June is Caribbean American Heritage Month

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month

Photo courtesy of islandmix.com

The month of June in the United States means different things to various people.  Many individuals of Caribbean heritage are centered on the recognition—of the month of June being Caribbean American Heritage Month—as an integral part of the society and development of the United States of America.

In June 2005, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, sponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States. On February 14, 2006, the resolution similarly passed the Senate, culminating a two-year, bipartisan and bicameral effort. The Proclamation was issued by President George Bush on June 6, 2006. Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month. The campaign to designate June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month was spearheaded by Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies.  Learn more here: http://www.caribbeanamericanmonth.org/

A recent article, Caribbean Immigrants in the United States, states that, “in 2014, approximately 4 million immigrants from the Caribbean resided in the United States, accounting for 9 percent of the nation’s 42.4 million immigrants. More than 90 percent of Caribbean immigrants came from five countries: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago.” Read complete article here.

According to a post in Wikipedia, the Caribbean  is the source of the United States’ earliest and largest Black immigrant group and the primary source of growth of the Black population in the U.S. The region has exported more of its people than any other region of the world since the abolition of slavery in 1834. While the largest Caribbean immigrant sources to the U.S. are Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti, U.S. citizen migrants also come from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The post further states, “Immigrants from the Caribbean vary in their skill levels, racial composition, language background, as well as migration pathways to the United States, depending on origin country and period of arrival.” Read complete post here.

What does Caribbean American Heritage Month mean to you?  Share your thoughts.

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