West Indian Primer

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My object is the West Indian Reader. It is a small red book that teaches toddlers how to read. Even though this book was used before my parents were born, its still being used to teach children. It teaches British English because Trinidad and Tobago were ruled by the British. I remember that when I was little, I got the West Indian Reader. I also got a coloring book, but because of English grammar it is “colour.” The book is cheap. It's 7 dollars on Amazon, but in the islands about 40 dollars. This book was used to teach my parents to read. The book was a critical part of their education, and when I was much younger my father went back and brought me a copy. It's just a small red book with black font on it but it symbolizes so much more. This book is important because it makes me feel connected to the past. When my parents came to America in the 1990s they brought a copy of this book, but they lost it. I still remember nursery rhymes being read to me. Even though I was the only person in my family born here, I can still learn as they did. I can still access the same type of learning. That makes me feel more grateful for the life I have and the amazing access I had to education.

Place(s): New York, Trinidad and Tobago
Year: 1990

– MM

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant