Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke is recognizing the many contributions Caribbean Americans have made to the U.S. as Caribbean American Heritage Month began today.
“As a child of Jamaican immigrants whose roots are firmly planted in my Caribbean heritage, I take great pride in celebrating the sixth anniversary of Caribbean American Heritage Month,” said Clarke, pointing to many people who were born in the Caribbean or have roots there, including iconic actress Cicely Tyson, Former Secretary of State, General Colin L. Powell, legendary singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, the Honorable Shirley Chisholm, acclaimed Reggae Artist Bob Marley and political activist Marcus Garvey.
“Caribbean American Heritage Month is also a time to strengthen U.S. relations between the Caribbean nations we consider our allies and neighbors,” said the congresswoman. “This year’s Caribbean American Heritage Month is also special to my heart because the nations of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica celebrate their 50th year anniversary of Independence. I encourage you to reflect on our shared experiences and interwoven cultures. Reflect on the influence and contributions Caribbean Americans have made in our society and appreciate these contributions throughout the year. Let us never forget that we are tightly interconnected in the global community. Caribbean culture has had a positive influence in the world.”
She also used the launch of the month to encourage all to continue to support and help fight for Haitians as they work to fully recover from the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake.
“As a representative of the second largest population of first and second generation Haitian immigrants, I understand the importance of ensuring our nation and our global community fulfils its commitment to help Haiti fully recover,” said Clarke. “Earlier this year, I joined with Senator Kristen Gillibrand to reaffirm our commitment to the long-term recovery efforts of Haiti by announcing new legislative initiatives entitled “The Assessing Progress in Haiti act” and “A Resolution Recognizing the 2 year Anniversary of the Earthquake in Haiti.”