darkest times.

Sadly, my father passed away in July 2019, marking a turning point in my life. The loss was profound, as I was forced to navigate the world without my hero, constantly questioning whether I was living a life that would make him proud. His absence has been a journey of finding strength in vulnerability, of learning to stand firm upon the foundation he laid for me.

Now, my life with my wife and daughters bears witness to the lessons my father left behind. I try to be the kind of husband and father he was. Music fills our home, a constant presence that ties us to him and each other. We dance in the living room, my daughters’ laughter mixing with the melodies—a sound I imagine would bring my father immense joy. Though they are too young to understand the significance, I hope my girls are learning to embrace every part of their heritage, to find strength in adversity, and most of all, to find life’s most authentic treasures in little moments.

About Humans of Samsung
Inspired by Humans of New York, our blog series features intimate stories from Samsung employees sharing their triumphs over diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) challenges, immigration experiences, coming out journeys, cultural celebrations, and accomplishments in the face of abilities-driven obstacles. Join us as we shine a spotlight on the impressive individuals shaping Samsung’s inclusive culture, showcasing their resilience, and celebrating the strength that diversity and inclusion bring to both personal and professional journeys.

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