Student Voices

It’s Caribbean-American Heritage Month!

 

June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the rich history, culture, and achievements of Caribbean Americans and their contributions to American culture, ingenuity and history. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Caribbean Contributions to American History, Culture, and Life.”

“Caribbean Americans are dreamers and doers, always finding ways to push our country forward, reach new heights, and forge a more perfect Union. From the Caribbean Americans who helped build our country from the ground up to those who have only just arrived, they have all believed in the possibilities our country has to offer and strengthened the diverse fabric of our Nation. Above all, Caribbean Americans are leaders — they are our beloved doctors, nurses, teachers, athletes, artists, community organizers, entrepreneurs, and our service members and first responders, who put their lives on the line to keep the rest of us safe.” -The 2024 White House Proclamation on Caribbean-American Heritage Month

History

The Caribbean-American community is one of the most diverse in the United States, with people from over 30 different countries of origin. Caribbean Americans began immigrating to the United States in large numbers in the 19th century, and their numbers have continued to grow in recent decades. Today, there are over 4 million Caribbean Americans living in the United States. 

Culture

Caribbean-American culture is a vibrant mix of African, European, and indigenous influences. This is reflected in the music, food, dance, and literature of the Caribbean-American community.

Achievements

Caribbean Americans have made significant contributions to the United States in all fields of endeavor. They have served with distinction in the military, government, and business. They have also made important contributions to the arts, sciences, and sports.

Trailblazers

Charles L. Reason was born in 1818, in New York City, to Haitian and Guadaloupean parents. Reason was the first black college professor in the United States, teaching at the integrated New York Central College from 1849 to 1852. In 1847, he co-founded the Society for the Promotion of Education among Colored Children, and he devoted his life to education and the abolition of slavery and segregation.

Born in 1924 to a Guyanese American father and a Barbadian American mother in New York, Shirley Chisholm was a groundbreaking politician and an outspoken advocate for equality. She was the first Black candidate for a major American party’s presidential nomination and the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, a position she held for 14 years.

Dr. Antonia Novello was born in 1944, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. She served as the U.S. Attorney General from 1990 to 1993 under President George Bush, making her the first person of Latin American descent and the first woman to do so.

Colin Luther Powell was born in New York in 1937 to Jamaican immigrants. After growing up in the South Bronx, Powell attended the City College of New York, where he participated in ROTC, leading the precision drill team and attaining the top rank offered by the corps, cadet colonel. He was the first African American appointed as the U.S. Secretary of State and the first, and so far the only, to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dr. Roy Hastick was born in Grenada in 1950 and migrated to the United States in 1972. He served as an elected delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business and as a special delegate to the United Nations. In 1985, he founded the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, whose mission is to promote economic development and small business services.

Through the leadership of these individuals and others like them, we’ve seen expanded opportunities and better working conditions for all of America’s workers. – U.S. Dept. of Labor Blog

Celebrating Caribbean-American Heritage Month

There are many ways to celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month. You can attend cultural events, learn about Caribbean history and culture, and support Caribbean-American businesses. You can also use this month as an opportunity to reflect on the contributions that Caribbean Americans have made to the United States.

Here are some ideas for celebrating Caribbean-American Heritage Month:

  • Attend a Caribbean festival or carnival
  • Visit a Caribbean restaurant
  • Listen to Caribbean music
  • Watch a Caribbean movie
  • Read a book by a Caribbean-American author – Jeanette Lenoir will be reading her book, Maggie Is Afraid Of Heights, at the Brigadier General Charles E. McGee Library (Silver Spring Library). 
  • Support Caribbean-American businesses
  • Learn about Caribbean history and culture
  • Share your own Caribbean-American story

The Rare Planetary Alignment in Gemini

The Jun 3, 2024 astrological conjunction is a rare and significant event that will occur when the planets align in the sign of Gemini. This conjunction is said to bring about major changes and shifts in the world, and it is believed to be a time of great opportunity and potential.

“In the early morning, six planets — Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — will align in the sky. Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn may be spotted with the naked eye, but you’ll need a telescope or high-powered binoculars to see Neptune and Uranus.” – Star Walk 

NASA chimed in with a statement to dampen some of the excitement for starwatchers eager to see the planets in alignment. “Some online sources have shared excitement about a ‘parade of planets’ visible in the morning sky in early June (June 3 in particular). In reality, only two of the six planets supposedly on display — Saturn and Mars — will actually be visible.”

What is an astrological conjunction?

An astrological conjunction occurs when two or more planets appear to be in the same degree of the zodiac. This can be a significant event, as it can indicate a time of change and transformation.

What is the significance of the Jun 3, 2024 conjunction?

The Jun 3, 2024 conjunction is significant because it is a rare occurrence. Jupiter and Saturn only align in Gemini about once every 20 years. This conjunction is also said to be powerful because it occurs in the sign of Gemini, which is a mutable sign. Mutable signs are known for their adaptability and flexibility, so this conjunction may bring about a time of great change and transformation.

What can we expect from the Jun 3, 2024 conjunction?

The Jun 3, 2024 conjunction is said to bring about a number of changes and shifts in the world. These changes may be positive or negative, but they are likely to be significant. Some of the potential changes that may occur include:

  • A shift in the global economy
  • A change in the political landscape
  • A major technological breakthrough
  • A natural disaster
  • A spiritual awakening

How can we prepare for the Jun 3, 2024 conjunction?

There are a number of things that we can do to prepare for the Jun 3, 2024 conjunction. These include:

  • Staying informed about current events
  • Being open to change
  • Trusting our intuition
  • Taking care of our physical and mental health
  • Connecting with our spiritual side