Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2013 as Caribbean American Heritage Month in the State of New York

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  • 07 / Jun / 2013
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
  • 11 / Jun / 2013

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to
proclaim June 2013 as Caribbean American Heritage Month in the State of
New York

WHEREAS, The fabric of our Nation has been woven together and enriched
by the diversity of our people; our legacy as a Nation of immigrants is
part of what makes America strong, and during National Caribbean-Ameri-
can Heritage Month, we celebrate the rich history and vibrant culture
Caribbean Americans have brought to our shores; and
WHEREAS, Immigrants from Caribbean countries have come to America for
centuries; some came through the bondage of slavery, while others will-
fully left behind the world they knew in search of a better life;
regardless of the circumstances of their arrival, they had faith their
descendants would have a chance to realize their greatest potential; and
WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is justly proud to memorialize Governor
Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2013 as Caribbean American Heritage
Month in the State of New York, to be observed in conjunction with
National Caribbean-American Heritage Month; and
WHEREAS, With the United States Senate approval on February 14, 2006,
and a presidential proclamation on June 5, 2006, June has become
National Caribbean-American Heritage Month; with this, the "coloniza-
tion" of the Caribbean by the United States has been recorded in Ameri-
can History; this particular legislation, first introduced in the House
in 2004 by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, celebrates the contributions of
the Caribbean-Americans to American life and culture; and
WHEREAS, People of Caribbean ancestry who have become part of New York
State's lasting heritage by fighting against stereotypes, racism, and
insurmountable obstacles include, but are not limited to: Arthur Alfonso
Shomburg, Curator of the New York Public Library's Division of Negro
Literature, History, and Prints, and dedicated historian, writer and
collector; Malcolm X, a prominent figure in the black social movement of
the 1960s; Sidney Poitier, who altered the perception of race through
theatre and screen as an actor, producer and director; Colin Powell, a
four-star United States Army General and who eventually, became Secre-
tary of State; Alexander Hamilton, who became Congressman, founder of
the Bank of New York, first Secretary of the Treasury, and one of the
first supporters of the Constitution; and Jean Michel Basquiat, who
revolutionized the world of painting and drawing through the social
introduction of the urban black culture that marginally existed in the
1980s; and
WHEREAS, New York State has been, and continues to be, the home to
many distinguished people of Caribbean ancestry who have made their mark
in history as pertinent figures in their field, and who have succeeded;
these figures include: Shirley A. Chisholm, first African-American woman
elected to Congress, and who was also the cofounder of the National
Organization for Women (NOW) and a genuine activist, lecturer, and poli-
tical mentor; Marcus Moziah Garvey, who established, among other things,
the United Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.); Susan Taylor,
editor-in-chief of Essence magazine; Harry Belafonte, who used his fame
as an entertainer in the cause for human rights; Hazel Scott, who
achieved acclaimed status for her classical and Jazz technique as a
pianist, and who became the first black woman to have her own television
show; Edwidge Danticat, who invigorated the voices of Haitians and
Haitian-Americans who experienced poverty through her writing; Maryse
Conde, acclaimed international author, who now teaches at Columbia
University in New York in the French and Romance Philology Department;

and Maurice Ashley, the first African-American to win the chess Grand-
master title; and
WHEREAS, Each year, New York State proudly celebrates Caribbean herit-
age with the West Indian-American Day Carnival (or Labor Day Parade), an
annual celebration held on American Labor Day, in Crown Heights, Brook-
lyn, New York; and
WHEREAS, The main event of the parade is the West Indian-American Day
Parade, which attracts between one and three million participants; the
spectators and participators watch and follow the parade on its route
along Eastern Parkway; and
WHEREAS, Caribbean Americans have prospered in every sector of our
society and enhanced our national character while maintaining the multi-
ethnic and multicultural traditions of their homelands; they are doctors
and lawyers, public servants and scientists, and athletes and service
members; their successes inspire individuals in the United States and
abroad, and we take pride in the contributions Caribbean Americans
continue to make to the narrative of our Nation's progress; their
achievements are borne of hard work and ambition; and
WHEREAS, During Caribbean American Heritage Month, we also recognize
the important friendship between the United States and the countries of
the Caribbean as we expand our partnership to promote economic develop-
ment, democratic governance, citizen security, and improved health and
education in the region; and
WHEREAS, Additionally, as Haiti continues to recover from 2010's
devastating earthquake, we remain committed to standing beside the
people of Haiti as they rebuild their proud nation, and to working with
others in the region to bring lasting prosperity and stability to the
country; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2013 as Caribbean
American Heritage Month in the State of New York; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New


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