Library Blog

June is Caribbean Heritage Month!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

June is Caribbean (American) Heritage Month and Pride Month and Audiobook Appreciation Month, among other observances and holidays. As I always like to remind everyone, the purpose of these acknowledgments is to make a time for extra attention, celebration, honor and learning related to the particular subject, whether it’s about culture and identity, what’s going on in the world or domestically, or appreciation for ebooks and audiobooks because they deserve love.

According to the Institute of Caribbean Studies, “Caribbean immigrants have been contributing to the well-being of American society since its founding."

The Caribbean and West Indies have a rich and powerful history. Our identity is as colorful as hibiscus flowers, with a tapestry of arts and literature that, I strongly feel, is still not being appreciated enough. Just one example:  the Honorary Miss Lou, aka Louise Benett-Coverly, who is a beloved folklorist, poet, writer, and educator in Jamaica. But have you ever heard of her outside of her own country?

For more resources, The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival and Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute are great go-tos.

Here are some of the books that made me burst with pride for my Island heritage (even though I was not born in Jamaica), and others I have come to read during the pandemic when I feel a helplessness I cannot put to words. My roots, even when far away, are always of the Island. Our stories are vast and wonderful in their own ways.

As a fellow West Indian - Jamaican GYAL Pride! - I wanted to write this post with several book suggestions to give you a taste of the Caribbean and West Indies, and Caribbean and West Indie-American. 

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