Grenadian Americans

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Grenadian Americans
Etan Thomas.jpg
Jumaane Williams 2010 CROPPED.jpg
Audre Lorde.jpg
Total population
28,488 (Grenadian ancestry, US census in the year 2010) [1]
31,263 (Grenadian-born, 2013) [2]
Regions with significant populations
Grenadian Creole, American English
Predominantly Roman Catholicism

Grenadian Americans are Americans whose ancestry came from the Caribbean island of Grenada, or a Grenadian having the American citizenship. Although, since 1984, nearly 850 Grenadians arrive legally in the United States each year, the number of Grenadian Americans is of 25,924 in 2000,[1] because they began migrating to the United States primarily from 1950. Between 2007 and 2011, there were approximately 30,320 Grenadian-born residents in the United States.[2]


The Grenadian migration in the United States began in the first half of the twentieth century. The Grenadian first settled in urban areas of the northeastern United States, primarily in New York and Boston. Between 1900 and 1940 the number of Grenadian who emigrated to the United States did not reach a thousand, perhaps only exceeded the 300 people. Grenadian immigration to the United States increased only from the 1950s, after World War II. This increase was due to female migration at the end of the decade. However, few Grenadians were allowed to enter the U.S. legally. Grenadian women often worked as nurses and / or in the domestic services. So when, in the mid-1950s, oil refineries were machined in Grenada and have reduced their operating income, United States allowed a group of oil workers in Grenada emigrated to the this country. These men and women managed migrate to the U.S. legally by various means. Some had made significant relationships at work while they work in the oil enclave or in the naval base (in Chaguaramas, Trinidad) and their bosses had given references to American employers. Others have sent their children to U.S. schools, and once these kids find jobs and sponsors to help them with immigration requirements, they apply for permanent residence for their parents. Others originally traveled to England or emigrated to the United States Virgin Islands, where they worked in oil refineries, to emigrate from there, most of them crossing Canada, to the United States.

Canada sponsored cleanup programs in the Caribbean and also allowed a few hundred women from Grenada to enter the United States as immigrants. After serving the two years mandatory of the Canadian program, these women be settled in areas of Washington, DC, New York, and Boston. During the 1960 United States developed its own program sponsored domestic workers in the Caribbean. Hundreds of women from Grenada entered the United States to work in domestic service in the Northeast, particularly in New York. Following the adoption of the Hart-Celler Immigration Reform, 1965, the number of Grenadian who came to this country increased more. This law replaced the mass emigration from Europe, to the U.S, by the Caribbean. The government find to this foreign policy more advantageous due to a renewed interest in the Caribbean. Statistics from the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the U.S. in the period between 1960 and 1980, totaled in 10,391 the Grenadian who entered the U.S. legally. Although for those years also emigrated illegally many Grenadian. Thus, between 1971 and 1984 just over 12,000 immigrants entered New York from Grenada. In the 1970 and 1980 many Grenadian who emigrated from Grenada to the United States not only leave the island for economic reasons. They also do it for political reasons, rejected the change politician of Granada, because which was were outside the pro-democratic values to the ideas associated with communism.[3] In September 2009, an American of Grenadian descent, Jumaane Williams, became the first Grenadian-American in New York City's Council.[4]


Since 1984 about 850 Grenadian arrive legally in the United States each year. At present, the number of Grenadian who could enter the U.S. legally is very low compared to European immigrants arriving in the United States, but, however, the number of Grenadian that might come, exceed the allowed number of the same at the beginning of the century. The Grenadian moved to the U.S. for a number of reasons, such as to achieve better economic and political conditions in the United States. They live with relatives who emigrated to United States before of them. While living in the United States, many Grenadian maintain contact with family members still reside on the island. Sometimes many Grenadian Americans leave the United States for visits to their relatives on the island and the islanders are constantly flying to the United States to visit relatives living in this country. Some of these visitors to the island to use his visit as a means of illegal entry into the United States. These people, to find work in the United States or attend schools in the United States, don't often return to Granada. Although the majority language is English, many Grenadian Americans also speak their "creole" or "broken Creole, a combination of French, Inglés, and African patois. In his religion most Grenadians (53 percent) are Roman Catholic. Protestant sects are about 33 percent of the population. Islam is also practiced by some Grenadian Americans. A small number of Grenadians practice a faith known as Rastafarianism. Granadian older immigrants still retain many traditional customs of Grenada and the values of their homeland, while younger Americans Granadian began to take on the traditional customs of the United States and its values, particularly the African Americans.

Despite this shift in values, contact with and support to Grenadian in the island remains high. Many organizations have been created by Americans of Grenadian origin in the United States whose primary objective is to send funds to support the island. New York is the main place of emigration Grenadian in the world.[3]


Most Grenadian Americans are descendants of African slaves. Other Grenadians ethnic groups are mulattos (mixture of black and European), East Indians (who are descended from laborers who worked on plantations after the slaves were freed), and whites of European origin. Immigrating to the United States has in many cases meant moving into neighborhoods dominated by African American culture.[3]


Education is very important for the Grenadian American, as this is for this group a way to prosper in United States. Thus, they attend school every day, meeting with U.S. law. Most people in this group attends public schools, but there are some who study in private schools, especially, parochial schools. There are also many Grenadian of adult age who have decided to study for a technical training or finish high school. There is also growing the number of Grenadian who attend college in the United States. Although many Grenadian entering the United States in order to have in the future a better job in Grenada, they end up settling permanently in the United States, raising a family. Although there are some returning to Grenada to help their compatriots in their country.[3]


The Grenadines Americans still retain strong ties to Grenada, knowing much of the politics of this country, which is received by radio, newspapers and television by the Grenadian American. Knowledge about political activities and the actual life of Grenada are also known by the Grenadian Americans through its telephone communication with family and friends who still live there. In addition, most Grenadian Americans supported the invasion American of Grenada in 1983 because they believed that, in this way, the U.S. could restore democracy in that country.

The Grenadian living in the U.S. tend to help people who still live in their country of origin. In fact, 28 January 1999 came out a press release from the office of Prime Minister of Grenada which indicated that just the day before, nearly 300 Americans met with (the then) Grenadian Prime Minister Keith Mitchell in the American city of Boston, to ask how they could participate in the development of Grenada. He explained that they should adopt educational institutions, supply of equipment and technical development of Grenada to facilitate the work of the Grenadian. Thus, the Grenadian Americans introduced a school in Grenada and donate equipment and supplies annually.[3]


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