2020 Caribbean American perspective
2020: The perfect storm

In a whole lot of ways, the year 2020 has felt like the perfect storm. Political gamesmanship seems to have impressed anti-immigrant sentiment into the American psyche; Coronavirus has devastated the nation and the world; police brutality and social and economic inequality have turned up the volume on the Black Lives Matter movement internationally; and whether or not you believe in climate change, Mother Nature is unleashing indiscriminate fury on multiple targets.

On the bright side, Broward County, Fla., will become the site of the first museum in the world celebrating collective Caribbean culture. In a time of universal hardship, good people of the world are becoming civically active and stepping up to take care of one another. And for the first time in America’s history, a Black woman (of East and West Indian descent) has been nominated to a major presidential ticket.

The Caribbean region we represent was the original melting pot of the world and remains a smorgasbord of ethnic backgrounds. Our focus at Island Origins, and all our affiliated brands, has always been to celebrate this diversity and to honor that mixed heritage. It felt right that, in this moment, we should dedicate an issue to the soul of our people and to memorializing the crazy, unforgettable, history-making year this has been.

G’s insightful reflections on race explore the nuanced differences between the Black-Caribbean and Black-American experiences. Jahlisa’s conversations with Caribbean people affected by COVID-19, from the perspectives of both the doctor and the patient, offer personal views on the emotional toll the disease takes. Steve’s guide on where to connect with indigenous roots in the islands should definitely be added to bucket list folders, particularly for folks from the region. Our style spread gives a super-fab, trendy nod to our predominantly African heritage. And we acknowledge the groundbreaking achievement of Kamala Harris. She has electrified immigrant communities, is feted by supporters and political peers alike, and is who we back for vice president. And as we acknowledge the gravity of her groundbreaking achievement, Kamala Harris, who has electrified immigrant communities and who we support for vice president, is feted by her supporters and peers in politics.

The pandemic and political environment have forced us all to make major life adjustments. In the case of Island Origins Magazine, we’ve been forced to shift our focus from purely life-style to considering life-struggles as well. As we offer island immigrant perspectives on the breathtaking events of this moment in history, our hope is that the loud social dialogue going on around us leads to solutions rather than falling on deaf ears. Like G said so simply and powerfully, we’re all in this together.


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