The U.S. Celebrates Contributions of Caribbean People With Caribbean-American Heritage Month In June
By Kelsey Marie
Did you know that every June is National Caribbean-American Heritage Month?
Caribbean immigrants have been making positive contributions to American society and culture since it’s founding — for example, the first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, was the from Nevis.
Caribbean people have made contributions to entertainment, art, business, technology and many different fields over the years.
In 2004, the campaign to have a National Caribbean American Heritage Month began and was driven by the founder and president of the Institute of Caribbean studies, Claire Nelson.
Congresswomen Barbara Lee tabled the bill in congress.
In June 2005, the bill was reintroduced and this time passed in the House to honor Caribbean people and their ancestors throughout the history of the United States.
The bill was passed in the Senate in February 2006 and a proclamation was signed by then-President George W. Bush on June 5, 2006, which made this commemorative month official.
The White House issues a proclamation each year which recognizes June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
Some notable Caribbean-Americans include (just to name a few):
- Marcus Garvey (Jamaica)
- General Colin Powell (Jamaica)
- Rihanna (Barbados)
- Stokely Carmichael (Trinidad)
- Sidney Poitier (Bahamas)
- James Weldon Johnson (Bahamas)
- Oscar de la Renta (Dominican Republic)
This year makes the fourteenth annual celebration.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.