Caribbean people in the United States of America must ensure that the legacy of the region is not watered down or current residents sidelined.
The way to guard against both is to unite and redouble efforts to raise the image of all Caribbean countries and people, highlighting their many significant achievements in the United States.
These points were made by Consul General Mackie Holder as he spoke at the launch of Caribbean American Heritage Month by New York State Representatives on Wednesday, May 31st, at the State capital in Albany.
Speaking as Chair of the CARICOM Consular Corps, he said it was fitting that celebrations should kick off in the seat of power in Albany, as the imprint of Caribbean people was all over America, from founding father Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary who was from St. Kitts and Nevis to entertainment mogul Rihanna, with countless in between.
He urged the large attendance not to be limited to highlighting Caribbean achievements to Caribbean Heritage Month but to represent the region in every way from wearing national colors whenever possible to spreading the agenda of the region.
CG Holder also thanked the organizers of the event, including Assembly Members Jaime Williams, Monique Chandler-Waterman, and Senator Roxanne J Persaud, all of whom are of Caribbean heritage. There are currently 34 electors of Caribbean descent in Albany.
Speaker of the State Assembly Carl E. Heastie headed the list of members attending the function. It included a number of performances reflecting the culture of the region. Attendees were also treated to a wide range of Caribbean cuisine.
Holder and fellow Consul General Alsion Roach Wilson of Jamaica were invited to the Assembly Chamber where they were formally recognized, read the Resolution acknowledging the marking of Caribbean American Heritage Month, and were given a standing tribute by assembly members.