Ivan and Cordelia Daniel
Ivan and Cordelia Daniel are my grandparents, they migrated to the United States from Barbados when my mother June, was 12 years old. I would have never imagined that the amazing things that have recently happened to me were closely tied to my Caribbean Heritage. Today I own Island Inspired brand Boshemia , and I am Creative Director and Chief Operations Officer of Caribbean Heritage Magazine. My grandparents had a dream of coming to the “States” to give their children and grandchildren a better life with many more opportunities than they had. They more than accomplished this.
When my mother tells me of her life in Barbados it is mixed with joys and challenges. She talks about how good food tasted cooked in a cast iron pot over an open fire, the meat, rice, herbs and spices cooked together tinged slightly blue from the iron. She also talks about not having running water or tv. She talks about the challenges of understanding English spoken in the U.S. the struggle for her own accent be understood. She recalls the assistance the family received from relatives and the church, shopping for clothes in the thrift shop but always having tea, bread, and a ham in the fridge to eat when they arrived home from work and school. She also spoke of how hard my grandparents worked and how they encouraged my mother and her siblings to do the same. She spoke of my grandfather going to night school to get a U.S. High School diploma and my grandmother doing private duty nursing. She talked about becoming a U.S. Citizen. I know I am a legacy and a dream come true combined. To have the opportunity to promote, celebrate and share the many contributions of Caribbean people with the world, would make my grandparents so proud to see. To know our culture and history was not lost when they came here would make them happy that they left their indelible marks on their grandchildren. I am a Bajan-American and I plan to let everyone know exactly who I am!