About The Festival

Celebrating June, Caribbean American Heritage Month
 One of our core missions of The Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas is to recognize and annually celebrate National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, June of every year with our Cultural Heritage Festival; in doing so, we will work to bring awareness to the contributions made to our society and culture of peoples of Caribbean heritage and highlighting the contribution made by Caribbean immigrants to the United States and Texas.

Our 1st Annual National Caribbean-American Heritage Month Festival began in 2010 on the steps of City Hall where we received a City of Houston Proclamation from Council Members Jolanda “Jo” Jones and C.O. “Brad” Bradford.  The Proclamation, on behalf of Mayor Annise Parker, declared June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month in the City of Houston. The Festival, open to all groups and organizations of all backgrounds and diversities, continues to grow and is becoming a cornerstone of tourism in the Greater Houston Area, and will be for many years to come.  The 2015 festival was a feast for the eyes and ears, and those in attendance enjoyed the great Caribbean Heritage celebration, complete with fabulous native music, exuberant cultural dancing and delicious authentic foods.

For almost six years, The Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas, since President Bush’s historic signing of Proclamation 8026, has done our part in Houston to celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month on a visible scale. Caribbean American Heritage Month has highlighted the achievements of Caribbean-Americans in Houston, which is the fourth largest city in the U.S., the largest city in Texas and voted the most diverse city in the United States. Our 5th Annual Festival demonstrated our commitment both to Houston and to our Caribbean Community; our longevity also highlights our determination to continue working and making our contribution to Houston as an international city.  We seek to continue the efforts of the former International Festival to promote Houston as the most diverse city in the country.

At Caribbean American Heritage Month

Caribbean immigrants have been contributing to the well-being of American society since its founding. Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury was from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. We count among our famous sons and daughters, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Cicely Tyson, WEB Dubois, James Weldon Johnson, Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier to name a few. Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) effort began in 1999 with a petition to President Clinton for the recognition of a Caribbean American Heritage Month.

In 2000, ICS began leading the celebration of June as Caribbean American Heritage Month in Washington DC, building on efforts started by a now defunct Ad-Hoc Group of Washington DC residents to have a Caribbean Heritage Month in Washington DC in 1999. The official Campaign for a National Caribbean American Heritage Month began in 2004, when the Bill was tabled in Congress by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, with language provided by ICS Founder and President, Dr. Claire Nelson. The Bill was reintroduced and passed the House in June, 2005, and the Senate in February, 2006. A Proclamation making the Resolution official was signed by President Bush on June 5, 2006.

President George W. Bush Signed Proclamation 8026 – Caribbean Heritage Month 2006 on June 8, 2006.  The Proclamation stated in part: “Our Nation has thrived as a country of immigrants, and we are more vibrant and hopeful because of the talent, faith, and values of Caribbean Americans. For centuries, Caribbean Americans have enriched our society and added to the strength of America. There have been leaders in government, sports, entertainment, the arts, and many other fields. During the month of June, we also honor the friendship between the United States and the Caribbean countries. We are united by our common values and shared history, and I join all Americans in celebrating the rich Caribbean heritage and the many ways in which Caribbean Americans have helped shape this Nation.”