Since 2006, June has been designated as Caribbean American Heritage Month by Presidential Proclamation. The month-long observance promotes the rich culture and heritage of the Caribbean American people and their contribution in the United States.

Please join us as we celebrate important figures within the Caribbean American community and their impacts, area events to spread awareness, and amplify their voices near and far.

Ways to Celebrate:

Important Figures in the Caribbean American Community:

  • Celia Cruz – Celia Cruz was one of the most iconic singers and performers of salsa music, known as “la Reina de la Salsa” (the Queen of Salsa). She released 75 albums over her lifetime, 23 of which went gold. She moved to the United States from Cuba after the Cuban Revolution and her career flourished. Her catchphrase “¡Azúcar!” (“Sugar!”) has become one of the most recognizable symbols of salsa music.

  • Cicely Tyson Cecily Louise “Cicely” Tyson was an American actress known for her portrayal of strong African-American women. Tyson received various awards including three Emmy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Tony Award, an Honorary Academy Award, and a Peabody Award. She was born and raised in New York City to immigrant parents from Nevis in the West Indies.

  • Grace Jones Grace Jones is a prominent Jamaican-American singer, songwriter, model and actress. She was a pioneering queen of pop music and with her statuesque height and distinctive androgynous look, she has challenged and reshaped societal norms of beauty and femininity.

  • Rihanna Rihanna is a Barbadian singer, businesswoman, and actress, one of the most prominent recording artists of the 21st century. Rihanna is one of the most influential artists of her generation. Among other achievements, she has 14 No. 1 songs and nine Grammy Awards. She has also made her mark as a humanitarian, entrepreneur, and makeup mogul.

  • Sheryl Lee RalphSheryl Lee Ralph is a Jamaican-American actress and singer. Known for her performances on stage and screen she earned acclaim for her role as Deena Jones in the Broadway musical Dreamgirls. She currently stars as Barbara Howard on Abbott Elementary, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, becoming the first Black woman in 35 years to win the award.

  • Simone Edwards Simone Edwards was the first Jamaican-born player in the WNBA. During her career with the New York Liberty and Seattle Storm, she was passionately nicknamed the “Jamaican Hurricane.” On August 6, 2017, the Government of Jamaica appointed Edwards an Officer of the Order of Distinction (OD), which is bestowed on citizens of Jamaica who have rendered outstanding and important service to Jamaica in their field.

Watch, Listen and Read:

Educational Resources: