June is Caribbean-American Heritage Month in the US, and there is no where better to celebrate it than in Brooklyn, NY – home of the largest Caribbean population in the US.  Here’s a look at some of the hottest celebratory events in the Borough.

Caribbean-American Heritage Month Celebration
with the Brooklyn Borough President
at Borough Hall
June 5-26

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Caribbean Diaspora Forum
Wyndham New Yorker Hotel
June 1-5

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Rum & Rhythms Benefit
at the Tribeca 360, New York, NY
Friday, June 5, 2015
6:30 PM to 10:30 PM

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This signature event will take guests on an enchanting journey that will encapsulate the vibrant cultures, eclectic cuisines, pulsating rhythms and quintessential experiences to be enjoyed in the Caribbean. Guests will be exposed to the varied Rums of the Caribbean as well as the talents and artistic flair of some of the Caribbean’s award winning musicians, chefs and mixologists. This memorable evening promises to be the highlight of the Caribbean Week social calendar with special appearances by top personalities/celebrities.

Tickets can be purchased online HERE.


WORD! A Caribbean Book Fest
June 5
1:00pm – 8:00pm
Medgar Evers College
Click HERE to purchase tickets.

WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest, is an afternoon-long celebration of Caribbean letters and thought for all ages. The program highlights the range and diversity of literary work emanating from the Caribbean and writers invested in the Caribbean Diasporic narrative.

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Invited Writers Include:
Fiction:
Marlon James (Jamaica), ‘A Brief History of Seven Killings’.
OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature – Fiction (Winner 2015); National Book Critics Circle Award (Finalist 2014)

Elsie Augustave (Haiti), ‘The Roving Tree’
Hubert Guscott (Jamaica), ‘Mystical Speed – The revenge of Yellow Yam’
A. Naomi Jackson (US/Antigua &Barbuda), ‘The Star Side of Bird Hill’
Rosalind McLymont, ‘The Guyana Contract’
Pamela Mordecai (Jamaica), ‘Red Jacket’
Daniel José Older (Cuba), ‘Half-Resurrection Blues’
Jason Price (Belize), ‘The Constitution of Maya Smalls’
Kevin Sabio (US/Honduras), ‘Chronicles of the Black Fist’
Annette Vendryes Leach (Panama), ‘Song of the Shaman’

Poetry:
Cheryl Boyce Taylor (Trinidad & Tobago), ‘Convincing the Body’.
Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award (2015)

Negus Tehuti Adeyemi (US/Barbados), ‘Soularadiance’
Keshia Gaye Anderson (Jamaica), ‘Gathering the Waters’
Adissa AJA Andwele (Barbados), ‘Antiquity’
Carmen Bardeguez-Brown (Puerto Rico), ‘Song for Morris’
Iyaba Mandingo (Antigua & Barbuda), Sins of My Fathers
Jabez (Jamaica)
Hermina Marcellin (St. Lucia)
David Mills (US/Jamaica), Sudden Country
Ras Osagyefo (Jamaica), Psalms of Osagyefo
Timothy Prolific Jones (Grenada),
Yolaine St. Fort (Haiti), For the Crown of Their Heads
Mercy L. Tullis-Bukhari (US/Honduras), Smoke

Young Readers:
Carol Ottley-Mitchell (St. Kitts – Nevis), Chee Chee in Paradise.
Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Children’s Literature (2014 Nominee)

Tracey Baptiste (US/Trinidad & Tobago), ‘The Jumbies’
Zetta Elliott (St. Kitts – Nevis), ‘The Deep’
Kellie Magnus (Jamaica),
Daniel José Older (Cuba), ‘The Shadowshaper’
Ibi Zoboi (Haiti), ‘A is for Ayiti’

Programme consists of:
• Presentations in Dutch, English, French; Spanish along with Creole, Papiamentu; Patois
• Writers for Young Readers
• Award Winning Authors
• Electrifying Spoken Word Artists
• Workshops on Publishing
• Book Vendors & Exhibits

The Storytellers!
2:30pm
Book Business – First Book Journeys
Authors share their experiences about having their debut novels being printed. Featuring Elsie Augustave (Haiti), The Roving Tree, A. Naomi Jackson (US/Antigua & Barbuda), The Star Side of Bird Hill; Annette Vendryes Leach (US/Panama), Song of the Shaman.
Moderator: Petra Lewis, Sons and Daughters of Ham

3:40pm
Man Talk – Of men dreaming and living and hungering
Hubert Guscott (Jamaica), Mystical Speed – The Revenge of the Yellow Yam, Kamalo Deens, (Trinidad & Tobago), Curry Cascadoo; Daniel José Older (Cuba), Half Resurrection Blues
Moderator: Patricia Belcon, Caribbean Research Center

4:50pm
Woman Things – Who could not die since death was far too poor
Elsie Augustave (Haiti), The Roving Tree, Rosalind McLymont (Guyana), The Guyana Contract; Pamela Mordecai (Jamaica-Canada), Red Jacket
Moderator: Anton Nimblett, Sections of an Orange

6:00pm
Walking in the Sun – Marlon James (Jamaica), A Brief History of Seven Killings
“…perhaps the best book of 2014. Set in Jamaica, it is a work of historical fiction based on true events: it details the days leading up to, and the fall out after, an assassination attempt on famed singer Bob Marley.” (Brook Stephenson, Gwaker)
Moderators: Beverly Benjamin-George, President, Friends of the Antigua & Barbuda Public Library and Ron Kavanaugh, publisher, Mosaic Literary Magazine.


New Traditions: A Showcase for Caribbean Choreographers
June 7
at Founders Hall, St. Francis College
Dance Caribbean Collective
Click HERE to purchase tickets.

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Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE is a representative body that facilitates and promotes Caribbean Dance, Caribbean Dancers and those that present and practise Caribbean dance forms and/or deal with Caribbean content.

The Collective will celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month through dance, as 7 Caribbean choreographers explore themes, aesthetics and narratives reflecting our contemporary expriences.


 

Heritage Film Series
by Caribbeing
June 6-28
Brooklyn Museum
Adm: Free

Films being screened during the series will include:

mala malaMala Mala
Directed by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini
Documentary Feature
Puerto Rico

Mala Mala is a feature-length documentary about the power of transformation told through the eyes of 9 trans-identifying individuals in Puerto Rico.

Watch the trailer:

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Mala Mala -Teaser (2014) Tribeca Film Festival

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The Price of Memory
by Karen Mafundikwa
Documentary Feature
Jamaica

When Queen Elizabeth II visits Jamaica for her Golden Jubilee Celebrations in 2002, she is petitioned by a small group of Rastafari for slavery reparations. For Rastafari, reparations is linked to a desire to move back to Africa, the homeland of their African ancestors who were brought to Jamaica as slaves. The film traces this petition, as well as a slavery reparations lawsuit filed against the Queen in Jamaica. We follow Ras Lion a mystic Rasta farmer who petitioned the Queen, and Michael Lorne; the attorney who brought the lawsuit. In the background are the stories of earlier Rastas who pursued reparations in the 1960s, revealing an ongoing demand that spans decades. Filmed over a decade, on location in Jamaica and the UK, the film follows the filmmaker on a journey into the past, during which the question of reparations reaches Parliament in both Jamaica and the UK. The film is an exploration of the enduring legacies of slavery and the case for slavery reparations in modern Jamaica.

Watch the trailer:

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The Price of Memory trailer

panPAN! A Music Odyssey
by Jean Michel Gilbert
Docudrama
Trinidad & Tobago

The Film intertwines re-enacted vignettes of pivotal moments in the pre-history and history of pan from 1820 to 1963, from the banning of slave drum dances, to the first Panorama, with today’s “reality” narrative of the competition, in which various pan players from Trinidad and Tobago and abroad join the bands to prepare for the big stage.

Jevanni, a 10-year-old ghetto boy, struggles to qualify to play in Trinidad All Stars, the band founded by his grandfather. Eva, a footloose 27-year-old Frenchwoman in Trinidad for the first time, hopes to play on the big night—the Panorama finals, the dream of her recently-deceased father. But her band, birdsong, has been eliminated at the semi-finals so she must quickly learn a new tune well enough to get into another band. Raven, 19, known as a “crackshot” for illegally playing in several bands under different names, can learn in hours what takes others days. But he is on the verge of being thrown out of his first love, Phase II Pan Groove. Also knocking on the Phase II door are Yukari, Sayori, Kentaro and Chihiro, who are from Japan and can barely speak English but sacrificed job security to be here.

Will they get on the team? If they do, will their team win? This story of the adventure and passion of pan derives its momentum and drama from the intersecting lives and ambitions of these and other characters as they prepare for battle in Panorama: the Olympics of music. Their stories are interlaced with re-enactments of the rags-to-riches tale of the steelband movement, which was born into poverty and violence but climbed to the highest levels of social and artistic acceptance without losing its life-or-death urgency.

Watch the trailer:

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Pan! Our Music Odyssey – teaser

Happy Caribbean Heritage Month!!!