Dreams of Opulence

This years Labor Day celebration was like ones before, with added political bewilderment, and natures devastation. Young people protected under the DREAM Act were worried of their future in their own home. People had nowhere to live after storms uprooted their lives. People like me were essentially being protested for existing and having a portion of the rights and opportunities white people are born with. Throughout the weekend, I thought about our conditions and felt a sting of guilt that I was preparing to parade in the streets of Brooklyn.

With the changes in my city and the constant criticism of my culture, the new tenants of Brooklyn do not understand our celebrations. Gentrification is directly affecting the Steele Band community. As a result of the violence, J’ouvert’s schedule changed. I’ve heard discussions of what should be the fate of J’ouvert, one Caribbean DJ suggested it should be one big party in one location. I was so perplexed because I felt this person should know J’ouvert is more than a street party, like the other events during the weekend it is a competition. Well if he didn’t know how will people looking in know? How would I have known if I never participated in my family’s culture. I will continue to put on my costume and support the individuals, bands and associations working hard, creating opportunities for themselves and maintaining a culture for those living abroad to make a better life for the next generations.

I will continue to do my part and help others in need, and not feel guilty for my decisions. I will tote my parents flags because I am proud of them and where they come from. I will accept others for who they are without looking down on them because of where they started or ended.

We all deserve to live the life we dream of, none are too big or small.