Marking Caribbean American Ties

By lystra j. lashley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 5, 2008

Since 2000 the Institute of Caribbean Studies in Washington has celebrated Caribbean American heritage, highlighting contributions made to the United States.

Claire Nelson, a native of Jamaica and founder and president of ICS, explained recently: "I was concerned that Caribbean Americans were seen as a drain on American society and wanted to bring awareness of our history to this nation."

Caribbean immigrants have called the United States home since 1619, and this month marks the third official National Caribbean American Heritage Month.

Several events have been scheduled at various venues in Washington.

The Capital Caribbean-American Literary Festival, June 10-13, will include storytelling, poetry and lectures.

The D.C. Caribbean Film Festival runs June 17-21 at the University of the District of Columbia. Films will address the African diaspora and the Caribbean experience worldwide.

Congress will host the National Caribbean American Legislative Conference on June 26. Registration is required.

For information, call the Institute of Caribbean Studies at 202-638-0460 or visit

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