Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Sombrero Island — a distant light | On this day

A small speck of land at the northern end of the Leewards, Sombrero Island is known to few — but has a surprisngly colourful history. James Ferguson tells tales of shipwrecks, guano mines, and the 150-year-old lighthouse that saved countless sailors’ lives in the dangerous Anegada Passage.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Defenders of the faith | On this day

Exactly a century ago, anti-African prejudice prompted Trinidad and Tobago’s colonial legislature to ban the indigenous Spiritual Baptist religion. But, as James Ferguson explains, the draconian law never dissuaded the Baptist faithful.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

The Lüders affair | On this day

One hundred and twenty years ago, a minor dispute in Port-au-Prince escalated into an international incident, with the German navy threatening to bombard the city. James Ferguson remembers this episode in the long history of foreign powers meddling in Haiti’s affairs.

Twisting Rhodes | On this day

Twisting Rhodes | On this day

It’s an irony of history that the legacy of arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes includes the education of many Caribbean intellectuals — like Jamaican Rex Nettleford, who arrived in Oxford sixty years ago, writes James Ferguson.

Roopnarine Birbal, known to his friends as “Sarge,” cuts sugarcane on lands his family owns. . . . Photo by Andrea De Silva

Heartland album: Andrea de Silva & Alva Viarruel explore the landscape of Indo-Trinidadian culture

For generations, the plains of Caroni in central Trinidad were the agricultual heart of the island. The busy town of Chaguanas and its vendor-lined streets now dominate the area, but across the surrounding countryside still sprawl small farms and villages. Photographer Andrea de Silva and writer Alva Viarruel explore this landscape of Indo-Trinidadian culture.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

John James Audubon: The Birdman | On this Day

It’s considered a landmark of ornithology, and it was published one hundred and ninety years ago: John James Audubon’s massive Birds of America. Born in Haiti, Audubon had a restless life spread across continents, but along the way he transformed himself into a leading expert on the birdlife of North America. As James Ferguson explains, his legacy in science and conservation still endures.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

Harry Belafonte: calypso with a conscience

A beloved musical icon since the 1950s, Harry Belafonte has an equally long reputation as a political activist. And the parallel themes of his public life, entertainment and activism, both have their roots in Belafonte’s childhood in Jamaica. James Ferguson finds out more.

Euzhan Palcy in 1992 — an alternate photo from the shoot that produced our first cover, twenty-five years ago. Bettmann / Getty Images

The Beat goes on: Caribbean Beat turns 25

For 25 years, Caribbean Beat has celebrated the best and brightest of Caribbean culture and people — as you can see in the panorama of our 144 covers, and the stories behind them.

Photo courtesy Caribbean Airlines

Caribbean Airlines turns ten

Marking a decade of sharing the warmth of the islands, with the Caribbean’s favourite airline. Learn about anniversary plans, meet some star CAL employees, and more.

Illustration by Rohan Mitchell

The remains of the Danes

Exactly a century ago, the Kingdom of Denmark sold its Caribbean possessions for $25 million to the United States. Commemorated in the US Virgin Islands, the anniversary is little remembered elsewhere — but, as James Ferguson writes, the story behind the event reminds us about the ambitions that drove European colonisation of our region.