Writer: Calibe Thompson | Photography: David I. Muir
Due to time constraints and, I confess, a good bit of laziness on my part, I’ve been wearing my hair wrapped on top of my head for the past few weeks. The funniest thing happened – people I’ve known for years weren’t recognizing me.
You see, when I’m in public settings, my blonde and brown mane is usually down and gathered to one side, so it’s become a trademark of sorts. People became used to one thing, so what was a minor change of appearance for me, presented as a whole other person to them.
I suppose that’s how people think about the Caribbean as well, from the perspective they always see. If you aren’t from there, and depending on your experience, it’s either all about beaches and vacations, or entertainment and sports, or the nefarious, romanticized gangster life you’ve seen in movies. You might see Caribbean people as loud and colorful, and always with a big smile and some good food to share. In truth, we are all that, and we are so much more.
Through Island Origins Magazine, we’re showing a side of our Caribbean American lives that folks who aren’t our direct neighbors don’t always get to see. Our landscape is populated with social influencers and industry leaders, innovators, artists and social activists. It is where we enjoy a glass of rum, as well as a good glass of wine.
Our culture has seeped into the mainstream psyche, and more and more you’ll hear references to ‘phenomena’ like curried goat and Despacito
in mainstream America. But our accents, our celebrations, our changemakers outside of music and sport, are typically not recognized as worthy of front page coverage. They ARE in our book, literally.
We invite you to look through our stories in print and online, to see some of the color and culture, as well as the fabulous, thought leading, paradigm shifting side of the Caribbean American community that you never knew existed. Like Superman and Clark Kent, or like me with my hair up and my hair down, it’s the same entity, but we’ll help you see it in a different way.
For every side of us, across multiple generations, at home in the US and back home in the islands, we’re proud to introduce the people, movements and events that share our collective #islandorigins.