Southern Boulevard


The Central American Independence Day Parade is being held tomorrow in Southern Boulevard/Crotona Park and is well worth attending. The best-represented nations at the parade are Honduras and Guatemala. El Salvador and Panama have their own festivities on different dates in Hempstead and Brooklyn, respectively. The heart of the parade, however, belongs to the Garifuna people. Descended from the Ibibio people of present-day Southeastern Nigeria who escaped from shipwrecked slave ships who married indigenous Carib people, the Garifuna successfully resisted slavery until they were deported by the British from the island of St. Vincent. The British separated Garifuna by their racial features, taking the ones who looked more African to the island of Roatan, Honduras. From there, the Garifuna moved to the coasts of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Many worked on ships and found their way to inner cities of the United States, settling in the South Bronx, Brownsville and East New York, South Central Los Angeles, Houston and New Orleans.