Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Community Part 3

In my community of Flatbush, Brooklyn there is an annual West Indian Day Jouvert Parade thats takes place from Empire Boulevard to Nostrand Avenue from 3:00 in the morning to 10:00 in the morning. Jouvert originated in the republic of Trinidad and Tobago. However, in the late 70s and early 80s Jouvert was bought to New York by Trinidadian and other Caribbean immigrants.

Jouvert comprises of "ole time mas" a term from Trinidad meaning costumes in the form of rags or just scary costumes in which participants throw colored powders, water, mud or oil on Jab Jabs (a devil masquerade). Jouvert is known for its musical creativity using such indigenous instruments as the steel pan, iron and cow bell. This celebration of Jouvert originated from the French pre-lentan celebrations in Trinidad in the late 1700s. African slaves mocked the French colonizers ballroom celebration that took place the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, today known as Mardi Gra (French for Fat Tuesday).

Today Jouvert is much commercialized and is celebrated in more countries, countries that were never even a French colony. In the United States, Jouvert is celebrated in New York particularly in my neighborhood of Flatbush, Brooklyn. Over the years though, Jouvert has seemed to become more violent causing politicians and activists to want to end the parade.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Community Part 2

New York City is comprised of thousands of different cultures. Fortunately I have been blessed to grow up in a highly diverse Caribbean community; Flatbush, Brooklyn. This community speaks over 20 Caribbean English dialects as well as creoles in French and Portuguese. In my community you will be able to tune into Caribbean radio shows, news, movies and sitcoms on cable channels such as 25 as well as Caribbean restaurants, fashion and concerts with soca, reggae, kompa, zouk and kizomba artist and much more.Citation
Flatbush, Brooklyn adds a different flavor to New York City that is sometimes not always comprehended. Hence, we have community leaders whom have grew up or lived in Flatbush long enough to understand the vibe of the community. One such leader is Mathieu Eugene, the New York State Council Member for Flatbush. He has conducted annual health fairs, screenings and free health services in Flatbush. He is also a co-founder of the committee for the Development of Northern Haiti to provide support to immigrants in Brooklyn. In addition he is a former president of the Haitian community of Holy Innocence church. These are just few examples of his work to help residents of Flabush.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008


Questions on Liberia

1) Why did some politicians of America decide to allow repatriation of African American slaves?
2) What challenges did African Americans go through for them to consider returning to continental Africa?
3) Did African Americans experience culture shock on their return to continental Africa?

My Maholo

My 24 categories on culture

The "Why" Question

Why are people prejudice towards other people?

People can become prejudice when they are ignorant to another culture and identity that is different to their own. Hence, due to this lack of understanding they make false judgements that further corrode their ability to understand another group of people.

-people feel more safe around their own

-people begin to feel insecure
-unity is more difficult to achieve
- wars can develop

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Historical Figure

Paul Cuffee is best known for his efforts in trying to make Sierra Leone a colony of America. He believed that Sierra Leone would be a place for African Americans to build a society of their own. In this society he envisioned blacks reaping the benefits of liberties and opportunities; a reality that did not exist in America at the time.

Paul Cuffee pondered on a mass emigration of slaves to Sierra Leone after watching his own success as a black man in the late 1700s born free in Massachusetts. His freedom allowed him to own his own vessel and work in a whaling ship where he learned navigation skills. He thought that the same freedom granted to him would be granted to all African Americans in a colony of their own.

After building support on his idea for an American colony in Sierra Leone he launched a trip there. When he arrived it became clear that Cuffee was trying to change the culture of the indigenous Sierra Leoneans after making the impression that once he left they would return to their heathen ways. Furthermore, on his departure of the colony it is said that he warned the people to not defer from his lessons on behavior.

When Cuffee returned to the United States he informed President James Madison of his idea of making Sierra Leone a colony of America. The President denied Coffee’s attempt at having it done.