Room to Roam Enjoy sun-drenched days, epic stays and plenty of room to roam in Greater Fort Lauderdale. Our hotels, attractions and restaurants have taken the Visit Lauderdale Safe + Clean Pledge so you can relax and explore with confidence. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ready for that well-deserved staycation, our 23-miles of golden beaches await. Find wide open spaces to hike, bike, kayak and paddleboard. Learn more at sunny.org
CONTENTS Winter | 2020
30 KAREN ANDRE: BUILDING A COALITION
DYNAMIC DUO: FORBES + MASTERS 2
THE VOODOO THAT YOU DO
A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER
CREDITS PUBLISHER Calibe Thompson BRAND STRATEGY David I. Muir BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Tamara Philippeaux EDITOR Monique McIntosh COPY EDITOR Jayme Fraser ART DIRECTOR Vladan Dojcinovic CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Naima Stennett Rebecca Hugh Jayme Fraser Stephen Bennett Jahlisa Harvey Carolyn Guniss Attiyya Atkins Monique McIntosh David I. Muir Calibe Thompson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS David I. Muir Courtesy of Forbes + Masters Kimberly Murray Patrick Bennett (Uncommon Caribbean) Stephen Bennet (Uncommon Caribbean) Courtesy of the Jamaica Pegasus Carl Juste Courtesy of Nate Dee Courtesy of Basil Watson Courtesy of Fredric Snitzer Gallery Photography by Zachary Balber Courtesy of the Consulate General of Jamaica Courtesy of NABHOOD
HEALTH & BEAUTY How to Hydrate
STYLE & DESIGN The List: Good Tidings Wrapped in the Spirit
TRAVEL Safe Travels
26 34 38
INSPIRATION In Times of Need Little Fires Everywhere We Are Survivors
INVEST Defying the Odds
TASTE THE ISLANDS Restaurant Review: Chef Creole Warming Winter Recipes
RESTAURANT LISTING FINAL THOUGHT Welcome 2021
ON THE COVER: The Resilience Issue Haitian-American Karen Andre, senior advisor to Florida for the 2020 Biden for President campaign, is taking a breath between her last chapter and her next. She’s moving beyond partisan politics to ensure that justice and equality aren’t just talking points deployed every four years in the election cycle. Photo by David I. Muir. Styling by Tanya Marie Design. Makeup by Rory Lee.
Copyright © 2021 by Island Syndicate. All rights reserved. Island Origins Magazine is published by Island Syndicate. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a review. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at Island Syndicate, 1310 SW 2nd Ct #207, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Printed in the United States of America.
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HEALTH // HOW TO HYDRATE
HOW TO HYDRATE WRITER DR. NAIMA STENNETT PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIED
TAKE A MOMENT TO THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU HAD YOUR LAST SIP OF WATER.
f you find yourself randomly feeling tired, experiencing headaches, muscle soreness or difficulty concentrating, it could be due to dehydration. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a major public health threat, it’s more important than ever
STICK TO WATER Water is your best source of hydration. Other nutritionally valuable sources include fruits and vegetables, which also contain vitamins and minerals. Though you can get your daily intake of liquids through drinks like smoothies, juices, sports drinks and tea, these can be high in calories and contribute to unwanted weight gain. Liquids with caffeine (such as coffee and energy drinks) and items containing alcohol can be counterproductive, contributing to dehydration.
to stay hydrated, flush our bodies of toxins, and assist our immune systems in staying ready and robust. But what should you drink (and not drink), and how often? Here’s what you need to know about healthy hydration every day: CHECK YOUR HYDRATION STATUS To easily check whether you’re hydrated enough, check the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow like lemonade. If it’s dark yellow to orange (like apple juice), you are dehydrated. There’s a simple equation you can use to estimate your ideal water intake. Take your body weight in pounds and divide by two for the amount of water you should drink daily in ounces. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should consume 90 ounces of water (about 12 glasses or six 500 mL bottles). In general, waiting until you are thirsty means you are already dehydrated, so it’s important to drink water throughout the day.
When hydrating, think W A T E R WATER BOTTLE - To encourage regular hydration, bring a water bottle with you on the go. It’s a simple visual reminder because as the adage goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Try one with a straw attachment, which also makes it easy to drink in public without the need to fully remove your face mask.
APPS - On your smartphone, try water intake apps that help keep track of your daily consumption. Try the friendly Plant Nanny app, which turns drinking into a fun, animated game. TALK - Talk to your friends, family or co-
ACTIVE LIFESTYLE? DRINK EARLY AND OFTEN Hydration is always important, but you need to be especially vigilant when working out. It can take as little as 1% of body-weight loss in sweat to affect your performance. So replace what you have lost by hydrating early and often. If you weigh yourself before and after workouts, drink 16 ounces of fluid for every pound dropped. If you engage in more than one hour of physical
activity, sports drinks such as Gatorade can help provide fuel for the body and replace electrolytes (especially sodium) that are lost in sweat. For athletes, in particular, it’s important to keep hydrated before, during and after activities. Your performance can improve tremendously with adequate water intake, increasing speed, preventing injuries and reducing muscle soreness.
workers about your hydration goals, and encourage them to join you as accountability partners.
EAT - Eat more fruits and vegetables. Try adding extra flavor to these with a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of low-calorie sweeteners.
REMINDERS - Set reminders to drink water on your smartphone, or use a water bottle with printed reminders to reach your goals.
Dr. Naima Stennett is a board-certified family medicine physician and sports medicine fellow.
alth The UHe ndard sta Jackson e for of car
FLU S H OT S N OW AVA IL A B L E At UHealth Jackson Urgent care we provide the highest standard of care with board-certified physicians from the University of Miami Health System on site seven* days a week. Flu shots are now available at each of our locations, free of charge with most insurances. You can walk in to the center nearest you and receive a flu shot—no appointment necessary.
JacksonUrgentCare.com Country Walk 13707 S.W. 152nd St. Miami, FL 33177
Cutler Bay 18910 South Dixie Hwy. Cutler Bay, FL 33157
Doral 7400 N.W. 104th Ave. Doral, FL 33178
Keystone Point 13120 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181
Our charges for medical services are less than the charges for comparable medical services at Jackson Memorial Hospital. *North Dade Urgent Care is closed on Sunday.
North Dade 16555 N.W. 25th Ave. Miami Gardens, FL 33054
T HE LIST GOOD TIDINGS
’TIS THE SEASON OF GIVING, SO WE’VE CURATED GIFTS FOR EVERYONE IN THE FAM THAT WERE MADE BY TALENTED CARIBBEAN CREATORS.
A NEW KIND OF WILD
Inspired by her father’s experience moving from Puerto Rico to New York as a child, author and illustrator Zara González Hoang’s moving and colorful tale for children captured the spirit of the adage, “Home is where the heart is.” $17.99 penguinrandomhouse.com
A part of the Urchin Collection, this pendant light by Jamaican ceramic artist Victoria Leigh Silvera makes a great addition to any home, featuring organic details inspired by Caribbean marine life. $500 touchbyvls.com
BOUKMAN BOTANICAL RHUM
Bottled in Haiti and infused with fresh cane juice, barks, citrus peel, and seven botanicals, this craft rum makes a delicious addition to holiday festivities. Served best on the rocks with an orange peel, or stirred into classic cocktails. $54.99 boukmanrhum.com
FOREVER WITH YOU RING
Eternalize your love with the Forever With You band ring by Trinidadian jewelry designer Josanne Mark. Permanently etched with your significant other’s fingerprints, this luxurious memento carries intimate sentiments. Starting at $515 josannemark.com
OR HIM/HER: F THE EBBY RANE FRIDAY BAG
Fitted with sustainable cork and lined with faux leather, the Friday Bag is compact and water-resistant. Jamaican-born designer and founder Sonja M. Salmon created this completely vegan luxury carry-on for the avid globetrotter or weekender. $295 ebbyrane.com
OUCH BY VLS T PENDANT TEAR DROP
T HE LIST GOOD TIDINGS
SLIM LEATHER CARD HOLDER
Haiti Design Co. is founded on the premise of community empowerment. Pieces such as this simple, but timeless and well-crafted, leather card holder is just part of the company’s mission to foster entrepreneurship among local artisans. $28 haitidesignco.org
LIGNO ROSEWOOD WATCH
Made from 100% reclaimed wood, this lightweight, fashionable and eco-friendly watch by the Jamaican brand features a stylish rosewood design that’s fitted with a stainless steel back case and buckle. $195 hernyswoodja.com
I AM A PROMISE
A retelling of Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s uplifting journey to stardom, the charming picture book encourages young readers to stay steadfast with determination to achieve their dreams. $11.96 akashicbooks.com
ROPIC SPIRAL T HOLOGRAPHIC ANKARA SANDAL
Made for the modern fashionista, add the Tropic Spiral Holographic ankara sandal to your shoe collection! This stylish wedge features a shiny holographic accent, ankara print and ankle-tied straps. $115 territorysix.com
ARIBBEAN VIBES C MADRAS BOX BAG
Cop this cute tote handmade in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The design features a classic Caribbean madras print, velvet-lined interior, detachable chain strap, and subtle glass bead and gem embellishments. $99.95 territorysix.com
STYLE & DESIGN // DYNAMIC DUO: FORBES + MASTERS
DYNAMIC DUO: FORBES + MASTERS WRITER JAYME FRASER PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF FORBES + MASTERS
FOR DESIGN PARTNERS TAVIA FORBES AND MONET MASTERS, CREATING BEAUTIFUL LIVING SPACES HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS.
ach client of their acclaimed Atlanta-based design firm Forbes + Masters brings an opportunity to learn a new story. “We really try to get to know them. Where they like to shop for clothes, or where they traveled recently,” explained Forbes. “All of our projects reflect what has been stuck in our clients’ heads.”
To create these connections, they’ve learned to leverage their shared Jamaican heritage — and all the confidence, boldness and gregariousness that comes from it — to draw out their clients’ best selves. “Jamaicans are very expressive, and we definitely got some of those vibes from our families,” said Forbes. “So we’re able to break walls, break
barriers, and get them to talk to us in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” added Masters. This intimate approach comes naturally to both designers, who first developed DIY skills and stylistic sensibilities early on because of their fathers. Forbes, who was born in Mandeville, Jamaica, shadowed her dad at work as a contractor and custom cabinet builder. Masters, who lived both in Los Angeles and Houston, grew up watching her father shape stand-out living spaces. He didn’t just want to live in his home. He wanted to be inspired by it. “At one point, our living room consisted of green leather sofas and green carpet that matched exactly. We had a fish bowl coffee table that lit up bright blue [and] purple,” Masters said. “You knew it was only about style when the fish died within two weeks. Then it was just the table full of water and rocks.” Forbes’ laughter spilled over the story. “I’ve never heard this!” This energetic exchange perfectly captures the friends’ creative partnership, as we discussed more engaging stories behind three of their design projects.
DINING IN THE TROPICS
• A mother, daughter and grandchild
in Georgia wanted a bright, whimsical design for their first formal dining room. Inspired by their clients’ Puerto Rican heritage, Forbes + Masters tapped into the colorful, nature-centric spirit of island living. The room was fortunately blessed with bountiful light through French doors, which they framed with intricately embroidered drapery featuring a botanical motif. Textured wicker and caned detailing on the dining chairs also helped “hint at that island vibe,” said Forbes. They also chose a grasscloth wallpaper with silver and gold leafing, as the natural hues and soft glimmer “reminded us of sand when you’re on the beach,” Forbes noted. For statement lighting above, they went hunting for a chandelier that mimicked a cascade of tree branches, but their first find was beyond the budget. For a thrifty-chic solution, they first found a similar, smaller fixture for a fraction of the price, buying two units and painting the champagne-gold hardware a contrasting black hue to play up its organic lines. They then hung both at different levels to command the same attention as the pricier piece.
LIVING ROOM REDUX • When a young doctor in South
Carolina wanted to enliven her living room for entertaining, Forbes + Masters had to charm details out of the shy client. They discovered an eclectic playfulness that shone through in her precious books and art pieces, which they took care to showcase with custom, built-in shelving. To complement these elements, the duo had fun sourcing seating that had unique geometric shapes, but also felt comfortable for guests. Choosing the right pieces proved tricky, however, as they wanted chairs that would not obstruct views of the backyard. This led to some special finds, like the rolled-back armchairs they reupholstered in houndstooth. “Trying to find a stylish chair that doesn’t take up volume can be very difficult,” noted Masters. “These had a lot of personality and didn’t shoot up high in the air like a balloon chair or wingback would.”
PHOTOGRAPHY KIMBERLY MURRAY
STYLE & DESIGN // DYNAMIC DUO: FORBES + MASTERS
BEDROOM BEACH FANTASY • A film executive asked Forbes + Masters
to update her bedroom to fulfill her dream of “a beach house in landlocked Atlanta” that matched the monochromatic tones throughout the rest of the house. “She’s never home,
so we wanted to create a retreat for her,” said Masters. “We wanted a space that was calming and would still feel natural.” Instead of leaning on a more conventional coastal style, the pair used interesting textures to capture the relaxed mood of a seaside escape. On the wall, they created an artistic focal point by framing gauzy, striped Élitis wallpaper with
white trim. Plush textiles also invited more relaxation, like the blue velvet on the curvaceous settee and bouclé upholstery on the headboard and bed frame. More texture came through accents like the bleached driftwood above the headboard, and delicate lamps that “looked artistic and handmade,” Masters said. “Like something you would buy near a beach town.”
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TRAVEL // SAFE TRAVELS
TRAVELS PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK BENNETT/UNCOMMONCARIBBEAN.COM
WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER STEPHEN BENNETT (UNCOMMON CARIBBEAN)
QUARANTINE FATIGUE COMBINED WITH THE PUBLIC’S INCREASING ABILITY TO COPE WITH THE CONSTRAINTS OF POST-COVID LIFE HAVE MORE PEOPLE LONGING TO ESCAPE TO THE WARMTH OF THE WEST INDIES THIS WINTER.
raveling to the Caribbean at present, however, is anything but business as usual. Borders to many destinations remain closed. Entry protocols and quarantine requirements also vary throughout the region — as do restrictions on visitor activities in certain places. So how best can you navigate the new normal of Caribbean travel while still enjoying the islands? Here’s a look at what to expect when exploring these select tropical shores.
BELIZE For a quick and breezy getaway, it’s hard to beat Belize right now. Recently relaxed entry requirements mean that visitors no longer need to quarantine upon arrival. No application is necessary to visit either. Assuming you arrive with proof of a negative COVID test, or test negative at the
airport, then you’re free to roam — mostly. This is because the government of Belize still advises travelers to use businesses that are part of their Tourism Gold Standard Program, which means they adhere to all health guidelines related to COVID-19. Such services include hotels and resorts, tour operators, attractions, rental
car companies, taxis, restaurants and gift shops. Visitors are strongly encouraged to limit their fun in Belize to businesses-certified operations under the program. All are clearly listed in the convenient Belize Health App, which all visitors must download and initiate within 72 hours of arrival in the country.
CURAÇAO For added freedom of movement along your Caribbean travels, Curaçao is another great option right now. The guidelines here allow you to rent a car and experience the island as usual, assuming you wear a mask in public and maintain the same six feet of social distance we’re all advised to follow here in the United States. Before you can visit Curaçao though, U.S. travelers must complete some mandatory tasks. First, you need to complete an online digital immigration card and digital Passenger Locator Card, available at dicardcuracao.com. You will need to fill out these documents at least 48
hours prior to departure and carry a hard copy with you during your stay. Travelers are required to show printed proof of a negative result from a certified COVID-19 test upon arrival. Tests must be taken within 72 hours of travel, and results must remain on your person during the entirety of your stay. You’re also required to upload a copy of your negative test result to the website. To cover any health concerns, the Government of Curaçao requires visitors to be adequately insured for medical care, including possible quarantine extended stays. During this pandemic, however, travel health insurance is a smart decision no matter where you visit.
Local Curaçao dish Karni Stobá
View of the skyline along the Punda side of Curaçao’s capital city, Willemstad.
Antigua’s luxury escape, Curtain Bluff Resort
Hiking through the Bolans area of Antigua
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
Ocean views at Curtain Bluff Resort in Antigua.
If a more extended Caribbean escape is what you have in mind, Antigua and Barbuda may be just what you’re looking for. The twin-island nation is offering a Nomad Digital Residence (NDR) visa program that lets visitors live and move freely within the country for up to two years. Ideal for professionals and students with
the flexibility to work or study remotely, the NDR program carries fees of $1,500 for single applicants, $2,000 for couples and $3,000 for families of three or more persons. All visitors to Antigua and Barbuda must have proof of a negative COVID test taken within seven days of arrival. The only exception applies to kids 12 and under, who are not required to be tested. At-home test results are not accepted, and travelers must complete a Traveler Accommodation form prior to travel.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JAMAICA PEGASUS
TRAVEL // SAFE TRAVELS
JAMAICA “Resilient Corridor” is the buzzword travelers must know when visiting Jamaica these days. There are actually two of them. One extends from Negril along the north coast to Portland. The other encompasses the New Kingston Business District. If you’re visiting Jamaica, that’s where you’ll be. While roaming freely throughout the island is
not currently an option, visitors can explore within the Resilient Corridors with limited restrictions. For instance, all taxi transportation must be with operators licensed under the Tourist Board Act. As well, visitors are required to stay at hotels that have received COVID-19 compliant certification. You’re not allowed to hop around to different hotels either—a policy that would help streamline contact tracing should the need arise.
As with Antigua, your length of stay can be quite extensive in Jamaica. Select hotels have launched “workation” packages to give digital nomads the unique opportunity to live, work and play in paradise. The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, for instance, offers a workation package for a 30-night minimum stay, with rates starting at just $3,499—a savings of more than 70% off.
Select guest rooms at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston have been converted into office suites to accommodate digital nomads.
rom families to small businesses, all have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have been left in financial uncertainty. In response, Miami-Dade County has risen to the occasion, offering pandemic assistance services for residents and local businesses, particularly among the county’s Black, Indigenous and immigrant communities. With support from the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other partners, the county is offering financial aid and social services for the people at its heart.
Weathering the Storm MIAMI-DADE COUNTY’S ACTION PLAN FOR COVID-19 SUPPORT
WRITER STEPHANIE LYEW PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIED
FAMILY: For families, this includes programs addressing basic living expenses like food and housing. In collaboration with Feeding South Florida, the county hosts weekly drive-thru food pickups at more than 20 community distribution sites. On Saturdays, families can source fresh-picked, locallygrown produce at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium. Those struggling with rent also may receive relief up to $5,000 over three months through Miami-Dade County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. MILITARY: Veterans and current U.S. military personnel also can access housing support if they need it. The Military and Veterans Housing Assistance Program helps cover past due rent or mortgage payments for up to three months, with a maximum of $5,000.
Veterans may receive funds for other critical expenses like groceries, medical supplies and baby care products through the Basic Needs Program, which provides vouchers up to $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for families. SMALL BUSINESS: Businesses in hospitality, transportation, and even arts and entertainment can apply for grants and loans provided through the county. Small business owners with 25 or fewer employees who operate in Miami-Dade are eligible for assistance through earmarked funding. This relief addresses financial needs including employee payroll, supply expenses, utilities and disruption or reopening costs. The Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program, in particular, distributes loans of up to $25,000 with 0% interest and no origination fees.
“I’m proud to have worked to allocate millions of federal CARES Act dollars to programs that provide relief to struggling families and businesses impacted by COVID-19,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “I encourage all our residents to learn more about programs available to help in this difficult time. And please, continue to stay safe and follow public health guidelines to protect yourself and your family. Working together to curb the spread of coronavirus is the best way to safeguard our economy and make sure we emerge even stronger from crisis.”
DO YOUR PART. SAVE LIVES. Help protect your family and our community against COVID-19.
Simple ways to be safe:
Wear a mask
Practice social distancing
Wash your hands frequently
Carry hand sanitizer when going out
Stay home if you’re feeling sick
Get tested: For information on the many FREE testing locations throughout the County, or to make a testing appointment, visit miamidade.gov/covid-testing Drive Thru
Free testing is available throughout Miami-Dade County.
CULTURE // A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER
A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER ART IN THE TIME OF COVID WRITER JAYME FRASER PHOTOGRAPHY VARIOUS
illed with breathtaking challenges that have tested our faith and endurance, 2020 has been a year like no other. Still, depending on the lens you look through, the pandemic, protests, polarization, misinformation and other maladies we’re living through might simply seem like incidental variations on centuries-old themes. From within this turmoil, the tools of an artist can dissect the complexities of the present and connect it to the past. Inspired by their island heritage and history, Caribbean-American artists are producing art replete with lessons and stories of survival. We talked with four of them about how their creative process has evolved to meet the times and how 2020 has reshaped their sense of purpose.
”Waiting for Change” features two young Haitian girls in the time of Arestide.
Portrait of striker Elmore Nickelberry at the motel where MLK Jr. was assassinated
SURVIVING TOGETHER | Carl Juste The phrase “new normal” — a term bandied about to describe the crises of 2020 — never sat well with Miami-based photographer Carl-Phillipe Juste. He has spent a career chronicling society’s most vulnerable as a photojour-
nalist for the Miami Herald and as an art photographer exploring communities around the world. From where he’s standing, “there is no ‘new normal’ [because] nothing has ever been normal. Normal is the luxury of
the rich and the privileged. Most of the people on this planet are not privileged. Most of them probably don’t have a home where they feel safe, or an environment which they can control.”
Uncertainty is familiar terrain for Juste, who fled with his family in 1965 from political persecution in Duvalier-ruled Haiti. Instead of despair, Juste learned from his parents’ response to upheaval, that we find resilience and hope only when working together. He saw this firsthand watching his parents Viter and Maria Juste become powerful advocates for Miami’s growing Haitian refugee community in the 1980s, in what would become Little Haiti. The result, for him, became an intense appreciation for the importance of community. “We get to believe the individual is so powerful it can control all circumstances. It cannot. No one comes on this planet alone,” he said. This collaborative spirit continues to feed his work, starting with the Iris Photo Collective ― an organization he founded to bring together artists of color to tell stories about their communities, which are too often ignored in the public eye. Responding to the unique turmoil of now, he has directed Exile At Home, a series with WLRN and Miami Book Fair featuring still images, video and written narratives collected from people who shared their experiences with COVID-19. Another collaboration, Imagined Visions of Hope, featured small collections of photographs submitted by artists from around the world that the group hopes to exhibit on five continents. Juste is also one of seven photographers from Florida, Oregon, New York and Washington, D.C. contributing to Defiance ― a project inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and for which they hope to secure funding to display in February. Little about 2020 has changed his photography, which looks toward the possibilities of the future even as he dissects the present. “For my process, I’m interested not about me,” he said. “I’m more interested in what other people think about the same subject because then I have something to engage with. I want people to talk to each other. I don’t want people sitting there trying to think how I was thinking or how I was feeling. I don’t go around asking what I am, I go around asking why it is.”
Miami mural “Know Peace” is a collaborative work by Nate Dee and Mojo.
THE AUDACITY OF JOY | Nate Dee In 2019 (when viral pandemics were only the stuff of cinematic nightmares), painter and muralist Nate Dee found himself visiting his parents’ native Haiti, participating in the Port-au-Prince mural showcase Festi Graffiti. Something clicked as he walked through the event. Surrounded by the vivid hues of Haitian public art, he realized that his parents’ homeland had quietly affected his own artistic approach ― that there is something uniquely profound about artists bringing joyful color to places and people that need it. “Traditional Haitian art is very vibrant and very bright even when they’re discussing things that are heavy and grim,” noted Dee. In his earliest days as a graffiti artist, the Fort Lauderdale-based painter discovered the power of color, which he translated into his current paintings and murals filled with chromatic, mythical figures. Right now, this feels more true than ever for Dee, whose full name is Nathan Delinois. The color-driven perspective inspired his latest collaborative project with fellow Florida artist, Mojo ― a mural in Miami’s Brownsville neighborhood that they titled, “Know Peace.” The work offers “a different take on what activism might look like and what resistance might look like,” he explained. “I saw this quote that was something like, ‘Just to be happy in these times is an act of resistance.’ We wanted to create a mural that was a nod to what’s going on, but also focused on the other side of that: holding on to your happi-
Nate Dee beside “Creativity Nurtured,” honoring Laotians in Des Moines, Iowa.
ness, holding on to your love and holding on to your joy.” This year has inspired a subtle shift in Dee’s creative process. He now feels drawn to create more public art rather than small individual paintings because these “would have the biggest impact.” Events like the Black Lives Matter protests have inspired him to reflect on how he approaches themes of identity in his works and the purpose of his public art. Dee hopes his colorful works draw viewers into reflection on the grand themes of life rather than tying directly to a specific instance in time or making a particular declaration. Yet, the death
of George Floyd spurred him to directly address the world. Drawing inspiration from the Spray Their Name campaign in Denver, Dee also designed a print work and donated his profits from it to the cause. He believes these unique opportunities provided by public art projects spark conversation, whether that’s how a neighborhood views itself or how the work communicates to the larger world. “You’re creating a dialogue among people who aren’t always heard, or who don’t always have access to the conversation,” Dee said. “Public art is a way of organizing and creating open dialogue with people.”
CULTURE // A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER
LESSONS FROM THE PAST Basil Watson Simmering with frustration and hope, a crowd stands tall with fists raised high in Jamaican artist Basil Watson’s bronze tabletop sculpture, “Boiling Point.” Among them, one figure steps forward and points to a better future, looking back as if urging the others to join him. Depicting the resilience of the human spirit, this piece resonates with current, guttural public cries for change. Incarnating the spirit of 2020, it reflects attitudes toward the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality, the public health fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that disproportionately kills Black Americans, and the heated presidential election that exposed the nation’s economic and racial divides. But Watson made “Boiling Point” in 1986, not 2020. The piece was inspired by the fight to end Apartheid in South Africa. “[These are] things we are discussing today and have discussed for decades,” said Watson, who now lives in Atlanta. “It focuses on protest, on sacrifice, [and] on leadership.” It’s the enduring poignance that inspired him to find funding and a public home for a large-scale version of the sculpture, specifically at a location where victims of police brutality were killed.
Creating such monuments to what Watson calls “the heroic in mankind” has been a central focus throughout his remarkable career as a sculptor, known for his expressive approach to the human figure. His works include public commissions in Jamaica, depicting national luminaries like Usain Bolt and Louise “Miss Lou” BennettCoverley. His most recent projects turn to heroic figures from his adopted city Atlanta: from a personal project sculpting a bust of civil rights activist and U.S. Representative John Lewis to a towering commissioned statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., greeting visitors outside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Such work exploring who we honor, and why, feels perfectly suited for this moment in history. To Watson, American public sculpture has often been valued primarily for its artistic merits detached from intended themes or historical context. Now, a growing movement has demanded public artworks — in particular Confederate monuments — be weighed in their complete social context. “With all my time at home, with the pandemic and social protests that have been taking place, it has focused my attention on social issues that have been with me for my entire life,” he said. “Martin Luther King Jr., for instance, when he was killed I was [about ] 10 years old. Growing into my teens, the effect of that on the world and Jamaica was strong.” This influence of Watson’s heroes “was always there,” he said. “But I think the recent past has refocused on a lot of those issues.”
Watson’s bronze bust of celebrated Senator John Lewis.
The artist at work on monument honoring Martin Luther King Jr.
Watson’s 1986 bronze work, “Boiling Point”
EMBRACE THE PROCESS Vicki Pierre
Paper and fabric collage: “It’s the God in Me and I Shall Live This Way Forever”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZACHARY BALBER
Details of “Black Flowers Blossom (Hanging Tree)”
ART PHOTOS COURTESY OF FREDRIC SNITZER GALLERY
The pandemic set in just as mixed-media artist Vicki P i e r re w a s completing a residency. “I was deadlocked. I didn’t want to get in my car. I didn’t want to be in my studio,” she said, describing those first few days back in Miami. “Creatively, I was stunted. I didn’t work for about two months. “Then the murders started happening,” Pierre said, referencing the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. “And then you’re just left shocked and immobilized.” Pierre focused on completing pieces for a scheduled exhibition at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Miami. Part of an ongoing series, “Poupées in the Bush” is a surrealistic exploration of abstract Black female bodies adorned with gold leaf, flowers and elements of tribal dress. She also tried to complete works that focused on race, ethnicity and the Caribbean ― but she was stuck. “My mind was really on what was going on and not really on how to resolve these pieces,” she said. “I realized it was because I needed to do something about that feeling of anger and sadness.” So, she created a new installation: “Black Flowers Blossom (Hanging Tree).” It pulls ideas from her brainstorming notebook and from her thoughts about this tense, painful moment in American history. “I wanted to do a work that spoke to these deaths, systemic racism and historical racism, and how it affects just the general atmosphere,” she explained. Pierre pulled imagery from multiple historical periods and places as a “nonlinear recognition of what’s going on,” and as representation of “a collective history.” This new direction proved challenging for her, in part, because she’s not comfortable using overt racial imagery. In most of her work, meaning lies just below the surface. Incorporating these more visceral fragments of the past felt necessary, she argued, to show that our identity is shaped, in part, by history. In Pierre’s personal life, that history includes growing up in New York with a Haitian family speaking English and Creole and the new-to-her sense of community pride among Miami’s Haitian residents. “I never thought of myself as a Caribbean person. I thought of myself as a New Yorker; I thought of myself as Black. That’s how I existed in New York,” she said. “Coming to Miami, the Caribbean is so prominent. It’s something I’ve sort of slowly integrated into. The funny thing [is], I feel like it was always present in my work in some way, but I never recognized it and acknowledged it as such.”
Repurposed materials, from perfume bottles to plastic butterflies, create “Black Flowers Blossom (Hanging Tree).”
STYLE // WRAPPED IN THE SPIRIT
THE SPIRIT WRITER STAFF PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID I. MUIR
“AS A DESIGNER, INSPIRATION COMES FROM ANYTHING. OUR SOLE PURPOSE IS TO MAKE IT WEARABLE.”
o says Haitian-American fashion designer and stylist Glavidia Alexis, whose regal creations bestow an air of ethnic elegance. She muses about even the most abstract sources of stimulation. “I can be inspired by a lizard. Do I like the texture of his skin? Do I like the sebum that he produces? Do I like the color that comes out when he’s mating?” It took her a while to work up the courage to develop her Ginen Pas Press’e (Devotees, Don’t Rush) collection. “Its inspiration starts from Vodouism and what each entity and spiritual deity represents. And the colors of each look or each collection signify each spiritual object.” Trained in London and Italy, the daughter of Vodou priestess Manbo Vivi was inspired by the elaborate dresses her mother would wear in her role as a spiritual leader. But Vodou garb has a conventional aesthetic, and Alexis “didn’t want to be offensive to the traditional silhouettes and colors and shapes.” In reworking time-honored style, she started at home. She estimates that she may have made nearly 100 dresses for her mother over a three-year period. A very supportive Manbo Vivi, who has an impressive social media following, shared Alexis’ looks with her Instagram followers, who then began switching up their styles in homage to fashion. “That’s when I knew I had something,” said Alexis. “I think of it as a form of flattery. It was the kind of confirmation that I needed.” With the implied approval of their virtual family, Alexis got to work. She took care to think about everyone the collection could represent. Her most elaborate dresses invoke the priestess, but other, more subdued designs represent the wider Vodou community including dancers, servers and drummers, for example. At its core, the collection honors the spirits (lwa) at the heart of the ceremony. Alexis refers to the colors and textures, and the essence of deities like Danbala, the creator of life; Azaka, the spirit of the harvest; Ezili Dantor, parallel to the Black Madonna; and Bawon Samedi, father of the spirits. Most Haitians, though, worked in the fields, or enjoyed dancing. The silk and satin appropriate for celebrating the high spirits aren’t quite the right wear for these more mundane activities, so you’ll find cotton and burlap in Alexis’ style files as well. The spirits and the practitioners are reflected in
Priestess Manbo Vivi
Designer Glavidia Alexis
outfits that go from light brunches to fancy dinners, or from a day at the office to a day on the yacht. Though her pieces are often ornate, she encourages people to dress them up or down. “I’m also a stylist so I like my separates to be interchangeable.” Alexis’ work is a balance between her source of inspiration and the customer she’s creating for. She’d like it if people would dress for the lifestyle they envision without creating a bubble for themselves in their own minds. “You can be inspired by a lifestyle and not be tied to that lifestyle,” she says. Even if you’re dressing up that way.
FEATURE // XXXXXXX
An ornate green and gold priestess dress inspired by Glavidia’s mom honors Danbala (St. Patrick). The rich fabric can be worn at weddings, galas and Vodou ceremonies.
Voodoo THAT YOU DO
GLAVIDIA ALEXIS IS “INSPIRED BY EVERYTHING,” BUT IN HER GENIN PA PRESSE COLLECTION, “AN ESSENCE OF HAITIAN VODOU CULTURE BOTH TIMELESS AND PRESENT” IS HER CENTRAL MUSE. PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID I. MUIR DESIGNER GLAVIDIA ALEXIS MAKEUP GLAVIDIA ALEXIS
MODEL: GLAVIDIA ALEXIS
Galvidiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lemon-hued yellow priestess dress honors Kouzin Azaka, a hardworking, brave farmer spirit who brings good fortune. Congo and Togo colors are interpreted with rich vibrancy and layered textures. MODEL: GLAVIDIA ALEXIS
FEATURE // XXXXXXX
Isabellaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skullembellished, androgynous look, complete with top hat, cane and jacket, is an homage to the powerful male spirit, Bawon. Replicate the vibe in everyday wear with a black, high-waisted skirt with white ruffled top.
MODEL: ISABELLA TOLL
A nod to the lighter garb of a baptismal ceremony, the white kaftan is ideal for a trip out on the water. Necessary dramatic detail was infused in elaborate embroidery. MODEL: ISABELLA TOLL
INSPIRATION // IN TIMES OF NEED
PHOTOGRAPHY FOOD FOR THE POOR
A boy in El Salvador is happy to receive a package of food and other relief supplies from Food For The Poor.
OF NEED WRITER JAHLISA HARVEY PHOTOGRAPHY FOOD FOR THE POOR
n the Caribbean’s fight against COVID-19, there are many battlegrounds: in the hospital wards with medical professionals lacking supplies to protect themselves, in homes where families struggle with food insecurity, and in children disconnected from their own education, left anxious about their future. In response to these ever-growing needs, organiza-
tions large and small have emerged inside the Caribbean-American community to provide support on these front lines. Working within America’s own pandemic challenges, these groups have gotten creative, finding new ways to fundraise and channel support where needed. But in navigating this new normal there’s still a lot that needs to be done.
FOOD FOR THE POOR
A woman in Haiti is happy to receive a box of food and other critical relief supplies from Food For The Poor.
• Christian-based non-profit Food for the Poor (FFTP) is no stranger to crisis. Founded in 1982, the group provides food, housing and financial aid to 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Even though the organization has seen almost 40 years of dire need, Mark Khouri, executive vice president and chief operating officer, calls these times unprecedented. “People are lining up in long lines to get food because their income has [been] cut,” he said. “When you see that happening in a country like the United States of America, imagine what happens to those countries where their level of income is not the same.” The organization, based in Coconut Creek, Fla., has sent more food than usual to countries throughout the region. Pandemic-related unemployment, especially from the tourism industry, has dramatically increased the number of people asking for help “just to be fed.” “They were getting overwhelmed,” Khouri said of the program’s in-country partners. “We had to double down [with] so much more food.” This need still persists. Rather than buying supplies in America and shipping them abroad, FFTP tries to stimulate the local economy by purchasing directly in the country they’re supporting and delivering locally. They urge readers to make a donation online so they can continue to support work on the ground. foodforthepoor.org Mark Khouri
CARIBBEAN AMERICAN CULTURAL GROUP • Since 1984, the Caribbean American Cultural Group (CACG) has merged fellowship and philanthropy among members of the Caribbean community in Port St. Lucie and the Treasure Coast. The organization has actively fundraised for the community through social activities such as domino competitions, sports days and their annual Treasure Coast Jerk Festival, as well as sponsoring scholarships, sourcing school supplies, organizing toy drives and building holiday gift baskets. But this personal, hands-on approach to giving back was disrupted by the pandemic. “Just like most nonprofits and businesses [during] COVID-19, we have to adapt to the new environment,” CACG President Dawn Bloomfield said. In response, they innovated, transforming their formal donation events into drive-thru donation programs. So far, the group has collected more than 11,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to support hospitals, both in Florida and Jamaica. “We started the drive and within two weeks the response was overwhelming,” Bloomfield said. “We partnered with the local businesses in the area, es-
(L-R): Michelle Irons, Fiona Williams, Karl Godfrey, Dawn Bloomfield and Neville Lake.
pecially the Caribbean businesses, and also with the Nurses Association of Jamaica in England, who donated to the initiative.” This ongoing program will collect supplies, especially for rural hospitals. For people who want to participate but feel uncomfortable leaving their homes, the CACG also accepts online donations through their web page. Next, the group plans to source computers
to help students in the Caribbean with remote learning. “I know that a lot of the high school students, especially in the rural areas, do not have the resources for remote learning, [like] a laptop or even a tablet,” Bloomfield said. “So we will also be shipping things next month [for] high school students to be able to continue their lessons from home.” cacgpsl.com
INSPIRATION // IN TIMES OF NEED
Consul General Oliver Mair (center right) with Virtual Christmas concert and telethon committee members.
MEK DI PICKNEY DEM SMILE • No child’s education should be left to falter due to the pandemic. In Jamaica, however, many students have been unable to resume in-person learning because of it. Remote learning has exposed a technology gap, seeing students without devices at a disadvantage. Consul General of Jamaica to Miami Oliver Mair hopes to rally the diaspora in South Florida and around the world to support digital-based education with the consulate’s new fundraising drive “Mek di Pickney Dem Smile.” “It is very important to ensure that our kids are furnished with a solid education to make a place in the world,” he said. “We don’t want our students to be left behind in any way. Our students should be equipped to learn with a tablet, a computer or a device. It is absolutely critical at this time.” Mair aims to raise US$100,000 to purchase electronic devices for students. The initiative officially launched with a December 2020 virtual concert and telethon with performances by reggae stars Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths and Junior Reid. In collaboration with its partners, the consulate of Miami will continue to solicit online donations through January 2021, receiving funds through American Friends of Jamaica’s website. Proceeds will go toward the One Child, One Tablet program launched by Jamaican Minister of Education Fayval Williams.
CG Mair (right) accepting a contribution of tablets from President of the Louise Bennett-Coverley Heritage Council (FLA), Inc. Colin Smith (left).
In addition to American Friends of Jamaica, this outreach initiative marks a true partnership with diverse Caribbean-American organizations. The Bob Marley Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of East Pines and Miramar, and several Jamaican high school alumni chapters are also currently fundraising to contribute to the drive. It’s an outpouring of support like this that
convinces Mair of the power of community rallying together. “We recognize that a lot of people are having a hard time,” he said. “They have lost jobs, but they always find a way to reach out and give back to their homeland, which speaks to the love and support that comes from the diaspora—even during difficult times” Donate at: smileja.com
HAVING GONE THROUGH IT, A PRESIDENTIAL [CAMPAIGN] IS LITERALLY BUILDING THE PLANE WHILE YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE FLYING IT AT THE SAME TIME. YOU NEVER HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES YOU NEED WHEN YOU NEED THEM. YOU HAVE TO BE RESOURCEFUL.
BUILDING A COALITION WRITER CALIBE THOMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID I. MUIR
POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY Looking back, the disappointing result of the election in Florida wasn’t a surprise to Andre. There are lessons learned in each cycle that the Democratic party at large has not retained. Clearest among these for her is that outreach to Black and minority communities, the party’s most reliable base, seems like an
afterthought each election season. If you only call when you need something, how strong can the relationship really become? “There are some in the state that still don’t get it in terms of investments that they need to make in our communities,” said Andre, who got into politics to positively influence lawmakers. “The local operatives [do], but when we’re on a presidential campaign, which is now a national entity, that’s like a mother with 50 children.” With so many groups competing for attention, it can be difficult to be heard. Given the duty of staffing the entire Florida operation, Andre handpicked cohorts for Caribbean voter outreach. Thamar Harrigan, Biden for America’s director of Haitian outreach in Florida, for example, fit snugly into her role connecting with her own community. Andre tasked Sophia Nelson, a Jamaican living in South Florida, with reaching Anglo-Caribbean voters. It’s these well-connected warriors that made the best inroads. But they, too, recognized glaring strategic communication issues. In this cycle, Nelson said targeted minority outreach started just about a month before Election Day. “Campaigns have to do better,” she said. “These communities want to be engaged but the engagement started too late.” While Andre agrees, her opinion mirrors her thoughts on general market communication. “It’s very much a two-way street.” She points to people like Miami developer and policy advocate
PHOTO COURTESY OF THAMAR HARRIGAN
he coordinated efforts in the Biden for President campaign as senior adviser for Florida and senior adviser, National Faith Outreach. Her next chapter begins in the new Biden-Harris administration with a role as special assistant to the president for presidential personnel. The Haitian American born in New York and raised in Florida had been a state-level political operative in various roles since 2004. She was a senior adviser to Andrew Gillum leading up to his 2018 Democratic primary win for Florida governor. She was even a presidential appointee in the Obama White House. But after some time in private business and sitting out the 2016 race, she realized that the 2020 election might be the most consequential in her lifetime. Duty called her back to Florida. We spoke with Andre and some of her organizing allies about their 2020 campaign work in Florida, a convoluted state with a liberalleaning south and conservativerooted north. We discussed where Caribbean Americans fit into their efforts — as targets and leaders — as well as the experience of helping to shape a historic election.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SOPHIA NELSON
FOLLOWING THE 2020 POLITICAL SEASON, KAREN ANDRE IS TAKING A WELL-DESERVED BREATH.
Caribbean American Outreach Director (English Speaking) Sophia Nelson (right) with volunteers on the campaign trail.
A Haitian man plays drums in a campaign parade, while Haitian and Cuban flags fly overhead.
FEATURE // KAREN ANDRE
Barron Channer and Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Hazelle Rogers. They “win,” she said, because they lead the charge. “The people who advocate the most effectively don’t wait for the campaign to come calling. They decide who they like [and] engage them.” Channer, CEO of Woodwater Group, a private investment firm with holdings in real estate and technology, is vocal about a proactive approach to politics. “Support [should] be focused on helping those that embrace your core agenda and can be trusted to do so after they have won,” he said. He advocates for establishing paths of least resistance into Caribbean communities. “Collective advocacy would bring more power to the individual agendas of those from Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and so on.” Harrigan said optimistically that in this cycle she observed steps being taken in the right direction and saw that representation matters. “The Biden-Harris campaign built a team of staffers that looked like our communities,” she said. “The reason we saw commitments to the Haitian community, a first for any campaign — ever — was a direct reflection of the number of [Haitians] on the campaign.” BLACK GIRL MAGIC The 2020 election cycle placed Andre squarely in the midst of an epic convergence of feminine energy. The influence of women “was magic,” she reflected. “I’m a big history buff,” she said. “And it was thrilling to be at the intersection of these historic moments.” Andre remembered the “thrill” of meeting Harris in person. But her first interaction with the vice presidential candidate was a surprise assignment from Harris’ chief of staff Karine Jean Pierre, a fellow Haitian American. With only a few minutes notice, “I get a text from Karine one morning saying you’re about to get an invite to brief the senator — Excuse me?!” Andre shared, jokingly. Inside the campaign, she was energized. From Jamaican-IndianAmerican Kamala Harris being elected vice president and political powerhouse Jean Pierre being chosen to lead an all-female senior communications team for the
I AM BECAUSE WE ARE. NO MATTER HOW HIGH I GO, IF IT’S JUST ME UP THERE, IT’S NO FUN.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THAMAR HARRIGAN
White House to the women building campaign connections in Florida — Andre described a synergistic and supportive cadre. “People assume that women, or Black women, in power can’t get along, and when I tell you — it’s been nothing but a love fest.” For Harrigan, Florida’s crew, in particular, comprised amazing women from the Caribbean community materially contributing to the broad conversation. And none from within that group was more well regarded than Andre herself. “She’s always everyone’s fiercest advocate,” Harrigan said. “She works hard, but still manages, in the midst of it all, to remember to bring others into the room. She is a teacher, mentor, sponsor and champion to many. Ask anyone in the civil engagement / political supply chain and they have their own Karen Andre story where she opened a door for them.” Nelson agreed. “The political world is cutthroat, so teamwork, at times, is viewed more so as, ‘How does this benefit me?’” she said. “I am happy that was not the climate that Karen fos-
Thamar Harrigan (left) with Karen Andre during the 2020 Biden for America campaign.
tered. [She] was the needed voice, a champion and steady leader.” A MISSION DRIVEN LIFE The service-minded description of Andre by Harrigan and Nelson reflects her personal mission statement. Her motto is, “I am because we are.” “No matter how high I go, if it’s
just me up there, it’s no fun,” Andre said. Even her entree into politics was mission-driven. “As an attorney who went off to law school with dreams of being a forceful advocate for social change, I realized — It’s these people that sit in these seats of power making these laws that may not always reflect the best decisions for us,”
Andre said. “So I decided to help elect better lawmakers.” The Democratic party became a natural home for Andre based on its stated values, including “protecting the rights of the least among us, the most marginalized, the voiceless.” They are ideals reflected in many Christian Caribbean homes. For Andre, they aligned with her personal faith and the values of her Haitian mother, a political activist in both Haiti and Haitian American communities. “There are parts of my Haitian Heritage that I think are universal to the African diaspora,” she said. “A fierce sense of pride and independence, feeling empowered to create my own destiny, a sense of devotion to uplifting for the better.” These qualities have served her well, both in her political and private career. Until her role in the new administration pulls her back to Washington from South Florida, Andre said, she’s enjoying low-key days, island-colored sundresses, comfortable sandals and the occasional rum punch.
FEATURE // LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE
LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE WRITER CAROLYN GUNISS PHOTOGRAPHY VARIOUS
IN THE MONTHS BETWEEN MIAMI CARNIVAL IN OCTOBER AND THE NEW YEAR, SOUTH FLORIDA IS USUALLY BUSY WITH A SLATE OF MUSIC CONCERTS, FOOD FESTIVALS AND HOLIDAY GATHERINGS. THIS TIME IS FILLED WITH THE SILKY MELODIES OF STEEL PAN AND CALYPSO, PARADES IN THE STREETS AND A WAFT OF EXOTIC SPICES FROM FOODS FRESH OFF THE GRILL AND MADE IN HOME KITCHENS. BUT NOT THIS YEAR.
OVID-19 silenced the spirited gatherings that anchor the local West Indianthemed calendar. The novel coronavirus, which has killed Black
Americans at a higher rate than others, has been devastating to Caribbean businesses, family budgets and individual mental health. In addition to navigating the dual financial and
health crises, some island immigrants have battled to maintain their legal statusâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even as they worked essential jobs that kept health services and critical industries running.
A GRINDING HALT When refrigerated trucks (mobile morgues) in New York City became a horrific icon of the world’s COVID-19 hot spot experience, business people took heart. By March, Eddy Edwards knew things were changing. As founder of the popular Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival held in New York City and Miramar, Florida, he saw the writing on the wall early. Edwards decided the risk of the event in Florida wasn’t worth it, even with social distancing. “I didn’t want to be that guy,” he said of his fear that an in-person festival could become a superspreader where the virus is passed to many people in one area. The celebration was among many felled in Florida by the pandemic, from Afro-Carib Fest to Haitian Flag Day. The quiet festival season soon became yet another symptom of the outbreak that shredded the core of the Caribbean-American community—disturbing all work, school and play. Its most heartbreaking metric is the death toll. Current reports on deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 do not specify the impact on Caribbean communities since data lump together many people of African descent. What is known is that COVID-19 has ravaged the Black population in Broward County, Florida. According to reports through November 2020 from Florida’s Department of Health, Black people accounted for 25% of positive cases. Of those who got sick, about 40% were hospitalized and 36% died. These numbers were markedly higher than statewide percentages where the Black community made up 15% of infections, 23% of hospitalizations and 19% of deaths. Gail-Ann Brown and her family are among so many others in the community whose lives have been disrupted by the virus. This summer’s losses range from the pedestrian to the tragic—from a canceled trip back home to Jamaica, to being unable to attend her aunt’s funeral in England, forced to watch from afar via Zoom. Dr. Michelle Powell observed that this prolonged separation from loved ones has mental health consequences. Among patients at her North Miami Beach practice Powell Health Solutions (25% of whom are of Caribbean descent), she’s seen an increase in COVID-
Eddy Edwards (left) in happier times at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival with Grace Foods rep Sabrina Watson
related stress symptoms. These include insomnia, random uncontrolled feelings, anxiety and crying spells. In contrast to more chronic conditions, Dr. Powell attributes these to situational depression, which occurs following experienc-
es of loss or major life changes. Some people have experienced “real, tangible things” such as pay cuts or strains on reliable housing. “The most important thing for people who are experiencing [symptoms] to know is that it doesn’t mean you are weak,”
Andy Ingraham, president and CEO of NABHOOD
says Powell. “When the pandemic is managed, we will see people developing coping skills.” THE COST OF COVID Mandatory isolation has an economic toll, too. Many businesses have been affected by social distancing protocols, especially in the hospitality industry. This disproportionately affected local Caribbean-American workers, says Andy Ingraham, president and CEO of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD). “About 50% of the people in the hospitality industry in South Florida have ties to the Caribbean, [including] longshoremen, purveyors and travel agents,” he said. “And we found that 90% of the people laid off at the start of COVID were people of color.” “They have been hit very hard,” said Jamaican-born Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, who served as mayor throughout the crisis in 2020. Eying the recovery, the county is helping businesses stay open or reopen with support from the CARES Act federal stimulus funds. Meanwhile, Holness also predicts many residents soon will need
FEATURE // LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE
help to keep a roof over their heads. “A large percentage of residents have been devastated. They have no money to pay bills and no ability to pay their mortgage or rent,” Holness said. To combat the impending homelessness crisis, the county spent $17 million of its $25 million of CARES Act funds for housing to assist people living in zip codes with high poverty rates. “Most poor people have suffered more than the people who are wealthy,” Holness said. “So we prioritized. We used targeted databases, robo calls, texting and email blasts. [We] notified cities that have residents who meet the area median household income [requirements] about the available funds. We have funding for those who need housing to isolate themselves. And we have given money to not-for-profits like the Urban League of Broward County.” LEFT BEHIND Despite these COVID-19 programs supporting residents, Marleine Bastien, executive director of Family Action Network Movement, believes many of her clients
Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness with constituents
in the Caribbean community have fallen through the cracks. Many of the vulnerable are undocumented immigrants. Others are among the nearly 18,000 with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) who are classified as essential workers in Florida, according to
Marleine Bastien leads protestors at a Miami rally.
the Center for American Progress. This includes many Haitian immigrants, who were granted TPS approval following the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated quarter million people in their nation. This past September, an ap-
peals court opened the way to end TPS on March 4, 2021. In October, Bastien, with a group of protestors, rallied in front of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Office in Miami to support an extension of the program, and for recipients to be given a pathway to citizenship. If neither happens, deportations could begin. This crisis speaks to how Caribbean-Americans and other immigrants have been uniquely impacted by the global pandemic. Many in this group have been deemed “essential” workers — a lifeline for the high risk or more privileged among us — yet federal officials have blithely moved to deport them. “They are our teachers, our organizers, our doctors, our nurses and most importantly, they’ve been our essential workers,” said Bastien. “They’ve put their lives in danger to feed us, to [shop for] our food even during the pandemic, and they’ve been dying.” South Florida freelance editor and writer Carolyn Guniss has been socially distancing since March.
FEATURE // WE ARE SURVIVORS
“GOD HIMSELF SAYS THAT YOU HAVE TO FORGIVE TO BE FORGIVEN. I DON’T FORGET WHAT HAPPENED. BUT I DO FORGIVE.”
SURVIVORS WRITER ATTIYYA ATKINS PHOTOGRAPHY SYLVIA BUCHHOLZ
A SOFT-SPOKEN HAITIAN IMMIGRANT LIVING IN NEW YORK, ABNER LOUIMA WAS JUST 30 YEARS OLD WHEN, ON AUGUST 9, 1997, POLICE OFFICER JUSTIN VOLPE FALSELY ACCUSED HIM OF ASSAULT OUTSIDE A NIGHTCLUB.
t the 70th precinct station in Brooklyn, Volpe and his fellow officers inflicted an hours-long attack on Louima in one of the most shocking documented cases of police brutality in U.S. history. Louima sustained life-threatening internal, external and psychological injuries. Now, after 23 years, he credits faith, family, and the resilient spirit of Haiti and the Caribbean for making it this far. “We are survivors. We can overcome any adversity,” he said. His is a tale as old as time for African Ameri-
cans. But for newer immigrants in the African diaspora, inherent targeting of Black people at the hands of rogue police officers is a newly familiar phenomenon. This diaspora, having left their homelands in search of the great American Dream, has come to learn that too often Black families in the United States are left mourning the death of targeted loved ones and wondering whether justice will ever be served. Louima recognizes that he’s one of only a few. “I’m thankful because God wants me alive to speak about my own story. Most of the people that
have been victimized really don’t have a chance to speak,” he said. Acknowledging his higher calling, he grants, “If God saved my life, he saved it for a reason.” In a rare occurrence, Louima’s perpetrators were tried and convicted. In a separate civil case, he was awarded the largest settlement in a police brutality case in New York City’s history — $8.7 million. His abusers were jailed; Volpe is still serving time in a 30-year sentence. At the time of Volpe’s conviction, Louima became the icon of a movement. Black leaders, like Al Sharpton and Johnny Cochran, and advocates from around the world, rallied around him. An international campaign arose, much like the groundswell that followed the recent murder of George Floyd. Yet even now, a solution remains out of reach. “I didn’t think that I would be talking about [police brutality] 20 years later, but it seems like nothing will change,” Louima said.
Though faith and family have been his support, dealing with the trauma is an ongoing battle. “Each time there’s a case of police brutality or police misconduct, it brings back all the memories,” he said. But, “you have two choices. Either you let it affect you, or you deal with it. I have no choice but to deal with it.” Today, living in South Florida, Louima is a real estate developer and philanthropist. Connecting with fellow survivors has become a central part of his healing process. He finds comfort offering them guidance and support as well as advocating for legal reform to deter future police abuse. In the immediate aftermath of his own ordeal, Louima said the support of the community, particularly from the Haitian diaspora, “gave me courage.” Still, as long as the problem persists, so will he. “We have to keep fighting until we get systemic change,” he said. “They are not going to hand it to us. So we have to keep fighting.”
BUSINESS // DEFYING THE ODDS
DEFYING THE ODDS How Small Business Survives COVID-19
WRITER MONIQUE MCINTOSH PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIED
ACT OF GOD — THESE THREE WORDS UNIVERSALLY STRIKE AT THE HEART OF EVERY SMALL BUSINESS. IN CONTRACTS AND INSURANCE POLICIES, THE DREADED PHRASE DESCRIBES THE UNPREDICTABLE CHAOS THAT CAN BE CONJURED BY THE FORCES OF NATURE, LAYING WASTE TO EVEN THE BEST-LAID PLANS.
PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID I. MUIR
aribbean-American small businesses, particularly those in South Florida, are no strangers to weather catastrophes. The prolonged economic crisis caused by COVID-19, however, is unprecedented. “It’s brought a high level of uncertainty to the market, especially in areas that are common among Caribbean entrepreneurs such as hospitality, retail, and food and beverage,” says Kurt Dyer, a Jamaicaborn business adviser and vice president of strategic operations at Fortune 500 construction firm, Lemartec. He argues that businesses can endure such trying times with a willingness to sacrifice and adapt. For Caribbean-American entrepreneurs navigating this uncharted territory, Dyer breaks down the essential steps to regroup and reevaluate. “In a very real sense, business is like being at war,” he explains. “You have to be thoughtful,
weighing the pros and cons of advancing or retreating. But if you don’t take these things into consideration, then you become a casualty.”
Faced with reduced revenue, many small business owners turn to emergency loans to continue forward. Dyer advises first curtailing operational costs before assuming debt. “You need to evaluate how you manage your business and look for efficiencies,” he says. For renters, he recommends calculating the potential benefits of breaking the lease. Removing such a major expense from the books may be worth paying the penalties for leaving early. But first, “know your terms,” he advises. “What are your exit clauses? Then do a costbenefit analysis to understand what you are going to lose.” In addition, “a great CPA [Certified Public Accountant] can help you find tax benefits from your losses.” To reduce cash outflow, Dyer also advises that owners renegotiate with suppliers for payment flexibility. “If they normally give you a 90-day credit, ask if they can extend it to 120 days,” he suggests. “For them, it’s always better to have a paying customer than a non-paying one.” Perhaps the hardest cut—but the most necessary—is to personnel. Dyer acknowledges this is an emotional choice for tight-knit small businesses. However, furloughing employees now is better than losing the business forever. “You are doing them a disservice when you keep them and can’t afford them,” he notes. “You then won’t have a business to which they can return.” Instead, Dyer advises that owners focus on individuals that best serve their current needs. “You want to have someone in your shop that can help you navigate this storm.”
REACH OUT FOR ADVICE When looking for new ways to innovate, it’s important to connect with knowledgeable people for guidance. They could be more experienced entrepreneurs in the same field, or those with specialized skills — from building online sales platforms to applying for grants. “Because during a crisis, alliances matter,” says Dyer. “There’s wisdom through counsel.” Chambers of commerce are a fruitful resource, offering workshops where members exchange strategies.
RISK-PROOF FOR THE FUTURE
Mobile apps can help take your brick and mortar business online.
ADAPT YOUR BUSINESS MODEL With continued social distancing protocols, it’s far from business as usual for those who normally operate based on face-to-face interactions. “If you still hold the mindset that the fundamental tenets of your business remain the same after COVID-19, you’re going to fail,” advises Dyer. “Businesses that survive have to readjust their business model to meet the market.” Many operations can find alternate revenue streams by using social media to market and sell to their customers. Others can pivot to more socially distant operations. For example, Dyer has seen businesses like restaurants successfully transition from on-site service to delivery and curbside pickup. “They are now in a better position for the future, because they had to adapt,” he says. They also may have expanded their possible customer base.
Dyer predicts that market instability will extend well into 2021 as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Despite recent breakthroughs in vaccines, wide scale inoculation won’t be possible for at least a year. In response, businesses need to manage their risk exposure. In the short term, this means preparing for more closures. “If you’re in an environment where they’ve had shutdowns in the past, plan for a shutdown again,” he notes. Preserve any operational adjustments made for social distancing, so you can reenact them quickly, as needed. This is a good time to reevaluate contracts for additional protections. “If you didn’t pay attention to your lease agreement before, you sure are going to pay attention now,” jokes Dyer, who recommends discussing business interruption clauses with landlords. He suggests examining how your business insurance specifically addresses losses due to a pandemic. It’s also a great time to seek better terms from vendors, like discounts for quicker payment cycles. Thinking about the big picture, Dyer sees the positive potential of reinventing in response to the pandemic; these current challenges could become opportunities in disguise. “It’s about taking the lessons we learned forward,” he said. “You’re always trying to get lighter and more agile during a time of crisis. But it’s also in these times when we become the most innovative.”
TASTE THE ISLANDS // CHEF CREOLE
CHEF CREOLE NORTH MIAMI
hey now have five locations across Miami. Their North Miami location is fully outfitted for COVID-19 social distancing protocols with a speedy and efficient drive-thru and limited outdoor dining options. For my visit, I opted to eat at the tables outside. After considering a few choices, I was informed the chef had recommendations. So I abandoned my search and settled in for the fun. Chef Creole’s menu has all the familiar favorites. Think griot (Haitian-style fried pork), oxtails, fried fish and a variety of flavored wings. I was offered a surf-and-turf medley featuring stewed conch, fried shrimp and oxtails. Chef Creole’s stewed conch ― served with rice and beans, extra crunchy fried plantains and a fresh salad ― was a flavorful encounter. The conch meat was quite succulent and tender, unlike the typical spongy texture I find with most locally-served conch. Instead, this conch was almost flaky, presented in a creamy sauce of sautéed onions and herbs. The end result is a spicy, salty combination that pairs well with the starchy sides. Their fried shrimp was done to golden brown perfection. Delicately battered, the shrimp dish offered a balanced array of seasonings that didn’t overwhelm the seafood flavor. It was served with fresh vegetables and a side of Haitian-style pikliz (pickled relish) that
FOR THOSE CRAVING AUTHENTIC CARIBBEAN FOOD ON THE DOUBLE, THE CHEF CREOLE RESTAURANT CHAIN HAS BEEN A LONGTIME LOCAL FAVORITE THANKS TO THEIR MENU FILLED WITH HAITIAN AND BAHAMIAN CLASSICS. IT’S THE VISION OF THE FOUNDER AND OWNER, LOCAL CELEBRITY CHEF WILKINSON “KEN” SEJOUR, WHO WAS BORN IN THE BAHAMAS TO HAITIAN PARENTS. WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID I. MUIR
Fried shrimp ‘boxed’ lunch with tartar sauce on the side
was the perfect dressing. Do note, however, that Chef Creole’s signature pikliz is extremely spicy. It should only be consumed with a cool drink close by. If you’ve never had oxtails, I would certainly recommend that you start the journey right here. Chef Creole’s oxtails have the luscious texture of the best beef stew. However, don’t go for them if you are averse to an ample amount of fat in your meal. The extra richness makes these oxtails fall-off-the-bone fabulous, with the most exquisite blend of spices. The beefy flavor remains most prominent, yet the seasoning has its own identity and clearly stands out as the chef’s stamp of individuality. Depending on your palate, this dish may be a tad spicy, but it’s still manageable. In all, Chef Creole gets an A for authenticity for all three dishes I sampled. It’s clear that Chef Ken has ensured his signature flavor is embedded in each selection. And while this is a fast casual dining establishment, the flavor profiles ensure total satisfaction, taking you on a delicious trip across the Caribbean Sea. Chef Creole’s North Miami location is at 13105 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami, Fla. Hours of operations are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday.
TASTE THE ISLANDS // RECIPES
WINTER RECIPES ENJOY THESE RECIPES ADAPTED FROM TASTE THE ISLANDS: CULINARY ADVENTURES IN A CARIBBEAN KITCHEN BY HUGH “CHEF IRIE” SINCLAIR AND CYNTHIA “CHEF THIA” VERNA. THEY’RE MADE WITH HEALTHY INGREDIENTS, AND WILL KEEP YOU WARM THROUGH THE CHILLY DAYS AND NIGHTS! ORDER THE COOKBOOK ON AMAZON.COM
Roasted Red Snapper By Chef Irie
Roasted snapper is a Jamaican favorite. When buying the fish, its eyes should be clear and bright, and it should smell fresh. Placing the water crackers inside the cavity of the fish ensures that each one absorbs the delicious flavor as they roast. Serves 3 INGREDIENTS • 3 whole red snapper (up to 2 pounds each) • 3 tablespoons garlic powder • 3 tablespoons onion powder • 2 tablespoons black pepper • 2 tablespoons kosher salt • 6 whole pods okra • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• ½ cup chayote, julienned • ½ cup carrot, julienned • ½ cup yellow onion, sliced • ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves • 1 tablespoon julienned fresh ginger • 2 scotch bonnet pepper, julienned • 3 water crackers, whole • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
METHOD 1. Rinse each snapper and pat dry. Make 2 to 3 shallow diagonal slits on each side of each fish, being careful not to cut all the way through to the cavity. 2. In a small bowl, make a seasoning blend with the garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. Sprinkle the outsides of the fish with the blend, rubbing into the skin and slits. 3. Cut the ends off of the okra and cut in half lengthwise. Stuff the cavity of each fish with 2 okra halves, a sprig of fresh thyme, and some of the chayo-
te, carrot, onion, parsley, ginger, and scotch bonnet pepper. Lay one whole water cracker in the cavity of each fish, on top of the vegetables and spices. 4. Wrap each fish in foil, creating a tight packet. 5. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. When the grill is hot, lay out the fish packets and grill each side for 15 minutes. If using a hooded grill, cover and grill for 30 minutes without flipping, as the heat will circulate around the pouch. Allow fish to rest for 2 to 3 minutes after removing from the grill before serving.
Cream of Pumpkin Soup By Chef Thia
It’s a Haitian tradition to drink a pumpkin soup called Soup Joumou on New Year’s Day, which is when we celebrate our independence. Haitians believe that this soup will bring happiness and good luck in the New Year. Chef Thia’s version of this soup is creamy and smooth. Serve it with a crusty bread or a French baguette. Serves 4 INGREDIENTS • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1 ½ tablespoons salt • ½ teaspoon black pepper • 1 medium onion, medium diced • 2 stalks scallion, roughly chopped • ¼ cup garlic • ¼ cup red bell pepper • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped • ⅛ cup canola oil • leaves from 1 sprig thyme • 2 medium potatoes, peeled • 4 pounds calabaza pumpkin, large diced • 2 ½ cups vegetable stock • ⅔ cup heavy cream • 2 basil leaves • red pepper flakes for garnish METHOD 1. Boil potatoes and pumpkin separately until fork tender, then drain. 2. Set a large stock pot on medium heat, then add canola oil and butter. When hot, add onion, parsley, garlic, scallion and red bell pepper, and saute until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add thyme
and let the flavor incorporate for another 2 minutes. 3. Cut potatoes into large chunks and add to the pot along with peeled pumpkin, then mix everything together. 4. Add vegetable stock, salt and pepper and bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 5. Add ⅔ cups of heavy cream to the pot. Spoon batches of the pumpkin and potato with the liquid into a blender, then blend and strain into another large pot. 6. Once the entire mixture has been blended and strained, reheat on medium and reduce for 10 minutes to thicken. 7. To decorate servings, add basil leaves finely chopped and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Chef Thia’s Tip: Don’t try to peel the pumpkin raw! Boil it first, then peel when the skin is soft, then proceed with the recipe.
Spicy Corn Salad By Chef Thia
This colorful salad is warm and spicy, and bursting with rich flavor in each bite. It is simple, quick, and budgetfriendly. Try this salad with Chef Thia’s roasted chicken and potatoes from Taste the Islands: Culinary Adventures in a Caribbean Kitchen. Serves 6 - 8 INGREDIENTS • 3 cups organic frozen corn kernels • 1 cup red onion, medium diced • ¼ cup red bell pepper, medium diced • ¼ cup yellow bell pepper, medium diced • ¼ cup orange bell pepper, medium diced • 1 heaping cup jalapeno, small diced • 2 tablespoons olive oil • ½ teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon black pepper • ½ tablespoon lemon juice • ½ tablespoon parsley, chopped METHOD 1. Preheat oven to 350°F 2. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl to incorporate flavors, then spread onto a baking pan. 3. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. 4. Carefully remove from oven, allow to rest for a minute or two. Serve warm.
TASTE THE ISLANDS // RESTAURANT DIRECTORY
LISTING IN SOUTH FLORIDA
AVERAGE COST PER PERSON BEFORE DRINKS, TAX AND TIP. $ Under $10 / person $$ Under $20 / person $$$ Under $40 / person $$$$ Over $40 / person 925 NUEVO’S CUBANO’S | $ Cuban Serving succulent roast pork and delicious sandwiches. 925 N Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale Delivery ALBERTE’S RESTAURANT I$$ Haitian Unique and authentic Caribbean dishes, with live music on Fridays and Saturdays. 1201 NE 38th St, Oakland Park albertesrestaurant.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout ALEXSANDRA’S CARIBBEAN CAFE |$$ Caribbean, Jamaican Soak up some sun while enjoying their famous jerk chicken sandwich and patties. 235 E Commercial Blvd, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Delivery | Takeout ALI’S ROTI SHOP | $ Caribbean, Indian, Vegetarian Tiny counter-serve joint dishing up Trinidadian comfort food like doubles & aloo pie. 3 03 S State Road 7, Plantation Delivery | Takeout LA BELLE JACMELIENNE CAFE | $$ Haitian Haitian décor and friendly staff serving up a wide array of Haitian cuisine 3 328 South University Dr, Miramar Delivery | Takeout
BAMBOO SHACK | $$ Bahamian Quick-service restaurant serving snacks and traditional Bahamian items. 18450 NW 2nd Ave, Miami Gardens Delivery | Takeout
CHEF CREOLE | $$ Haitian Simply delicious signature Haitian seafood. 2 00 NW 54th St, Miami, FL chefcreole.com Takeout
BAHAMIAN REEF SEAFOOD RESTAURANT |$$$ Seafood Low-key and casual with colorful interior. 7836 NW 44th St, Sunrise Delivery | Takeout
CLIVE’S CAFE | $ Jamaican Popular spot for jerk chicken and curry goat. 5 890 NW 2nd Ave, Miami clivescafe.com Delivery | Takeout
EL BOHIO DE MAMA | $$ Dominican Familystyle restaurant offering music, mofongo, shrimp and dancing. 2181 State Road 7, Margate Dine In | Delivery | Takeout BUTTERFLAKES | $ Jamaican Local spot for patties and hot food. 5100 W Commercial Blvd #3, Tamarac butterflakesbakery.com Delivery | Takeout CALYPSO RESTAURANT & RAW BAR | $$ Caribbean Try their Caribbean-style seafood and Jamaican jerk and curry dishes. 4 60 S Cypress Rd., calypsorestaurant.com Dine In | Takeout
COLADA | $ Cuban Family-owned bakery serving savory and sweet Cuban treats and other Cuban cuisine. 5 25 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale coladahouse.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout CONCH HEAVEN | $$ Bahamian Lots of conch based comfort foods, with locations in Miami, Plantation and Atlanta. 1 1275 NW 27th Ave, Miami conchheaven.com Delivery | Takeout CONCH KRAWL CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT | $$ Bahamian, Seafood Enjoy traditional Bahamian and other Caribbean dishes. 2 600 S University Dine In | Takeout
DON ARTURO RESTAURANT | $$ Cuban Serving traditional recipes & drinks in kid-friendly environment. 1 198 SW 27th Ave, Fort Lauderdale donarturorestaurant.com Dine In | Takeout DONNA’S CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT | $$ Jamaican Authentic Jamaican food all day, plus cocktails and Sunday brunch. Nine locations around South Florida. 5 434 N University Drive, Lauderhill donnascaribbean.com Takeout DUKUNOO JAMAICAN KITCHEN | $$ Jamaican Wynwood’s full-service, upscale, Caribbean dining experience. 3 16 NW 24th St, Miami dukunoojamaicankitchen.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout DUNN’S RIVER | $$ Jamaican Authentic Jamaican cuisine in a beautiful ambiance, serving the Hallandale area. 9 08 W Hallandale Beach Blvd, Hallandale Beach Delivery | Takeout DUTCH POT JAMAICAN RESTAURANT | $$ Jamaican Authentic Jamaican cuisine. 3 120 W Broward Blvd, Fort Lauderdale dutchpotrestaurants.com Delivery | Takeout
ESTEFAN KITCHEN | $$$ Cuban Star-powered destination for upscale Cuban cuisine. 140 NE 39th St #133, Delivery FIERY IRIE | $$ Caribbean All your favorite authentic Jamaican dishes. 1 00 S Flamingo Rd, Pembroke Pines fieryirie.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout FINLEY’S BAHAMIAN RESTAURANT | $$ Bahamian Try their breakfast served with johnny cakes or grits, lunch specials daily 2 710 W Atlantic Blvd, Pompano Beach finleysbahamianrestaurant. com Delivery | Takeout HAVANA 1957 | $$ Cuban Quick bites in a buzzing backdrop with Havana memorabilia 4 05 Espanola Way, Miami Beach havana1957.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout ISLAND FUSION GRILL | $$ Jamaican, Cuban Jamaican, Cuban, Asian and Creole flavors with seafood and vegetarian options 4 811 S State Rd 7, Davie, FL 33314 islandfusiongrill.com Delivery | Takeout
LC ROTI SHOP |$ Indian, Vegetarian Cash-only eatery, serving housemade roti with pepper sauce. 19505 NW 2nd Ave, Takeout LITTLE HAVANA | $$ Cuban Authentic Cuban Cuisine 1 2727 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami littlehavanarestaurant.com Dine In | Takeout LOCALICIOUS JAX ICE CREAM | $ Ice Cream Old fashioned, hand made ice cream including Caribbean flavors. 4 220 NW 12th St, Lauderhill Delivery | Takeout JAMAICA KITCHEN | $$ Jamaican Known for their extra spicy beef patties 8 736 SW 72nd St, Miami www.jamaicakitchen.com Dine Outside | Delivery | Takeout
JUANA’S LATIN SPORTS BAR & GRILL |$$ Latin Casual Dominican, Puerto Rican & American sports bar and grill. 1 1602 City Hall juanaslatinsportsbar.com Dine In | Takeout LAS OLAS CAFE | $ Cuban Freshly squeezed juices and Cuban sandwiches. 6 44 6th St, Miami Beach lasolascafesb.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout LAS VEGAS CUBAN CUISINE | $$ Cuban, Latin American A dine-in hot spot with 16 South Florida locations offering Cuban meals and cocktails. 2 807 E Oakland Park Blvd, Ft. Lauderdale Lasvegascubancuisine.com Dine In | Takeout EL MAGO DE LAS FRITAS | $ Cuban Cozy spot for Cuban burgers. 5 828 SW 8th St, Miami elmagodelasfritas.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout
JOY’S ROTI DELIGHT | $$ Trinidadian, Indian Counter-service cafe with Indian-inspired Caribbean cuisine. 1 205 NW 40th Ave, Lauderhill joysrotidelight.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout
MANGU CAFE RESTAURANT | $$ Dominican Bare-bones Dominican spot serving pernil, goat stew, beer & wine. 2 007 W 62nd St, Hialeah Dine In | Delivery | Takeout
JUANA LA CUBANA CAFE |$ Cuban Cuban sandwiches & dishes like ropa vieja & roast pork. 2 850 SW 54th St, Fort Lauderdale juanalacubana.com Dine In | Takeout
MARIO’S CATALINA RESTAURANT | $$$ Cuban Dine in relaxing ambiance, eating Cuban and Spanish 1 611 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale Dine In | Delivery | Takeout
EL OTRO TIESTO CAFE | $$ Dominican Dominican-Japanese fusion with a twist. 3 023 Biscayne Blvd, Miami elotrotiestocafemiami.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout ORTANIQUE ON THE MILE | $$$$ Caribbean Fusion Island flavors, local ingredients, creative cocktails, tropical-themed decor. 2 78 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables ortaniquerestaurants.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout PADRINO’S CUBAN CUISINE | $$ Cuban Serving the best mariquitas, mojito and flan for the past 40 years. 1 135 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale padrinos.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout PANFRIDAYS | $$ Jamaican Try their popular jerk chicken and shrimp pasta. 7 183 W Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderhill panfridays.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout POLLO EL COJIDO | $$ Dominican Delicious mofongo, quesadilla and sancocho. 5 859 N University Dr, Pompano Beach Dine In | Delivery | Takeout POLLO TIPICO | $ Traditional Dominican dishes in a laid-back atmosphere Dine In | Delivery | Takeout
PUERTO SAGUA RESTAURANT | $$ Cuban Known for their soup and oxtail stews 7 00 Collins Ave, Miami Beach Dine In | Takeout REED’S CATERING & CONCESSIONS | $$ Seafood, Caribbean Late night seafood truck, with a specialty of conch salad. 1 2203 NW 27th Ave, Miami Takeout REGGAE PON THE GRILLE | $$ Jamaican, Caribbean Buffet style dining offering tasty Jamaican dishes. 8 032 W McNab Rd, North Lauderdale Reggaeonthegrille.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout ROCK STEADY JAMAICAN BISTRO | $$$ Jamaican, Caribbean Strip-mall cafe with Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken, curries & crab fritters. 2 399 N Federal Hwy - Unit C, Boca Raton r ocksteadyjamaicanbistro.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout SAZON CUBAN CUISINE | $ Cuban Tasty Caribbean cuisine and live weekend entertainment. 7 305 Collins Ave, Miami Beach sazoncubancuisine.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout SHALAMA’S HALAL ROTI SHOP | $ Caribbean, Indian Casual ethnic take-out spot with authentic roti, curries and pepper sauce. 1 432 State Road 7, Dine In | Takeout
SHEIKS BAKERY & CAFE | $ Caribbean, Indian East & West Indian food including halal meats, spices & baked goods. 1 54 University Dr, Pembroke Pines sheiksbakery.com Takeout SWIRL WINE BISTRO |$$ Caribbean, Wine Bar With fresh, high-quality ingredients their culinary team offers a variety of cuisines and wines. 1 435 Lyons Rd, Coconut Creek Delivery | Takeout VEG BY HAKIN | $ Caribbean All-vegan menu and fresh juices served in modest digs. 1 05 North State Rd. 7, Plantation Dine In | Takeout VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT BY HAKIN | $ Caribbean All-vegan menu and fresh juices served in modest digs. 7 3 NE 167th St, North Miami Beach Dine In | Takeout VERSAILLES | $$ Cuban, Latin American Serving tasty Cuban cuisine and culture for four decades. The gauge of the community’s pulse. 3 555 Southwest 8th Street, Miami versaillesrestaurant.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout YARUMBA RESTAURANT & LOUNGE | $$ Dominican Try their traditional stews or Churrasco with live music. 4 740 NW 167th St, Miami Gardens yarumbarestaurant.com Dine In | Delivery | Takeout
FINAL THOUGHT // WELCOME 2021
WELCOME 2021 WRITER CALIBE THOMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID I. MUIR
IN MY OWN MIND, I’M ONLY COMFORTABLE IDENTIFYING AS A DOUBLE-BARREL AMERICAN: CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN, JAMAICAN-AMERICAN, BLACK-AMERICAN. I’VE COME TO ACCEPT THAT I ONLY SEE THE UNITED STATES THROUGH THE LENS OF THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE.
oming from majority Black countries in the Caribbean, where we grew up seeing Black people in leadership at the national level, many of us are still learning about what it means to be Black in America. After 16 years living here full time, I’m still learning. I had seen the understated horrors of the American brand of systemic racism on television and read about it in books. I had probably unknowingly experienced it a few times since becoming a resident, but as an oblivious island girl, I would have just thought people were being rude. 2020 revealed all the gory details that mass media has so often swept under the rug. Once you live here, the contemporaneous assault on Black bodies and the disrespect to Black lives aren’t just something that happens on TV in a land far away that you can’t do anything about, any more — and it’s maddening. The politicization of a pandemic, the rampant spreading of misinformation (a phenomenon I grew up knowing simply as ‘lies’), the embrace of racism and the belief that something is automatically true if somebody you agree with says it — these strange realities have obviously been around for a while, but they’ve been magnified to new levels of clarity this year. The diverse coalition of Americans moving to unify this country under a multicultural administration is offering a glimmer of hope. 2020 has been a challenge, but for us, in the spirit of our Caribbean ancestors, it has also revealed our collective resilience. Ours is the resilience of people who over-
came transplantation and violent oppression, who continue to survive and thrive through natural and manmade disasters, and who have become trailblazers in our homelands, and in this, our adopted home. In this issue, our writers have shared some of the stories of resilience that have been commonplace to Caribbean-Americans, even before this crazy year. In “Little Fires Everywhere”, Carolyn explores some of the unique struggles our community leaders have had to overcome as a result of the pandemic. In “A Year Like No Other”, Caribbean artists talk about the ways 2020’s struggles have affected their approach to bringing beauty into the world. Jahlisa checked in with some of the charities whose good works are bringing calm to troubled waters. And Karen Andre, a political powerhouse, shared how she’s helping ensure that moving forward, the government and the people operate in better unity. I don’t know how or when, but I have faith that good people and level heads will lead America back from her deep division, to once again aspire toward moral greatness. That has been the beacon of America: the promise of the rights to equality and the pursuit of happiness. The resilience that we learned in our homelands is a quality America must embrace and exemplify, better than it ever has before. I pray that our healthcare workers, essential workers, families, leaders, countrymen and everyone who calls this Earth home will find respite in this next trip around the sun. Farewell 2020, welcome 2021! #islandorigins