White House Recognizes June as Caribbean-American Heritage Month with Proclamation

Sheri-Kae McLeod, CNW Reporter

caribbean-american biden harris
FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden stands left as his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Del. Democrats insist the GOP's grip on this Deep South state is weakening. It’s been nearly 15 years since a Democrat won a statewide office in South Carolina and 44 years since a Democratic presidential candidate claimed the state. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

The United States President Joe Biden on June 1 proclaimed June National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, noting that Caribbean Americans have brought “vibrant cultures, languages, traditions, and values” that have strengthened the country.

Within the Caribbean-American community, June has long been celebrated as Caribbean-American Heritage Month.

But with a slew of Caribbean-Americans now in the White House, including Jamaican-American Vice President Kamala Harris, President Biden said he was honored to celebrate this National Caribbean-American Heritage Month alongside the barrier-breaking public servants in his administration who are of Caribbean descent.

“Throughout our history, Caribbean Americans have brought vibrant cultures, languages, traditions, and values that strengthen our country and add new chapters to our common story. In recognition of Caribbean Americans’ countless gifts and contributions to our Nation, we celebrate National Caribbean-American Heritage Month,” he said in his proclamation.

The US president said Caribbean Americans have made America “more innovative and more prosperous.”

He also noted the significant contributions of several Caribbean-American trailblazers including Nevisian-American Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman appointed to the Federal bench, Shirley Chisholm, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants, the first Black Congresswoman — and the first Black woman to launch a major-party bid for the Presidency and Colin Powell, our first Black Secretary of State.

Caribbean-American Heritage Month in South Florida

His proclamation came as just hours after Jamaican-American Mayor of Lauderdale Lakes, Hazelle Rogers had called for Caribbean-American Heritage Month to be recognized by the White House and by the state of Florida.

Mayor Rogers was just one of the many elected officials within the Caribbean community in South Florida who gathered in Miramar to kickstart the month-long celebrations.

At the event, Jamaican-American Mayor of Miramar Wayne Messam also presented the official proclamation recognizing Caribbean-American Heritage Month in the city. Mayor Messam said he is proud to be part of a city which such a diverse population. He also noted that all five of the city’s Commissioners are of Jamaican heritage.

Several activities are scheduled to take place in South Florida to celebrate Caribbean-American Heritage Month. Mayor Hazelle Rogers noted that one of those events will include a walk on June 5th in support of a campaign to exonerate Jamaican national hero, the right honorable Marcus Garvey.

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