New York

Masses celebrate Caribbean Heritage Month in central Brooklyn

NEW YORK — Inside a Flatbush Avenue cafe coated in tropical flowers, Allison Dunn, an immigrant from Jamaica, blends sorrel right into a smoothie. The purple drink, usually loved in the Caribbean, is fabricated from hibiscus flowers. 

“I wanted to capture that feeling that you have around the holiday time and bring that here to Brooklyn,” stated Dunn, the proprietor of Hibiscus Brew, which opened in September 2020. 

Her mom makes the sorrel used in the colourful concoctions. Dunn stated regardless of the challenges she confronted to get this business operating, she needed to create one thing that reminded her and different Caribbean immigrants of their house nation.

“I really wanted to create a space that sparked joy for people,” she instructed CBS2’s Hannah Kliger on Monday.

There are hundreds of tales like this in Brooklyn’s “Little Caribbean,” a neighborhood formally distinguished in 2017. It’s the primary and solely such designation in the world, acknowledged for having the biggest and most numerous Caribbean inhabitants exterior the West Indies. Shelley Worrell, the founding father of Caribbeing, spearheaded the motion. 

“I wanted to know why one of the largest immigrant populations did not have a community on the map, and nobody could really answer that question back then,” Worrell stated. 

Now excursions run by means of the realm. Last week, native leaders got here out for a current one in honor of Caribbean Heritage Month. State Sen. Zellnor Myrie stated he is nervous about rising housing prices in this neighborhood.

“I was born and raised not too far from here, I still live here but only because I have a rent-stabilized apartment,” stated Myrie, expressing concern that the problem may alter the character of the neighborhood.

Still, leaders like Myrie say formally recognizing “Little Caribbean” on the map additionally empowers residents. 

“We’ve made this place attractive in the first place, so we should be getting first dibs on staying and continuing to make it vibrant,” he stated.

For now, residents in the realm proceed to benefit from the style of the islands with out ever leaving house. 

Click here for extra details about excursions of the neighborhood and well-liked landmarks in “Little Caribbean.”

Have a narrative concept or tip in Brooklyn? Email Hannah by CLICKING HERE.

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