First officially observed in 2006, June is Caribbean American Heritage Month and we are very excited to include those from the Caribbean Islands, now living in the United states as part of our monthly celebration! This group, considered part of the Pan-African community, have contributed to our society since its very origins, as the first groups of enslaved individuals brought over from the continent of Africa during chattel slavery, were brought to the Caribbean islands.
The history of brave individuals fighting back against their oppressors never ceased and that spirit continues to this day with a vast array of activism, politics, art, music, sports, cuisine and literature. Some titles to get you all started in your journey of discovery for Caribbean literature include but are not limited to:
- “Tiepolo’s Hound” by: Derek Walcott (Saint Lucia)
- “Redemption in Indigo” by: Karen Lord (Barbados)
- “The Unbelonging” by: Joan Riley (Jamaica)
- “Crick, Crack, Monkey” by: Merle Hodge (Trinidad)
- “Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Woman” by: Grace Nichols (Guyana)
- “Breath, Eyes, Memory” by: Edwidge Danticat (Haiti)
- “What is Africa to Me?” by: Mayse Condo (Guadeloupe)
Additionally, some of the ways that we can shower our Caribbean family with love and support this month, is to offer patronage to their businesses. Here are some Caribbean Owned Businesses to get you started, however, we would love to hear some of your favorites as well! Where do you like to eat that serves amazing Caribbean food? Do you know of good shops, banks, tax-preparers and other services, owned and operated by our Caribbean family? We would love to hear it here!
For more information on Caribbean Heritage Month, feel free to check out this website on additional history of this celebration, as well as practical ways to support, honor and celebrate this month.