Updated: Oct 15, 2022
If you're reading this, it means you're probably a resident of Utah (native or transplant) who's either been to the Caribbean before or is curious about Caribbean culture. Either way, I'm glad you're here!
And if you're not a resident of Utah but happened to stumble on my blog, welcome! Come for a visit sometime, where we'll make you feel at home, #Caribbean style!
A quick and perhaps obvious fact about #Utah is that the Black population is only 2% here, which means that your chance of meeting or gathering with the African or Afro-Caribbean people here are very slim. So, be sure to follow me on Instagram for regular updates on such gatherings.
For this introductory #blog entry in this guide, allow me to share with you a handful of Afro-Caribbean programs that I've either participated in or organized recently or will in the near future in collaboration with my friends of African descent.
But first, I should probably introduce myself. I am Michaëlle Martial, but I almost always go by my stage name, The Caribbean Nightingale, or Le Rossignol des Antilles (for my French speaking/Francophone friends).
I was born and raised in the first Black independent country known as #Haiti. It is in the Caribbean and shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. I moved to the US for college some years ago. For the last decade or so, I have consistently called Utah home where I have been raising my family and sharing my Afro-Caribbean inspired Spoken Word Poetry.
While living in Utah, I've even had the opportunity to be the Guest Poet at a presidential campaign event for US Senator, Bernie Sanders in February 2020! But that's a story for another blog entry...
Needless to say, I feel grateful for the many opportunities as well as unique memories I've been blessed to either receive or create in Utah although this U.S. state is nowhere close to any island or the Caribbean for that matter. In fact, the state of Utah's climate is that of a desert that happens to experience all four seasons.
Park City, Utah is world famous for having "the best snow on earth". Because of the yearly Sundance Film Festival and its renowned ski resorts Park City has consistently attracted tourists from all over the world specifically in the winter months.
Other notable cities in Utah are Salt Lake City, Ogden, Cedar City, and Provo.
Salt Lake City, Utah is known for being the headquarters of the (Mormon) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and for housing the University of Utah's Black Cultural Center. Provo, Utah is home to Brigham Young University, an LDS church university while Cedar City is home to the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Last but not least, Ogden is a historic city that has produced Utah's first Black mayor in the early 2000's while I was attending BYU-Provo.
Now back to the cultural programs I was telling you about at the beginning of this blog. As a side not, you will find that my writer brain does go off on tangents from time to time, but I promise, I will always come back to the point :)
Enjoy the photos of said events below and be sure to join us for more events and classes where you can catch more #island vibes with me!
Event 1 by the newly formed and soon to be registered Utah Caribbean Association
Utah Caribbean Family Potluck on 9/04/22 (Click on photo to go to join their Facebook group)
Event 2 by The Caribbean Nightingale (me) in collaboration with the University of Utah's Black Cultural Center, Bomba Marilé, Ngoma Y'Africa, FATSO Crema
Caribbean Sunday Brunch/Open Mic/Book Pre-Launch at the Black Cultural Center (#UniversityOfUtah) on 9/11/22
Check out these upcoming events in September where you'll find me performing or supporting
Sema Hadithi's Ancestral Weekend Program on Fri. 9/16 and Sat. 9/17 (Click on image to go to organizer's page for details & registration)
Bomba Marilé's Hispanic Heritage Celebration on 9/25/22 (Click on image to go to organizer's page for details & registration)
You may also want to check out the Fall classes and events by Ngoma Y'Africa
If you haven't yet, make sure you subscribe to my website and/or newsletter to be the first to receive a personal invitation to my upcoming cooking classes, virtual open mics, pre-launch and book launch events!
Thanks for reading! Mèsi, merci, gracias... Come back to my blog again soon! Au revoir, N'a wè, hasta luego
a poet's touch