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OBG®'s Multicultural Monday

Monday, June 11, 2012

When I was growing up, I was often bullied and accused of not being Black enough ::mumbling:: whatever that means.  According to some, I talked White and thought I knew everything.  As an adult, I now understand that talking White means I speak standard English and knowing everything means I did well in school.  *Shrug*  Such is life.

And while high school and college both seem so long ago, the whole not being Black enough issue popped up again recently when someone asked me "Where the hell are you from?" when I posted a picture of grits on my Foodspotting page and declared that I didn't like them (as I have previously).  For the record, eating grits doesn't make you Black.  #duh

What I DO like is peas and rice, fish cakes, ox tail, sorrel, plantain, ginger beer and my mother's Black Cake although I never acquired a taste for Mauby or okra. My people (both White and Black) immigrated from Barbados to Cambridge, Massachusetts and I identify as Bajan-American. Raised in Southern California (and not the American South) with an affinity for traveling the world, I am - like many other travelers I know - proud of my cultural heritage, yet insanely curious and interested in immersing in others. I just don't like grits (or okra or tomatos or...) and am simply over here in my very own little Brown Girl World doing me.

It's National Caribbean-American Heritage Month!

On June 1, 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama declared June National Caribbean-American Heritage Month via Presidential Proclamation and I must say that I am thrilled. To recognize what to many is Caribbean peoples obvious contribution to American society warms my heart whether those people are White, Black, Pink, Purple or Brown. And while I've never been big on choosing just one month to celebrate any culture, I can't help but have a little twinkle in my Caribbean-American eyes.

Happy Caribbean-American Heritage Month folks! Sorrel for everyone!

OBG®'s Interesting Cultural Facts (ICFs) are back!  No longer lost on OBG®'s Twitter feedMulticultural Mondays celebrate culture and diversity worldwide by posting an ICF and corresponding photo from® and/or a multicultural blogger we love...


Niurka on: June 11, 2012 at 6:56 PM said...


ebonylatina69 on: June 11, 2012 at 7:08 PM said...

I am beaming at this recognition. I am happy to be the product of Bajans by way of Panama...Panamanians have too long been overlooked in this category and i proud to be a first generation American-Bajan-Panamánian #teamebonylatina

Indigene on: June 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I thought I was the only one to experience these things! Lol! I love being a Vincy girl! (St. Vincent & Grenadines) It was a challenge, explaining that I was "not acting white" but speaking the Queen's English; I don't eat hog maws (still don't know what they are!) and I like grits, prepared by others!

I'm happy that you wrote about this and it would be wonderful, if people in the USA, would realize that not every Black person in the USA is not from the South or had a southern experience! I can't tell you the arguments, I used to get into!

Oh, well, let's just keep educating them! :) I love your blog! :) :)
Bravo to you for writing about this!

Try Anything Once Terri on: June 12, 2012 at 6:44 AM said...

A big shout out to my Caribbean peoples!! I didn't know you had Caribbean roots, T. I never really liked grits or some other Southern foods as well. That being said, I feel lucky to have grown up in New York City where it's hard to not trip over another Caribbean person. :) I think Indigene is right that the U.S. still has a hard time understanding the idea of what it means to a Black immigrant/being Black and not culturally American. I didn't even know that June was Caribbean American Heritage Month. Nice!

Anonymous on: June 12, 2012 at 8:39 AM said...

Love this! All of your comments resonate with me, except I just recently started liking Okra ;-). I am a decendant of the home of Reggae music, Bob Marley, and the only country that correctly calls the dish "rice and peas". Com'on folks, there are more rice grains than peas in the pot! Lol. I am an American born Yardie, a born JaMerican. I am Jamaica, and I am Jamaican.


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