A month-long programme of activities, to celebrate the culture and heritage of Caribbean-Americans in Brooklyn U.S.A, was launched earlier this week at the Borough’s municipal building in New York.
Members of the Caribbean Consular Corps and political representatives in New York attended the event, which is in observance of June as Caribbean American Heritage Month across the United States (US).
Borough President, Marty Markowitz, in addressing the lunch-hour audience, endorsed Brooklyn as the Caribbean capital of the world. He said that the Borough owed its vibrancy to Caribbean community.
“From Bushwick to Crown Heights, East Flatbush to Williamsburg, Canarsie to Sunset Park; every square inch of our Borough has been enriched by the contributions of our Caribbean-American communities,” he stated.
Elected officials, business and community leaders participated in the launch of Caribbean American Heritage Month 2009 in Brooklyn, New York U.S.A recently. From left are: Council member Darlene Mealy; Caribbean Heritage Month Planning Committee member, Hazra Ali; Noted Calypso Singer Slinger ‘Mighty Sparrow’ Francisco; Western Union Northeast Regional Manager, Garfield Comrie; President of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Yolanda Lezama Clarke; and Jean Alexander of the Caribbean American Outreach Center.
He commended the US Congress for “finally getting its act together four years ago” in recognising the month, but stated that “with so many exciting things taking place in the Caribbean-American community at this time, a single month can’t possibly contain it. We need the whole year for that.”
In joining the chorus of praise, Deputy Borough President, Yvonne Graham, noted that the immigrant community has made an indelible mark on every sphere of modern society, strengthening the national fabric of the US.
“People of Caribbean descent are leaders in Government, sports, education, entertainment, the arts, science and technology, healthcare, business and many other fields, all of which have helped to shape this country,” she stated.
Activities to mark Caribbean-American Heritage Month will include the third Caribbean Heritage Day Festival at Borough Hall on June 24.
Other speakers at the launch included New York City (NYC) Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, Dr. Guillermo Linares; Consul General of Barbados and chair of the New York Caribbean Consular Corps, Lennox Price; NYC Council-members Darlene Mealy and Mathieu Eugene; member of the Caribbean-American Heritage Month Planning Committee Hazra Ali; and Partnership Specialist with US Census 2010, Charles Mohan.