Years ago, Trisha’s* mother, father, grandmother, aunts and uncles decided to leave their quiet life in St. Georges, Grenada and make the trip to America. Trisha* was not present during her family’s migration- she was born in the United States years later- but was kind enough to sit down and talk with me about her family’s immigration and her life in America.
My family is from St. Georges in Grenada. It’s a small island country in the Caribbean Sea. It’s above Trinidad and Tobago if you look on a map. My grandma, aunts, uncles and parents came here way before I was born. I think my parents were around 18. They all came at different times. They never described the process of immigrating here. Some moved to New York, others moved to New Jersey. My parents and grandma came to New York. I’m actually not one hundred percent sure why they came here, most likely for better opportunities. It wasn’t bad in Grenada. I went there to visit, and they ever told me anything to suggest that it was bad. It was pretty normal. My parents were both young and fresh out of high school when they first came here. They didn’t work back home.
School in America:
I do remember my first day of school. I remember running back to my mommy at first but I eventually went to class and ended up enjoying my first day. I really loved my teacher. I can’t think of her name rigth now, which is really annoying, but I remember her. She was great. She smiled a lot and I remember her always smelling like vanilla. She was a good listener too. She would listen to all our stories and jokes. I also met my best friend on my first day of school. We’re still best friends. It’s actually kind of funny how we became friends. She hit me on the line to go to the bathroom and I told our teacher. Our teacher asked her why she hit me and she said because she didn’t like me. As punishment, our teacher made her write me a sorry letter and sit next to me for the rest of the day. It sounds weird, but after a couple minuets of sitting next to each other we started talking and realized we both liked The Lion King. And we’ve been friends ever since.
Hmmm…. aside from my family, I owe a great deal of my own personal happiness to my supportive friends and my dance teachers. My friends have always supported me in any decision I’ve ever made. Even if they don’t agree, they’ll always support me, and that’s what I really look for and cherish in a friend. A true friend.
I’ve been dancing since I was four and I met a lot of my closest friends in dance class. Dance was my mother’s idea. She noticed I wouldn’t stop moving whenever anyone in the house started playing music and she signed me up as soon as she could. I loved it right away and I haven’t stopped dancing since. When I put my every thing into it, sometimes I feel like I’m dancing with my soul, if that makes any sense. It’s my passion. I love it and I’m grateful for my mother putting my in dance school.
Life In Grenada…? :
Honestly, I’ve never given much thought about what my life would have been like if I had been born and raised there instead of here. I can’t really imagine many drastic changes. St. Georges is very crowded, much like Brooklyn. It’s much prettier in St. Georges, however. I will say that. Other than that, I can’t see very many differences. Maybe I haven’t given it so much thought because I’ve only been there once and the only life I know right now really is my life here in America. I’m not sure.
I identify myself as African American. I haven’t given much thought to this either and I’m sure there are other second generation Grenadian immigrants who consider themselves Grenadian or Grenadian-America, but I’ve always just considered myself to be African American. I’m black and I was born in America.
No. My family and I don’t practice any customs from Grenada. I don’t know why. I never really thought about it or asked.
Successful Immigration? :
Yes. I’d say my family’s immigration was a success…. I don’t know how to elaborate on that really. I’m sure they would have a better insight on that than me. I will say however that I love living in America. I love the people I meet, the places I go and the unlimited opportunities I have and I’m very appreciative for my life in America.
Date of interview: May 7, 2014
* = Indicates name change
The person interviewed did not feel comfortable being photographed and asked for their name to be changed