Posts tagged with "maggie university"

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