Forget the Forbes 30 under 30 list, now there is Carib30.
As I approached my 30th birthday back in March, I took a lot of time to think about the many lessons I learned in my 20’s and how it has prepared me for this next decade in my life. Of course there’s the constant pre-30 questions: When are you getting married? When do you want to have kids? What’s next in your life?
The more I was bombarded with these questions, the more I wanted to shout to the world, I’m almost 30 and I have written two books, two plays, produced films and taught kids all around the world! I should be on the Forbes 30 under 30 List! So that’s just what I did, I applied to be on it. I didn’t get it. But in my short-lived hour of disappointment, I had an idea to start my own spotlight series, a series that featured Caribbean Diaspora millennials who were influencing the world in arts and culture. And that’s how Carib30 was born.
For me, my cultural heritage, being both Trinidadian and African-American from Washington, DC, deeply influence my perspectives on life – personally, politically and professionally. I was interested to meet, learn and share the perspectives of Caribbean Diaspora artists and change makers, who are all influencing their communities. I wanted to know not only about what makes them professionally fabulous but also how their rich Caribbean heritage influences their work, identity and communities.
In a time, where it’s cool to be conveniently Caribbean when a Rihanna song comes on or when you want to have an excuse to excessively drink and party at Carnival, I want Carib30 to provide a deeper look into the life and complexity of Caribbean culture and it’s young people who unapologetically claim their Caribbean identity and the many forms it takes on.
Every day this June, for Caribbean Heritage Month, Carib30 will highlight not Caribbean celebrities, not seasoned professionals, but Caribbean rooted mid career-professionals throughout the Caribbean Diaspora from America, Trinidad, Tobago, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, St. Kitts, Nevis, Bahamas, Antigua and the Dominican Republic. These professionals are just as diverse as the islands they represent; they are performers, entrepreneurs, educators, photographers, business owners, composers, writers, professors, who are all working to enhance their communities and cultures.
Caribbean culture and people are very rich and complex, we come in all different colors, speak different languages and dialects, share different food and music traditions, but we all share a common thread, a love and desire to preserve and celebrate our culture. Carib30 is that love. Follow the Carib30 series at www.douglagirlcreates.tumblr.com.
By Marjuan Canady
Marjuan Canady is a native Washingtonian with Trinidadian/African-American roots, is a published writer, actress, playwright, director, entrepreneur, educator and producer for both film and the stage. She is the Founder of her multi-media production company, Sepia Works. Ms. Canady is the Founder/CEO of Callaloo, a cultural children’s media brand that promotes cultural literacy for kids. In three years, she has led her Callaloo team in producing two children’s books, a web-series, live performances and digital content for children worldwide.
Learn more at www.marjuancanady.com