All of my life, I've met people from the Caribbean and they have been such nice people. I really feel an affinity with them for some reason. They just seem to be some of the most friendly people and always have those beautiful smiles.
The mothers in the Caribbean definitely must teach their children manners. I can relate.
I'm from the south and honestly, I sometimes feel like they act like Southerners. It's eerie. Their mannerisms, values and general attitudes are so similar. Like southerners, in part, most of the West Indians I've encountered definitely seem to be very conservative.
It's funny how you meet someone and see yourself.
My family is planning our reunion for 2012 and I'm praying that we do another Caribbean cruise. If so, I'm already packed.
Now, I'm well aware of the cultural issues that can arise and African Americans at times have not always been hospitable to our brethren from the islands. Many West Indians have acknowledged this to me over the years--it's caused great hostility in certain parts of the country. What I've discovered is that many move to the northeastern parts of this country and are first introduced to African Americans. The people they encounter...in my opinion, are some of the most dysfunctional in this country. Therefore, a paradigm is set and people develop concepts about us that can last generations.
Southern folk and West Indians seem to get along much better and living in Georgia, I've seen influxes of West Indians moving down here as well as other parts of the south.
If there are West Indians here, they can verify this...but overall, I do appreciate the friendships I've made with people from the various islands and I do encourage other African Americans to look beyond people's cultures and see their humanity.
We are always treated with hospitality in the Caribbean for those who've visited the islands. That hospitality then should be reciprocated to our brethren who immigrate here or those we encounter in everyday life.
If anyone is taking a trip to the Caribbean this year, make sure you support the local people on the island--not the cruise ships or resorts. This is a great help to the economy but most important; your dollars are getting to the people who need it the most.