Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2020, as Caribbean American Month in the State of New York

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Assembly Resolution No. 961

BY: M. of A. Rules (Perry)

MEMORIALIZING Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim
June 2020, as Caribbean American Month in the State
of New York

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to recognize and
pay just tribute to the cultural heritage of the ethnic groups which
comprise and contribute to the richness and diversity of the community
of the State of New York; and

WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in keeping with its
time-honored traditions, it is the intent of this Legislative Body to
applaud and commemorate months which foster ethnic pride and exemplify
the cultural diversity that represents and strengthens the spirit of the
people and the State of New York; and

WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is justly proud to memorialize
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2020, as Caribbean American
Month in the State of New York, in conjunction with the observance of
National Caribbean-American Heritage Month; and

WHEREAS, Either through the bondage of slavery or emigrating in
search of a better life for themselves, their families, and their loved
ones, leaving behind the world they knew and in some cases, the
languages they spoke, immigrants from Caribbean countries have come to
the United States for centuries, including from Antigua and Barbuda,
Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Netherlands, also known as the Kingdom of the Netherlands which includes
Aruba, Curacao, and Saint Maarten, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic,
Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Anguilla (UK), Cayman
Islands (UK), Guadeloupe (France), Martinique (France), Montserrat (UK),
Puerto Rico (US), Saint Barthelemy (France), Saint Martins (France),
Turks and Caicos Islands (UK), United States Virgin Islands (Saint
Croix, Saint John, Saint Thomas) (US), and due to their strong cultural
connection, immigrants from the mainland continents of North and South
America including Guyana, Belize, Honduras, Suriname, Costa Rica and
Panama, have joined the family of Caribbean countries; regardless of the
conditions that led to their arrival, their courage is meritorious and
the hope they had that their children and descendants would be able to
fulfill their greatest potential is admirable; and

WHEREAS, In February 2005, the United States House of
Representatives unanimously adopted H. Con. Res. 71, recognizing the
significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history
and culture of the United States; on February 14, 2006, the resolution
similarly passed the Senate, culminating a two-year, bipartisan and
bicameral effort; and

WHEREAS, Since the passage of the resolution in 2005, the White
House has issued an annual proclamation officially recognizing June as
Caribbean-American Heritage Month; this proclamation marks the official
recognition that since the 16th Century the destinies of the peoples of

the Caribbean and the American continent have been inextricably linked;

WHEREAS, The People of Caribbean ancestry who dedicated themselves
to fighting against racism, stereotypes, and overwhelming obstacles have
become part of New York State's lasting heritage; these revered
individuals 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 who eventually became Secretary of State;
Alexander Hamilton, the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury,
founder of the Bank of New York, Congressperson, 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, Caribbean Americans enrich our national character and
strengthen the fabric of our culture, and we are proud they are part of
the American family; and

WHEREAS, Many esteemed figures of Caribbean ancestry have made their
home in New York State and made their mark in history as persons who are
the epitome in their field, and who have succeeded; these individuals
include: Shirley A. Chisholm, first African-American woman elected to
Congress who was also the co-founder of the National Organization for
Women (NOW) and a genuine activist, lecturer, and political 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
Grandmaster title; and

WHEREAS, This great Empire State proudly celebrates Caribbean
customs every year with the West Indian-American Day Carnival; this
auspicious event is a weekend of cultural activities, culminating with
the Labor Day Parade down Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn;
this parade attracts between one and three million participants, and
spectators along the parade route; and

WHEREAS, The Labor Day Parade is New York City's largest parade, and
is a great contributor to the economy, as it generates over $300 million
in revenue to both State and local government and is among New York's
biggest tourist attractions; and

WHEREAS, Caribbean Americans have made significant contributions to
both our Nation and the State of New York, prospering in every sector of
our society and enhancing our national character while maintaining the

multi-ethnic and multi-cultural 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 born of hard work and ambition; and

WHEREAS, During Caribbean American Month, it is also important that
we acknowledge the indispensable relationship between the United States
and the countries of the Caribbean as we build on that long-standing
friendship, improve the health and education in the region, and promote
economic development, democratic governance, and citizen security; 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; and

WHEREAS, Although Hurricane Maria resulted in the death and injury
of thousands and an unconscionably amount of devastation affecting an
untold number of people, what has shown brightly is the incredible and
resilient Caribbean Spirit which, after innumerable losses, has been at
the forefront of the rebuilding efforts; and

WHEREAS, Caribbean American Month is a time to celebrate the
aspirations and values that have been shared with Caribbean Americans
for generations and represents a significant milestone for the Caribbean
American community in New York State; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2020, as Caribbean
American Month in the State of New York; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be
transmitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of
New York.


  • 20 / Jul / 2020
  • 21 / Jul / 2020

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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