A Girl from Guava Island

As a little girl I grew up with people who looked like me, and people who didn’t. Living in the cultural epicenter of Brooklyn, I would eat oxtail, swordfish and mangoes regularly. I was brought up on reggae and soca music and looked forward to the West Indian Day parade in the heat of August. I love everything about being Afro-Caribbean. A film like Guava Island, starring Rihanna and Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, shows the socio-economic colonial stagnation of the Caribbean while also showing the power of music, love, and everything in between. The movie stands as a homage to the historical bondage many Afro-Caribbean peoples faced and still face today. The ‘Islands’ are rich with fruits, crystal clear blue waters and golden sunshine, but also gun violence and poverty. Much like my great grandparents who sought to leave Barbados for a better life in America, the film draws from these commonly held beliefs. A girl like me, with skin like sun-kissed sand, saw a film like Guava Island and it reminded me of the good and bad of where I come from, but all the same it reminded me of home.