Resolution J2239-2013

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



  • Jun 11, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Jun 7, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE


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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