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  • Virgin Islands Culture
2024 VI History Month - Environmental Stewardship Program Challenge:
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The "Cultivating Our Culture, Conserving Our Land" challenge is an initiative tailored for classrooms throughout the Virgin Islands, encouraging them to engage in environmental stewardship activities interwoven with the cultural heritage and history of the territory. This challenge aims to inspire classrooms to develop and execute projects addressing local environmental issues while highlighting the cultural and historical significance of the Virgin Islands. It also fosters a deeper understanding among students of their role as stewards of both their natural and cultural heritage. By encouraging collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking in solving environmental challenges with a cultural perspective, the challenge provides a unique platform for holistic learning and community engagement.Challenge submissions due on April 19th, 2024https://forms.office.com/r/BRS5gicnJV?origin=lprLink

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Environmental Science
Life Science
Social Science
Virgin Islands Culture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
02/14/2024
2024 Virgin Islands History Month - Digital Storytelling and Oral History Project/Challenge
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The Digital Storytelling and Oral History Project is a student-centered initiative designed to connect young learners with the heritage stories of their community's past through the art of storytelling and the practice of oral history collection. This project encourages students to become active participants in the preservation of their cultural heritage by engaging with elders, community leaders, and family members to document stories, legends, personal histories, and the lived experiences of their community. 

Subject:
Caribbean History
Education
Social Science
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
02/14/2024
Crucian Cultural Cuisine: Guava Jelly & Green Gage with Sandra Gerard
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In episode 1 of Crucian Cultural Cuisine, Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education Director Stephanie Brown learns how to make Guava Jelly & Green Gage ...

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Culinary Arts
Social Science
Virgin Islands Culture
Material Type:
Assessment
Author:
Crucian Cultural Group
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
08/10/2021
Danish National Archives, Tips and Tricks for Danish West Indies Genealogy Research by Dante Beretta
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This lecture entitled “Danish National Archives, Tips and Tricks for Danish West Indies Genealogy Research” is presented by researcher Dante Beretta.

The Danish National Archives (Rigsarkivet) has the largest collection of historical documents related to the Danish West Indies, now known as the U.S. Virgin Islands. Dante will share tips and tricks on how to be more effective in discovering your family story in these valuable documents. He uses his own family research as an example throughout the presentation.

Dante has researched his family story in the Virgin Islands/Danish West Indies through many generations and writes family stories as short vignettes, including "My Emancipated Ancestors", “How Crown House Survived the Hurricane of 1916", "Early St. Thomas Panoramas - 1850s", and "Taking the Last Danish Census - 1911" just to name a few. Dante’s familiarity with the Danish records is tied to his research and to his experience as a volunteer helping to transcribe records within the Danish National Archives West Indies Collection.

About the Danish Archives West Indies Collection
In 2017, with the support of AP Møller and his wife, Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller's Foundation for General Purposes and the Ministry of Culture, the National Archives marked the anniversary by disseminating the original documents and sources as well as the history of the colonial era. The National Archives 'digitization project "Danish West Indies - sources of history" ran for four years, and the digitized records were presented on the website www.virgin-islands-history.org. There you can find an enormous number of records, descriptions, protocols, letters, and illustrations, all of which provide a unique insight into history. The documents became available to everyone on March 1st, 2017, via the website.

The documents from Denmark's colonial era in the West Indies were included in UNESCO's list of world cultural heritage in 1997 and are thus recognized as an important part of the world's cultural heritage. But for many years, the documents have almost only been used by a small group of particularly interested researchers in Denmark. The National Archives wanted everyone to have access to the sources - including all those who have family ties back to the colony, regardless of whether they live in the West Indies, in Denmark, or the USA.

The National Archives scanned and digitized most of the documents and offer a list of archive creators and archive series on the website. Now everyone has access to the documents without having to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark. It just requires a computer, access to the web, and a good portion of patience!

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Caribbean History
Cultural Geography
History
Social Science
Virgin Islands Culture
World Cultures
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Dante Beretta
Date Added:
12/13/2022
Dr. Ayana Omilade Flewellen of the Society of Black Archeologists
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In this enlightening lecture, Dr. Ayana Omilade Flewellen, a distinguished professor at Stanford University, explores the intersections of black feminism, archaeology, and storytelling. She advocates for the centrality of black women's experiences in historical narratives and discusses the multifaceted role of archaeology in public history and cultural preservation. The talk features her work with the Society of Black Archaeologists and Diving With a Purpose, emphasizing the need for diversity in the field and the significance of underwater archaeology in heritage conservation. Dr. Flewellen also presents the Estate Little Princess project in St. Croix, a groundbreaking initiative combining terrestrial and underwater archaeology to uncover and preserve Afro-Crucian history. The lecture is a compelling call to recognize and engage with the rich, often untold, histories that shape our world, making it a valuable resource for students, educators, and anyone interested in the dynamic fields of archaeology and cultural heritage.

Subject:
Archaeology
Caribbean History
Environmental Science
Information Science
Mariculture
Maritime Science
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Women's Studies
Material Type:
Lecture
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
01/29/2024
Emancipation in the Virgin Islands: A Lecture by State Historian George  Tyson
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In this comprehensive lecture, Dr. George Tyson, a renowned historian and leading scholar on the history of the Virgin Islands, provides an in-depth analysis of the 1848 Emancipation Revolt in the Virgin Islands. Celebrating the 175th anniversary of this pivotal event, Dr. Tyson's talk is part of Virgin Island's History Month, focusing on the theme "Emancipation Now: Understanding History, Living the Legacy, and Creating a Just Future for All."Dr. Tyson, with his extensive background in teaching and historical preservation, emphasizes the collective action of thousands of enslaved persons achieving emancipation, challenging the traditional narrative that credits the event to a few individuals. He meticulously recounts the events leading up to and following the July 3rd uprising, highlighting the peaceful nature of the revolt compared to other emancipation movements in the Caribbean. The lecture delves into the historical context, including the influence of royal decrees and the spirit of protest among the enslaved population.Dr. Tyson argues for the importance of understanding emancipation as part of a broader democratic movement against royalism and social injustice, linking it to the American, French, and Haitian revolutions. A significant portion of the talk is dedicated to identifying key emancipation sites on St. Croix, advocating for their preservation as educational tools and historical monuments. 

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Caribbean History
Political Science
Social Science
U.S. History
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
World History
Material Type:
Lecture
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
01/29/2024
Exploring Caribbean Influence in Hip-Hop Music
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1. To introduce students to the Caribbean influence in hip-hop music, focusing on the pioneering group Salt-N-Pepa and the contemporary success of R. City.2. To explore how artists from the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean have contributed to the popularity and expansion of hip-hop music.3. To encourage students to appreciate and celebrate their cultural heritage while embracing diverse narratives in the world of music.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Caribbean History
U.S. History
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Women's Studies
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
08/02/2023
The Fireburn of 1878
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These lesson plans delve deep into the pivotal event of the 1878 Fireburn, a significant labor uprising in the Virgin Islands. Rooted in the struggles for human rights, freedom from serfdom variants, and improved labor conditions, the Fireburn stands as a testament to the resilience and courage of estate laborers like Mary Thomas, Axeline Salomon, Mathilde McBean, and Susanna Abramson. Through a series of interactive activities, multimedia resources, and critical discussions, students will journey through the socio-political landscape of the former Danish West Indies, understanding the factors leading up to the uprising and its profound aftermath. The module aims to not only educate but also instill a sense of pride and recognition of the sacrifices made by those who stood up against oppression, shaping the fabric of our heritage and the equity we cherish today in the Virgin Islands of the United States. 

Subject:
Applied Science
Arts and Humanities
Education
History
Literature
Philosophy
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lecture Notes
Lesson
Primary Source
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
09/29/2023
"Hardships of The Maroons in the Danish West Indies" by Professor Olasee Davis
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This insightful lecture delves into the historical significance of Maroon Country in the Virgin Islands, an area steeped in rich and complex history. Maroon Country, known for its role as a refuge for escaped enslaved Africans, stands as a testament to the resilience and struggle for freedom that marked the era of slavery in the Caribbean. The video examines the geographical, cultural, and historical aspects of Maroon Country, highlighting its importance as a symbol of resistance and liberation. It sheds light on the lives of the Maroons, their survival strategies, and their impact on the socio-political landscape of the Virgin Islands. The narrative intertwines the struggles and triumphs of the Maroons with the broader context of Caribbean history, offering viewers a comprehensive understanding of this pivotal chapter in the Virgin Islands' past. Ideal for students, educators, and history enthusiasts, this video provides a compelling look at a crucial aspect of Caribbean heritage, encouraging a deeper appreciation and understanding of the territory's complex history.

Subject:
Anthropology
Archaeology
Civics
Environmental Science
Mariculture
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Material Type:
Lecture
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
01/29/2024
Leaflets from the Danish West Indies: Descriptive of the Social, Political, and Commercial Condition of These Islands
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1888 ACCOUNT OF THE SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND COMMERCIAL CONDITION OF THE DANISH WEST INDIES

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Social Science
Virgin Islands Culture
Material Type:
Lecture Notes
Primary Source
Reading
Author:
OHAS. EDWIN TAYLOE
Date Added:
12/21/2022
Lesson Plan: "Emancipatory Footsteps: Exploring and Envisioning the Virgin Islands"
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The lesson plan "Exploring Emancipation: A Digital Walking Tour of Frederiksted" offers a unique and engaging educational experience that delves into the historical significance of Frederiksted, a place where the 1848 emancipation of all enslaved individuals in the then Danish West Indies was achieved through the resolute efforts of the enslaved themselves. Collaboratively developed by the Crucian Nature and Tourism Organization and the Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education, this lesson plan aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of Frederiksted as an emancipatory stronghold, with a focus on the layered post-1848 emancipation evolution. The lesson is thoughtfully designed to align with the 175th commemoration of the 1848 Emancipation Act, and it fosters peer-to-peer learning while incorporating integrated activities centered around locally significant themes.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Caribbean History
Social Science
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
08/25/2023
Melvin Herbert Evans is the Virgin Islands' first elected Governor
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Melvin Herbert Evans is the Virgin Islands' first elected governor. Evans graduated from Howard University with a B.S. in 1940 and from the Howard College of Medicine with an M.D. four years later, following graduation from high school on St. Thomas. He then worked in a variety of medical and public health positions for the United States and the Virgin Islands.

Subject:
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Material Type:
Lecture Notes
Student Guide
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
08/09/2021
Mini Mathilda and Crucian Christmas Festival
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Mini Mathilda is a digital project that was created by Alexis Matarangas-King. It shares activities from the Crucian Christmas Festival, such as the Coquito Festival, Boat Parade, Jump Up, and Christmas Spoken Here. Additionally, the subject of madras, as well as Virgin Islands foodways and characters like the moko jumbie, are explored. 

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Graphic Arts
Virgin Islands Culture
Material Type:
Interactive
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
12/01/2022
New Shipping Routes and the Increase in Migration to St. Thomas Danish West Indies 1880-1916
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In this presentation, Elizabeth Rezende shares her research on the "New Shipping Routes and the Increase in Migration to St. Thomas Danish West Indies 1880-1916".

St. Thomas is the place where every hand, shakes hands with the other. Between the 1820s and 1890, St. Thomas was the first land mass transatlantic steamships met when following the trade winds directly from the Madeira Islands.

Thus, St. Thomas became a mid-point, a place where ships had to stop to get to another place. Steamships from Europe stopped at this multi-commercial island on their journey to the Caribbean, South and Central American ports for telegraphic messages and refueling. Likewise on the homeward- voyages from the Caribbean, South and Central America, ships again stopped at St. Thomas for refueling and received orders from their home offices.

In 1871, the Hamburg American Line determined that St. Thomas would be its Atlantic headquarters for its newly organized seven routes within the Caribbean Basin.

HAL sent out regularly scheduled ships carrying cargo, passengers, and mail every two weeks, creating increased business in the harbor. To accommodate the vessels’ pressed timeline, scores of unskilled laborers managed the loading and discharging of the goods and people, facilitating the ships’ readiness for the next port of call. In the census workers’ names, places of birth, and occupations were listed. In viewing the enumeration for an entire property, it can be determined that numbers of persons originally from the same islands of birth, such as Tortola and St. Croix, lived together in crowded tenements lining the harbor.

The enumerators of the Danish West Indian censuses of 1880 and 1901 were not only vigilant in entering the occupations of the seamen but also fastidious in filling out the last question, asking where the resident was if he were off-island on the day of the enumeration. Thus, we know in many cases from the censuses where a seaman was sailing and with what company.

Other trades people, such as self-employed vendors of fruits and vegetables, ferry-boat operators, and row- boat sailors, dragging lighters of cargo, were employed by independent sources, and were in the enumeration.

Additionally, a number of European recorders of travelogues comment on their observations and experiences of these routes, noting the high volume of activity among these laborers. Joseph Froude, Robert Woolward, and Anthony Trollope’s diaries give one perspective.

Froude was especially interested in the rate of pay of these groups of workers, and these rates have been corroborated with the payroll records deposited in RG 55 of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Elizabeth Rezende is an independent researcher. She has worked for forty years in studying various groups of people who have made St. Croix and St. Thomas home. Her dissertation focused on the free colored people of Free Gut, Christiansted. She has, under the auspices of the National Park Service, rendered community studies of other areas of greater Christiansted: Water Gut, Gallows Bay, and Market Square and Free Gut of Frederiksted. Her focus of study is the occupations of the residents in these areas of towns over a span of time.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Cultural Geography
Mariculture
Social Science
Virgin Islands Culture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Elizabeth Rezende
Date Added:
12/13/2022
Rewriting History | Jeannette Ehlers
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Jeannette Ehlers is a Danish-Trinidadian multi disciplinary visual artist who aims to disrupt the dominating narratives and replace them with ones that acknowledge the aspects of history that have thus far been ignored. Ehlers engages themes of visibility, identity, and collective memory, such as her work I am Queen Mary, which represents one of four queens who led the 1878 labor revolt in Saint Croix, a former Danish colony.

Presenting her works at the sixth MAD Symposium, Ehlers discusses how it is possible to reframe history so that it is inclusive to all and provides examples how to do so through her works. Ehlers engages us, urging us to see how art, and other mediums like food, can provoke, lead and guide, people to better self-understanding.

Michael Miller is the co-founder of the London and New York Meditation Center. Miller regularly teaches all across the globe, introducing the ancient technique of Vedic Meditation in a way that is accessible and relevant to people living in today's world.

Interweaving practical techniques with vocal advice, Miller compels us to see how meditation can make us more available, responsive, and active in our lives. By tuning in to, and ridding ourselves of stress we can create better kitchen environments, he argues.

About MAD:
MAD is a non-profit transforming our food system by giving chefs and restaurateurs the skills, community, time, and space to create real and sustainable change in their restaurants, their communities, and across the world.

Subject:
Art History
Arts and Humanities
English Language Arts
Social Science
Speaking and Listening
Virgin Islands Culture
World Cultures
Material Type:
Lecture
Primary Source
Author:
MAD
Date Added:
08/11/2021
TRANSFER DAY
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This is a teacher-made PowerPoint slide that can be used by the Virgin Islands History Teachers for discussing the lesson: Transfer Day. The term "Transfer Day" refers to the day that the Danish West Indies officially became a part of the United States,  the US  Virgin Islands. On March 31, 1917, at 4:00 p.m., the United States paid Denmark $25,000,000 for the Danish West Indies. Disclaimer:  The original content, video, and image rights do not belong to me. In the references section, proper acknowledgment is provided.

Subject:
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Material Type:
Lesson
Author:
CRISTINA SENOSA
Date Added:
04/03/2023
Title: Analyzing Homogeneous vs Heterogeneous Societies
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 The objective of studying whether the Virgin Islands would thrive better from being heterogeneous or homogeneous is to understand the impact of diversity on a community's social, economic, and cultural development. By examining the benefits and drawbacks of both homogeneity and heterogeneity, researchers can gain insights into the factors that contribute to a community's success or failure. Understanding the dynamics of diversity in the Virgin Islands can help policymakers and community leaders make informed decisions about how to promote economic growth, social cohesion, and cultural preservation in the region. Ultimately, the goal of this research is to identify strategies that will enable the Virgin Islands to thrive and prosper in the face of global challenges and changing demographic trends.

Subject:
Ethnic Studies
Political Science
Social Science
Virgin Islands Culture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
05/15/2023
Title: "Creating a Progressive Virgin Islands: Pan-Africanism,  Health Equity, and Imagining a Just Future"
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This lesson plan aims to educate students about the significance of Pan-Africanism, focusing on its relevance in the Virgin Islands and Liberia. Students will delve into the contributions of key figures like Reverend Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden and Dr. Melvin Evans, particularly in the realms of Pan-Africanism, politics, and health administration. The curriculum will address the historical context of healthcare in the Virgin Islands, emphasizing the disparities during Dr. Melvin Evans' tenure as the first Black governor. Through various activities, students will engage in discussions, research, and creative tasks to understand health disparities and propose solutions for a more equitable society. The lesson also integrates standards related to democracy, societal change, and local Virgin Islands pride. Materials for the lesson include biographies, information on Liberia, internet resources, art supplies, and potential guest speakers.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UeAFha9L5Y&t=590s  

Subject:
Caribbean History
Education
Virgin Islands Culture
Virgin Islands History
Material Type:
Lecture
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
10/18/2023
Virgin Islands Cultural Notebook: Denmark Vesey
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Denmark Vesey worked as a carpenter and was formerly an enslaved person. Vesey was born in the Danish West Indies, which are now known as the Virgin Islands of the United States. Vesey allegedly plotted an enslaved uprising in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1822 to coincide with Bastille Day. Vesey patterned his movement after Haiti's successful 1791 slave revolt.

Subject:
Anthropology
Caribbean History
U.S. History
Virgin Islands Culture
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Author:
Stephanie Chalana Brown
Date Added:
08/10/2021