Caribbean American Heritage Month is a Month to celebrate – I am happy to be a part of that tradition

June is a special month, as it celebrates Caribbean American Heritage Month, a time to honor and recognize the contributions of Caribbean Americans to the cultural, economic, and social fabric of the United States. 

As a native Trinbagonian, I am happy to be a product of the Caribbean  and to have a very strong and beautiful culturally rich blended family that is a fusion of Caribbean heritage and American opportunity.

Born and Raised in Marabella, Trinidad, where the vibrant culture, rich traditions, and strong community values shaped my early years, I grew up surrounded by the rhythm of steel drums, authentic flavorful and wholesome cuisine, and the warmth of a close-knit family. 

After completing my secondary education in Trinidad, I moved to the United States to pursue higher studies in business management at Howard University. It was here that I met my husband, Darnell, a smart and witty brother from the Brooklyn projects. Our shared values and mutual respect for each other’s backgrounds formed the foundation of a strong and supportive partnership.

Since then, I have tried to seamlessly blend my Caribbean roots with American experiences and Darnell and I have raised our children with a deep appreciation for both cultures, celebrating American holidays and Caribbean festivals with equal enthusiasm. 

We worked very hard to impart a broad world view in them. 

I have tried to impart similar methods in the way I run my business. At the company I co-own with Darnell we frequently host cultural events and workshops and during these we celebrate Caribbean heritage in an effort to foster a greater cultural exchange and understanding, 

Because I am a woman of Faith, I’ve made sure to always involve myself in community service and to pass on to our children the tradition of service to our fellow man. Darnell and I have been active in supporting Caribbean students in the US with college funding, as well as other  projects that build community. As such, we break to give thanks for our blessings by sharing our bounty with others through philanthropy as well as service.

It’s the Caribbean American way and I’m proud that these traditions have nourished my soul. 

Honoring Caribbean American Contributions

Here are five famous Caribbean Americans you may know whose achievements have left an indelible mark:

  1. Colin Powell: Born to Jamaican parents, Colin Powell served as the first African American Secretary of State. His distinguished military and political career has been a source of inspiration and pride for many.
  2. Rihanna: This Barbadian singer, actress, and businesswoman has taken the world by storm with her music and entrepreneurial ventures. Her influence extends beyond entertainment, as she actively engages in philanthropy through her Clara Lionel Foundation.
  3. Harry Belafonte: Born to Jamaican parents, Belafonte is a celebrated singer, actor, and civil rights activist. His contributions to music and his tireless advocacy for civil rights have made him an iconic figure.
  4. Sidney Poitier: This Bahamian-American actor was the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. His groundbreaking career paved the way for future generations of actors of color.
  5. Jean-Michel Basquiat: Of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, Basquiat was a pioneering artist whose work has had a lasting impact on the art world. His unique style and poignant themes continue to resonate globally.

Celebrating Heritage and Looking Forward

As we celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month, it is important to recognize the legacy of Caribbean Americans which continue to thrive, inspiring future generations to embrace their heritage while contributing to the broader tapestry of American life.