History of the Heritage Month

August 1, 2021

National Caribbean Heritage Month recognizes and promotes the rich culture, heritage, and contributions of the Caribbean-American people to the landscape of American culture.

The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) began its efforts to establish a National Caribbean Heritage Month in 1999 with a petition to President Bill Clinton. In 2001, ICS was joined by TransAfrica Forum and the Caribbean Staff Association of the World Bank to organize events during June, promoting recognition of June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. The Bill was reintroduced and passed the House in June 2005, and the Senate in February 2006. A Proclamation making the Resolution official was signed by President George Bush on June 5, 2006.

Centric Brands celebrated National Caribbean Heritage Month by hosting a fitness class for associates with Caribbean artist, Bajanalla Cann. Bajanalla is an artist who expresses herself in many forms, including painting, choreography, fashion, and apothecary. The class was conducted over Zoom and was set to Soca music.

In addition, in response to the earthquake in August that struck southwestern Haiti, Centric Brands donated $5,000 to Hope for Haiti, an organization dedicated to reducing poverty in Haiti, and $5,000 to Partners in Health, an organization that provides healthcare to communities in need.

How to Celebrate

Read: Learn about new narratives

“Krik? Krak!” by Edwidge Danticat

This collection of short stories features nine vignettes and an epilogue centering Haitian and Haitian American women‘s experiences with immigration, familial obligation, class, and gender.

Watch: Experience the culture

The Harder They Come (1972), YouTube

The story of a Jamaican man with dreams of Reggae stardom.

Smile Orange (1976), YouTube

A comedic look at the Jamaican tourism industry told from the viewpoint of Ringo, a hustler, con man and waiter.

Rockers (1978), YouTube

A cult classic that exhibits reggae culture at its peak.

Listen: Rock out to some tunes!

Caribbean History Month

Latinx & Caribbean Fusion

Shop: Support Caribbean owned businesses

Terra Tory Soaps

Kimberly Waldropt created soaps, made with sea moss, aloe, and sweet plantain, to serve as natural remedies for people with sensitive skin.

Sasha L Jewels (SLJ)

Sasha L designed jewelry that showcases both color and culture to the world.

Hair Repair Bar by Gjoje´

Giovanny Jorge opened her hair repair salon to combat scalp damage with centuries-old remedies and practices from the Dominican Republic.

Sol Cacao

Brothers Dominic, Nicholas, and Daniel came together to create an ethical and sustainable chocolate brand based in the Bronx.