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Leid Stories – 09.03.15

After the Labor Day Carnival, Life for U.S. Caribbeans Is No Party

Four days from now, on Labor Day, a 3-mile stretch of Eastern Parkway in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, N.Y., will be the venue for one of the nation’s largest public parades, and certainly the largest and oldest event celebrating Caribbean culture.

Known officially as the West Indian American Carnival Parade, the Pan-Caribbean festival, now in its 48th year, has been known to attract upwards of 2 million people, the vast majority of them reconnecting with a way of life they knew back home.

But after the revelry, lavish costumes, “home food” and the “jump up,” what’s the state of affairs with Caribbean people in the United States?

Our guest, Dr. Waldaba Stewart, sheds light on the issue. Dr. Stewart for more than 25 years has been a capacity building specialist and political action organizer for disadvantaged groups and communities in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Diaspora. A former state senator, he currently is chairman of the Caribbean Resource Center at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, and is widely recognized as the foremost African American expert on immigration policy reform.

 

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