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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


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. 


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.


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.


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

Daily Cannabis Use Surpasses Daily Drinking in The U.S.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) recently released its findings with decades worth of data, shedding light on drug use and mental health in the United States.  According to the report, the per capita rate of high-frequency marijuana use saw a 14-fold increase since 1992. Here are additional key takeaways from the survey:

Substance Use:

  • Marijuana remains the most commonly used illicit drug, with 48.2 million Americans aged 12 or older reporting using it in the past year.
  • An an estimated 17.7 million people used marijuana daily or almost daily in 2022, compared to 14.7 million people who drank alcohol at the same rate.
  • Alcohol consumption is prevalent, with 139.8 million Americans aged 12 or older reporting drinking in the past year.
  • Prescription opioid misuse decreased from 9.7 million in 2017 to 6.1 million in 2020.
  • Heroin use remains relatively stable, with approximately 0.5 million Americans reporting use in the past year.
  • Methamphetamine use has increased in recent years, with 1.5 million Americans reporting use in the past year.

Jonathan Caulkins, cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon University said, “A good 40 percent of current cannabis users are using it daily or near daily, a pattern that is more associated with tobacco use than typical alcohol use.” According to officials, Caulkins is the author of the study published in the journal Addiction in May.

Mental Health:

    • Nearly one in five Americans experienced a mental illness in the past year.
    • Major depression is the most common mental illness, affecting 21.0 million Americans in the past year.
    • Anxiety disorders are also prevalent, with 41.6 million Americans reporting an anxiety disorder in the past year.
    • Suicide ideation remains a concern, with 12.2 million Americans reporting serious thoughts of suicide in the past year.
    • Substance use disorders and mental illness often co-occur, with 8.1 million Americans experiencing both in the past year.

    The NSDUH findings underscore the need for continued efforts to address substance use and mental health issues in the United States. Comprehensive public health strategies, including prevention, treatment, and recovery support services, are essential to improving the well-being of individuals and communities.

    Open letter to President Biden: we call for a ceasefire now

    , Ben Lerner,  and others

    We are a group of Jewish American writers, artists and academics. We oppose what the Israeli government is doing with US assistance

    President Joe Biden:

    We are a group of Jewish American writers, artists and academics. Being Jewish means different things to all of us, but we all have at least one Jewish parent, which means we could move to Israel and qualify for Israeli citizenship.

    We condemn attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians. We believe it is possible and in fact necessary to condemn Hamas’ actions and acknowledge the historical and ongoing oppression of the Palestinians. We believe it is possible and necessary to condemn Hamas’ attack and take a stand against the collective punishment of Gazans that is unfolding and accelerating as we write.

    Cutting off resources to more than 2 million people, demanding families flee their homes in the north, indiscriminately bombing a trapped population – these are war crimes and indefensible actions. And yet the United States government is offering “moral” and material support for the dehumanization and murder of innocent Gazans. We write to publicly declare our opposition to what the Israeli government is doing with American assistance. We call on the US government to seek an immediate ceasefire and to use our resources towards providing aid ensuring the safe return of hostages and building a diplomatic path towards peace.

    As Jews, as Americans, we will be made to feel a sense of safety in our communities, and in the world, not by unequivocal US support for Israel, but by our government’s insistence on the universal human rights that so many of us take for granted.

    Timo Andres

    Annie Baker

    Timo Andres

    Annie Baker

    Susan Bernofsky

    Judith Butler

    Michael Chabon

    Deborah Eisenberg

    Madeleine George

    Masha Gessen

    Francisco Goldman

    Andre Gregory

    Nan Goldin

    Alena Graedon

    Amy Herzog

    Marianne Hirsch

    Gabriel Kahane

    Cindy Klein

    David Klion

    Lisa Kron

    Rachel Kushner

    Tony Kushner

    Ben Lerner

    Jonathan Lethem

    Sam Lipsyte

    Zachary Lockman

    Kenneth Lonergan

    Andrew Marantz

    Ben Marcus

    David Naimon

    Benjamin Nugent

    Howard Rodman

    Dana Sachs

    Ira Sachs

    Lynne Sachs

    James Schamus

    Adam Shatz

    Wallace Shawn

    Leo Spitzer

    V (formerly known as Eve Ensler)

    Paula Vogel

    Ayelet Waldman

    Laura Wexler

    Hannah Zeavin


    ePa Live: America’s Policing Culture & Cause And Effects Of Our Relationships

    This week ePa Live had two great guests to discuss the issues that impact our American culture:

    • Matthew Horace, Former Federal Agent, Author & Chief Security Officer for the Mayo Clinic 

    Horace joined ePa Live to discuss policing culture, Tyre Nichols beating death by Memphis police as well as his book: The Black and the Blue: A Cop Reveals the Crimes, Racism, and Injustice in America’s Law Enforcement. The book offers solutions to policing and an understanding of policing culture in America.

    • Red O’Laughlin, Author, Publisher & Public Speaker

    O’Laughlin studies cause and effects of human relationships and offers ways to address the cause in order to adequately treat the symptoms of problems born from the cause and effects of relationships. He said, “I identify the causes of health and wellness problems. I provide information of potential solutions to treat these problems. I research the cause and effect relationships, at the cellular level, in the human body, biochemically speaking. I write and speak on the causes of health problems and provide solutions to address the causes of those problems.”

    If you missed the live broadcast, you can still watch it below and on our YouTube channel: @epluribusamerica. Please like, share and subscribe!


    ePa Live Question Of The Day and Super Bowl LVII Prediction:

    Red O’Laughlin Offers Two Tips For Longevity:

    Philips: U.S. Constitution Key Pivot To The Formation Of The Modern World

    Editor’s Note: The views expressed are solely those of the author. James D.R. Philips is an Australian attorney and the author of the new book, “Two Revolutions and the Constitution: How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitution.”

    Australia probably isn’t the first place Americans think of on Independence Day, but it’s important to consider the many ways America’s example has reverberated around the world for centuries. Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, had three great consequences for Australia. First, it prompted the founding of a British colony there. Second, it facilitated Australian independence. Third, it led to the structure of the Australian Constitution. American independence meant that the British could no longer send convicts to its former American colonies. Long-stay prisons in Britain were in short supply. The British needed a new colony to which they could transport convicts. They risked the moonshot of trying to establish a colony on the other side of the world, at Botany Bay (now in Sydney).

    The success of the revolutionary war and Declaration of independence taught the British not to resist a settler colony whose people wanted independence. When Australians demanded independence, just over a century after the founding of the first Australian colony, the British did not stand in their way. The independence led to the Constitution. The Constitution (drafted while the First Fleet was hazarding its epic journey from Portsmouth in England to establish the new colony in Australia) had a profound influence on the structure and terms of the Australian Constitution, and therefore on Australia’s system of government.

    Of course, a future Australia was not on his mind when Jefferson was drafting the declaration. He and other Founders were focused on protecting their legal and political rights from British predation. The Founders charged King George III with tyranny. They rebelled, left his kingdom and established a republic. Charles I suffered a similar fate, charged with tyranny by the Rump Parliament. He was tried and beheaded in 1649, and a British republic established. The American republic has endured.

    The English republic was short-lived. But some 30 years after the end of the English republic, the English had a second revolution, called either the “English Revolution” or the “Glorious Revolution.” The English (with substantial Dutch help) forced James II to flee his kingdom, rather than putting him on trial and executing him. The English Revolution established finally that the monarch was subject to Parliament and to law. During the English Revolution, there were rebellions against English rule in Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland.

    The English Revolution was a foundation of the development of pluralistic societies, which enjoyed freedom and representative government subject to law in England and America. The American Revolution further developed and cemented these principles and had a profound effect on the development of the modern world. The Founders believed that they were protecting their existing legal and political rights. Their conception of those rights developed in the British-American colonial period. There was plenty of scope for different perceptions in America and in England as to the extent of British control of aspects of colonial government, and to what extent American rights were subject to the King’s prerogative power or subject to Parliamentary legislation.

    When, some 80 years after the English Revolution, George III and his Parliament began imposing taxes on Americans and seeking to increase British control over the colonies, Americans rebelled against Parliament as well as against the king. They believed that Parliament had abandoned its role as the protector of liberties against royal overreach. Most famously, colonial Americans believed that Parliament could not impose direct taxes on them because there could be no taxation without representation, and Americans were not represented in Parliament.

    The American Bill of Rights was essential in the minds of many Americans because of the risk that Congress might betray the people, as Parliament had betrayed them. To Americans, the developing British concept of parliamentary supremacy had become a latent source of tyranny. Australia’s Constitution is largely a hybrid of the American and British models, using the American federal and national structure, but establishing Parliamentary supremacy (subject to that structure).

    The most famous statement in the U.S. Declaration of Independence is universal in its aspiration: “That all [people] are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Making these rights real and operable for all Americans is a work in progress. Still, it is momentous that the declaration stated in such compelling language that these rights were inherent and that when the British impeded them, Americans had a right to rebel. The declaration is a foundation of America. And it has a profound significance for Australians: It is one of Australia’s founding documents, too.

    The Chaos Of Pitchfork Populism Is A Threat To Our Democracy


    Unquestionably, populism has shaped America. Faux populism on the other hand, as explained by author and political analyst, Bradford R. Kane, is dangerously shifting our political landscape in the era of Donald J. Trump, a president who chooses to divide our country for his own self interests. These are unprecedented times.

    Kane is the author of, Pitchfork Populism, Ten Political Forces That Shaped An Election And Continue To Change America. In it he examines our past, present and future political landscape, including the impact and dangers of the current administration’s use of populism, dishonesty, racism, hate-fueled and misleading propaganda that has diminished our progressive culture and standing in the world. Even voting, a sacred and hard-fought for right, isn’t immune from attack and intimidation. And if Trump’s campaign slogan, Make America Great Again, isn’t clear enough motive, his actions since taking office should be. This so-called American president is not only dangerous but a clear and present threat to our nation and the common bonds of our ideals, yet to be fully achieved.

    We’ve come a long way from the type of American leadership, though flawed, that has steadily inched us closer toward a more just nation rich with diversity. Assessing our political landscape today, one would be hard-pressed accepting that our trajectory has taken us from the depths of slavery to the glory of the presidency of Barrack H. Obama, America’s first Black president. It hasn’t been easy, and we have more hurdles to overcome, especially concerning racial injustice, economic inequality and police brutality. Nonetheless, Kane leaves us with hope for the promised days of a post-Trump era. He foresees a stronger nation reinvigorated to birth a more rational governing culture rooted in the principles of humanity and sanity. He offers us a roadmap to take us from the disenchantment we’re experiencing under this president and his rabid, resentful and resistant to change base, to a more fact-based and inclusive governing structure. We, the people, must be more duty-bound than ever in paving the way from the chaos Trumpism ushered in. And, we must vote in every single election, to make the pavement eternal.

    “Anyone can be a barbarian; it requires a terrible effort to remain a civilized man.” – Leonard Sidney Woolf

    Kane’s timely, well-written and funny book can be found HERE, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

    how old am i in dog years

    Susan Goldfein On Aging Successfully With Candor And Wit


    James A. Garfield once said, “If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon our heart. The spirit should never grow old.” That’s how the witty and inspiring Susan Goldfein lives her life bicoastally in Florida and Connecticut. After being forced into retirement thanks to the damage caused by Bernie Madoff, Goldfein embarked on a writing career she calls her second wind. Today, she’s an award-winning author of two books offering wisdom flavored with humor through enjoyable essays on life and its circumstances.

    susan goldfein on aging

    Her first book, How Old Am I In Dog Years, was inspired by her two dogs she noticed were aging right alongside her and her husband Larry. Her second book, How To Complain When There’s Nothing To Complain About, is a collection of short essays about life as a retiree and other topics that touch on different issues people in her age group face.

    Her books won the 2016 Delray Beach Library’s Authors’ Showcase, a Silver Medalist in the 2016 Independent Publishers (IPPY) Book Awards in the humor category, the prize for humor in the 2017 NYC Big Book Awards, the Gold for Humor in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award as well as the 2019 International Book Award for Humor.

    In addition to writing books, Goldfein runs her own website, susansunfilteredwit, where she publishes monthly articles  on topics ranging from reincarnation, becoming her mother, zoom etiquette during COVID to her thoughts on television shows, entertainment and much more. Her website is full of amusing essays that will make you happy you stopped by for a read. Goldfein’s views on aging and life in general is wisdom we can all use, especially now when the rhythm of our planet is moving to an unfamiliar beat. Her books can be purchased on her website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. There, you will also find links to all her social media platforms.

    My conversation with Goldfein: