— Claudia Cumberbatch Jones, a native of Trinidad, was active
in the Communist Party in the United States. A talented writer
and speaker, she traveled throughout America lecturing and
In her book, Left of Karl Marx, The Political Life of Black
Communist Claudia Jones, author Carole Boyce-Davies assesses
the activism, writing and legacy of Jones (1915–1964), a
pioneering Afro-Caribbean intellectual, dedicated communist and
The book, currently on Essence magazine’s bestseller list for
paperback nonfiction, will be among those featured at the
Caribbean Arts and Book Fair on Friday, June 20 and Saturday,
June 21 at Miramar City Hall.
Boyce-Davies, a professor of English and African-New World
Studies at Florida International University, said the book
fair’s theme, Readership and Transitional Citizenship, conveys
the idea that many people from the Caribbean have made
contributions throughout the world.
“The theme addresses the creation of a certain Diaspora
citizenship which is transnational as we live in more than one
location or have allegiances to more than one nation,’’ said
Boyce-Davies, who was born in Trinidad. “And so, the idea of
Caribbean-American already carries in its meaning the idea of
The art and book fair, in which Boyce-Davies will participate,
will feature a Caribbean art exhibition titled “Caribbeana.’’
Also included will be international writers and spoken word
artists Marcia Douglas, Phillip St. Hill, Joan Cartwright,
Philip Peters and Gerard Férère, among others.
The Saturday celebrations will commence with a lecture on the
Caribbean and Afro-Latin migration experiences from main guest
speaker Dr. Monica Jardine from Guyana.
Those who attend the event will be exposed to the worldwide
contributions of people from the Caribbean.
This year’s ceremony will address the important yet
controversial issue of some American perceptions of Caribbean
Fair organizers say that some African-Americans have expressed
the belief that immigrants, both Caribbean and non-Caribbean,
are taking away the small, hard-earned benefits granted to them
after years of the civil rights struggle.
Glenn Joseph, founder of the Caribbean-American Heritage
Foundation, said, “There is the perception that our people
would come and take away jobs from Americans, and ill feelings
would manifest in many areas such as the workplace. Hosting the
Caribbean-American Heritage month gives us an opportunity to
commemorate our heritage without animosity.”
The Caribbean-American Heritage Foundation, Inc. will host the
fair in collaboration with the Broward County Library system;
the Florida African Studies Consortium; the Institute for
Caribbean Studies; Caribbean Airlines; and Munro &
Associates Inc., a company that helps manufacturers maximize
Caribbean-American Heritage Month seeks to recognize the
historic and distinct relationship between Caribbean immigrants
and their descendants, and the people of the United States.
President George W. Bush signed a proclamation that made
Caribbean-American Heritage Month official on June 5, 2006. The
month-long commemoration honors the many contributions of
Caribbean-Americans such as Alexander Hamilton, the first
Secretary of the Treasury, former Secretary of State Colin
Powell and slain human rights activist Malcolm X, to name a few.
Of the art and book fair in Miramar, Joseph said, “Having such
an event is important as part of the education and
commemoration. It would also allow the formation of alliances
across cultural, geographical and social length as we are using
this as a tool to create favorable disposition among the
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Photo: Carole Boyce-Davies
SOUTH FLORIDA TIMES
IF YOU GO:
What: Caribbean Arts and Book Fair
When: Friday June 20, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and
Saturday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Miramar City Hall, 2300 Civic Center Drive,
Contact: Glenn Joseph, founder of the Caribbean-American
Heritage Foundation, 754-224-8150