by Teri Williams
June is National Caribbean American Heritage Month! Let’s celebrate how well Caribbean countries have minimized deaths caused by the Coronavirus, which is a well-kept secret.
A recent article in Black Enterprise, “How Caribbean Nations are Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic”, shares how Caribbean governments were proactive in issuing stay at home orders and shutting down public facilities. As of April, according to World Health Organization data, there have been minimal deaths in Caribbean countries.
As they say in Trinidad, “When yuh neighbor house on fire, wet yours!”
A March 2020 Miami Herald article “While the World Partied, Some Places Prepared. Will Their Coronavirus Gamble Pay Off?” stated that Jamaica barred flights from hot zones, restricted the movement of tourists, enforced quarantines for all new arrivals, closed its two international airports to all incoming passengers and canceled school, among other measures.
As of April 2020, the Coronavirus death rate in Jamaica is only 3.07 per million, or almost 100 times lower than the death rate in the U.S. of 296.32 per million.
As they say in Jamaica, “No problem”.
As the largest Black owned bank in the country, we enthusiastically celebrate of the contributions of Caribbean immigrants who have helped shape the American dream, including Jamaican born Marcus Garvey, Shirley Chisholm, whose parents are from Barbados and Stokely Carmichael, born in Trinidad. Caribbean Americans have made tremendous contributions to our civil rights.
In 2018, we proudly introduced Justice Card to celebrate and support the contributions of immigrants. The Justice card is adorned with flags from Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, Barbados, Nigeria and Ghana. Caribbean American contributions are vast and deserve to be recognized!
As they say in Haiti, “Bondye Bon”.
Teri Williams is President & COO of OneUnited Bank, the largest black bank in America. www.oneunited.com