The book tells the story of a girl from the island of Jamaica and some of the cultural practices she experienced while growing up with her grandma in a rural area on the island.
If you are from the Caribbean the story may have a frame of reference for you, but if you have not experienced Caribbean life, you may not understand the value this book brings to the cultural consciousness dialogue. If for nothing else, everyone should pick up a copy of “My Caribbean Grandma” and read it with a critical eye. It will either inspire cultural pride or addresses culture on a level that most people don’t often get a glimpse of, or understand. The latter will therefore leave you with questions to ask the author or a person from the Caribbean. Keep in mind that all Caribbean people are not the same and have not had the same experiences.
Most Caribbean people abroad get lost in the process of assimilation and in so doing often do not get an opportunity to be their authentic selves. Assimilation forces them to forget important parts of who they are authentically, and they are sometimes forced to become “new” people. Hence the need for books such as this one.
The author of “My Caribbean Grandma”/ “Mi abuela Caribeña” wants readers to follow her on a journey as she returns to childhood memories filled with authenticity. The journey takes readers back in time to see the life that most Caribbean children left in the care of their grandparents’ experience. It is real, and culturally authentic.
So how does this book lend itself to the conversation about cultural responsiveness? After reading the book the reader must engage in conversations that allows them to …
- Examine their own cultural beliefs and behaviors so they can broaden their cultural responsivity to other people’s cultures.
- Learn how to develop a culturally responsive perspective that will allow us to be more confortable with each other
- Learn what happens when we are not culturally responsive
- Increase their knowledge base, freedom, comfort, and passion
- Develop cultural self- awareness
- Appreciate the value of diverse views
- Avoid imposing your own values on others