Annette Kerr and Reveree Jahman had difficulties adapting to American society but were able to find an organization that allowed them to incorporate aspects of their culture into their new communities.
The two Jamaicans had to adapt to an entirely new culture in the United States while dealing with how their culture was perceived.
Kerr is one of the founding members of the Caribbean Heritage Arts Preservation Society located at 1529 Belfield Ave.
“Typically, you think of Caribbean’s making reggae hats or dancing to dance hall music, but we are so much more,” Kerr said.
She created a museum to honor Caribbean art and to spread the traditions and culture to others.
Jahman left Jamaica at the age of 10 while Kerr left immediately after high school to attend Bronx Community College where she received her associate’s degree. She then attended Fordham University, where she earned an undergraduate degree in nursing.
Jahman completed high school and picked up a trade in computers.
When he came to Philadelphia he spoke rarely because the differences he saw in
“I was very quiet growing up, but I eventually found more Caribbean’s to associate with,” Jahman said. “Now it’s very fulfilling to provide an outlet for Caribbeans to come to that live in Philadelphia.”
Kerr visited Philadelphia a lot during her time in college and decided to settle in the city after she graduated.
“It seemed more like Jamaica, there is a mixture of city and country and that’s how Jamaica is,” Kerr said.
Kerr did not originally see herself working for an organization like the Caribbean Heritage Arts Preservation Society, but she said she always liked to volunteer for community events and enjoyed helping people.
“I’ve always wanted to help people so what better way to do it than on a global scale where I can help folks that I don’t even know,” Kerr said. “It’s a wonderful feeling.”