by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher –

From the widespread colonization of the Caribbean in the early fifteenth century, Dr. Matthew Casey from the University of Southern Mississippi described the changes from a religious movement to the sugar revolution until the tourism industry at the Pass Christian Historical Society Luncheon Monday afternoon.

“The Caribbean is so close to us, but is surprising how little people know about it,” said Casey, who presented the lecture based on his book.  “Some of us have traveled there and what I’ve learned is that once you know a little about the culture, it gets under your skin and it is impossible to forget about this.”

During his discussion, the professor wanted to show how important migration was to the region for the last 500 years.  

“When I’m talking about migration, I’m not just talking about the boat-lift in the 1970’s from Cuba or people leaving from natural disasters, but I want to think about migration as this functional part of human behaviors in society that leads to cultural changes,” expressed Dr. Casey.

There were four different historical era Casey chose to speak about migratory methods.  First, was Christopher Columbus and a religious exploration by countries, the next brought the sugar revolution which boosted an economic impact to the Caribbean, then the Slave Emancipation, and finally the rise of the Tourism Industry post World War II.

Casey delivered a unique dialogue for each time period and the change in culture; however, an economic impact was centered in the discussion.

Along with the Caribbean migration, several audience questions were made about the similarity to migration and the Mississippi Gulf Coast during these times; which the professor said these were in conjunction with France and the ties to Haiti rather than the entire region.