Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica across the United States are moving into independence mode, notably in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and Atlanta, with several official events planned to mark 56 years of independence of the island of Jamaica.
From August 4 to 25, the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington DC under the leadership of Ambassador Audrey Marks will be engaging in several activities, supported by various Jamaican organizations.
The activities commence on August 4th when the Baltimore-based Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM) stages its annual independence gala at Martin’s West, with guest speaker Ambassador Audrey Marks. JAM will also use the occasion to present its Marcus Garvey Award to local philanthropist Cecil Clarke, and its Community Service Award to Pastor Ezra Sterling.
Dumbarton Chapel at Howard University School of Law is the venue for the annual Service of Thanksgiving, to be held on Sunday, August 5, commencing at 11:00 a.m. Ambassador Marks will deliver the Prime Minister’s independence Message, while Senior Pastor of the Apostolic Church of Christ in Syracuse, New York, Rev. G. Maxwell Jones, will deliver the sermon. A reception follows the church service.
On Sunday, August 12, the Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM) will host an Independence Thanksgiving Service at the Baltimore Central New Testament Church of God at 5 p.m., to mark Jamaica’s 56th anniversary of independence. The sermon will be delivered by Rev. Stanley Murray.
On Sunday, August 19, Top Tier Management, in association with Pumpstalion Entertainment, will host the DC World Reggae Festival at the RFK Stadium festival grounds, featuring Shabba Ranks, Chronixx and Toots and the Maytals. The event is endorsed by the Embassy of Jamaica.Curtains will come down on the Independence activities in Baltimore on Saturday, August 25, with a free family day picnic at Rosedale Park.
Over in Philadelphia, Independence activities begin on Saturday, August 11th with the Team Jamaica Bickle Independence Gala, at the Calabash. On Sunday, August 12th, a service of thanksgiving will be held, at the Philadelphia Seventh Day Adventist Church. The Rev. Wesley Pinnock will deliver the sermon. Philadelphia will wrap up its celebratory activities on August 26th with the Caribbean festival at Philadelphia Penn on the Waterfront.
In Atlanta, Jamaicans and friends will join in a thanksgiving service on August 5th at St. Timothy United Methodist Church. The guest speaker will be the Professor of Theology and Ethics at Candler School of Theology at Emory University Rev Dr Noel Erskin. On August 11, the Atlanta Jamaican Association will stage its annual Independence Ball & Scholarship Awards at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Guest Speaker will be Jamaican Olympic bobsledder Mr. Devon Harris, while attendees will dance to the music of Jah Movement band.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity to stage these events, along with our partners and friends, who have helped to make Jamaica the wonderful country that it is,” said Ambassador Marks.
“I hope that all Jamaicans in the Diaspora will continue the great tradition of sharing the Jamaican spirit. I encourage all Jamaicans and our friends to embrace this year’s theme, ‘One Love, One Family’ in celebration of Jamaica, land we love,” she added.