JIS News

As celebration activities for Black History Month (February) get underway, Jamaica’s Consul General to the Southeast United States (US), Ricardo Allicock, has reminded students of the significant contributions, which Caribbean nationals continue to play in the development of the US.
Addressing students at the Zora Neale Hurston Elementary School in Miami on February 1, Mr. Allicock traced the inter-connectedness of Caribbean people of African descent and African-Americans in local communities. He shared the historical journey of the Africans during slavery and the connection with other ethnic groups throughout the Caribbean and the US.
The Consul General reminded his audience of almost 350 students of their role as ambassadors in the US, as most of them were from Caribbean and Latin American descent. He encouraged them to recognize, tolerate and value their diversity, regardless of their race and language, “as we are all one human race”.
Mr. Allicock spoke of the diverse traditions and rich cultural heritage brought to the US during slavery, and “through our travels as immigrants”.
“During and since that process, we still continue to make positive contributions here in this country as well as to the development of our respective homelands,” he added.
He cited the many Jamaicans, who have impacted the development of the US through public service, sports and entertainment, including former Secretary of State, Colin Powell and reggae icon, Hon. Robert ‘Bob’ Marley, O.M.
In order to seek greater understanding and greater sensitivity of their history during Black History Month, Mr. Allicock encouraged the students to participate through reading and involvement in the activities to observe the significance of the African experience. Mr. Allicock was invited, along with several other Consuls General, to meet with students of the Zora Neale Hurston Elementary School, to share the experiences and the role of Foreign Mission offices in the respective communities in which they are located. The Jamaica Consulate General is located in downtown Miami.
The school has a diverse enrolment of some 850 students of Caribbean and Latin American descent and was named after a famous African American novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist, and also a figure of the Harlem Renaissance. After her death in 1960, her literary works were revived and today are included in the curriculum in literature classes, women and black study programmes in educational institutions throughout the US.