Maternal grandmother with her 6 children in Trinidad.
Maternal grandmother with her 6 children in Trinidad.

 This photo depicts my maternal grandmother and all of her 6 children while in the nation of Trinidad & Tobago. As is the case with essentially all Caribbean countries, the economic opportunities leave a lot to be desired, causing many from this region to leave in search of better means to support either themselves or their families. My grandmother was no different in this regard, especially after the death of my maternal grandfather; to finance such a large family, she needed to immigrate to New York during what would have been the 70s. 

At this time she was denied access to contraception that could have changed the difficulty she faced in her youth. She was fortunate to have enough money to make a move to America, but not enough to be able to take her children with her. She had to leave them in Trinidad, thankful for familial support in place so that her children could be taken care of. A primary caretaker was her own mother, my great-grandmother, who herself was the product of Chinese immigrants to Trinidad who would have left China for similar reasons to their descendant.

Over the years, one by one, my grandmother was able to bring her kids over to the U.S while working in Manhattan and living in Brooklyn. For my mother, pictured with hands clasped next to my grandmother, she was only able to come at the end of her highschool experience. She had to work in order to finance her education, like many including myself today, and swam through the degrees CUNY offered. 

Place(s): Trinidad & Tobago, New York, China

– K

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant