Caribbean community in Brooklyn preps for J’ouvert

For the past 37 years, J’ouvert City International has brought Caribbean communities together in Flatbush and along Eastern Parkway, and this year is no different.  
“J’ouvert is the beginning of carnival. It signifies a lot of things throughout the Caribbean, especially in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Yvette Rennie, president of J’ouvert City International.  
Rennie says when she moved here from Trinidad, she wanted to continue celebrating her culture, and that there’s no better way to do that than with carnival.  
J’ouvert was created during slavery back in 1783 in Trinidad and Tobago. Since slaves in that time were banned from the masquerade balls, they created their own, and J’ouvert took the streets of the country in 1838 and has been copied across the globe ever since.  
“I feel free,” said masquerader and annual celebrater Danecya Clarke. “I’m able to be myself, I don’t have to worry about being perfect… we could just be whoever we are and be true in yourself.” 
J’ouvert stands will be up and running starting at 6 a.m. next Monday.