In issuing the proclamation on May 31, the US president said “During National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we acknowledge the significant ways Caribbean Americans have shaped our culture and heritage.”
“Americans with roots in the Caribbean have greatly enriched our society, contributing to the arts, business, journalism, technology, government, religion, the military, sports, and many other fields, said Trump in a White House proclamation on Friday.
He pointed to Barbadian Joseph Sandiford Atwell, whom he said “through his dedication to his faith, exemplified the unyielding spirit of Caribbean Americans.”
Born in Barbados in 1831, Atwell moved to the United States in 1863 and attended the Philadelphia Divinity School, Trump noted.
Following the Civil War, he said Sandiford Atwell “went to spread God's message of hope and love to the emancipated slaves in the South.
“Due to the strength of his ministry, he became the first black Episcopal deacon ordained in the Diocese of Kentucky and went on to become the first black Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Virginia,” Trump said.
Earlier this year, Trump met with the leaders of the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and St Lucia in Florida, “to reaffirm our partnership with the Caribbean.
“We discussed how we can bring greater prosperity to this important region, including potential opportunities for energy investment and enhanced trade partnerships,” the US president said. “We made tremendous progress, and we will build on these discussions to strengthen further the relationship we share with our Caribbean neighbours.
“This month, we recognise the vibrant culture and patriotism of Caribbean Americans that continue to bolster our country and enrich our lives, and we pay tribute to the strong friendship between the United States and the countries of the Caribbean,” Trump added. “Now, therefore, I, Donald J Trump, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2019 as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.”
Trump urged all Americans to join him in celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Caribbean Americans “with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
This is the 14th year that National Caribbean-American Heritage month is being celebrated in the United States. This follows the unanimous passing of a resolution introduced in the House of Representative by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and the proclamation subsequently issued by President George Bush on June 6, 2006.
Since the declaration, the White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month.
The campaign to designate June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month, was spearheaded by Dr. Claire Nelson, Founder and President of the Institute of Caribbean Studies.
Through the commemoration of this month, we hope to ensure that America is reminded that its greatness lies in its diversity, with Caribbean immigrants from founding father Alexander Hamilton, to journalist Malcolm Gladwell, who have shaped the American dream.
“The mission of National Caribbean American Heritage Month is to promote the rich culture and heritage of the Caribbean American people and their contribution to the United States of America.
From John Russworm the first Black Newspaper Publisher, to James Weldon Johnson, to General Colin Powell, Hon. Shirley Chisholm, Cicely Tyson, Sanya Richards-Ross and so many more. From South Florida to Boston to Los Angeles, in JUNE cultural events abound organized and curated by Caribbean community leaders in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charleston and more,” says the website set up to promote the month’s activities.
Among the activities planned for this week are:
• An online webinar on June 3 entitled: US Census 2020 Conference Call;
• A forum on June 4, at the Organization of American States entitled: “Securing Energy Futures”;
• On the 5th of June, there will be a Caribbean American Legislative Forum at the Capitol Hill House Office Building;
• On June 6, there will also be a Caribbean American Legislative Forum - Senate Briefing at the Senators Visitors Centre Building;
• On the 6th of June there will also be a forum entitled : Smart Caribbean 2030: Blue Economy at the Inter-American Development Bank;
• On the 7th of June, the 30 Under 30 Caribbean American Changemakers will hold a Breakfast Award Ceremony at the IADB
• On the 7th also, Ignite Caribbean will hold a Youth Forum on Caribbean Futures at the same venue;
• The week will wrap with a Disaster Resilience, Health Care and Education at the Organization of American States.
For further information on activities marking Caribbean American Heritage Month, go to the following website: https://www.caribbeanamericanmonth.org
- Countries: United_States