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Black History Month Event: “Contributions of Jamaican Americans to Preserving Maryland’s African American History.”

On Sunday, February 23, 2020, the Jamaican Nationals Association, Inc. (JNA), in partnership with the Montgomery County Executive’s Caribbean American Advisory Group (CAAG) and the Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM), held their Black History Month Event: “Contributions of Jamaican Americans to Preserving Maryland’s African American History.” The presenter was Dr. Winston. A. Anderson who is a native of Jamaica and very passionate about the continent of Africa.

This Black History Month Program was an opportunity to learn about Maryland’s African American history  from  Dr. Winston Anderson, who was born in Jamaica and has dedicated his life for the past thirty years collecting artifacts and preserving the history of African American slaves in Sandy Spring, Maryland.  In 1988, Dr. Anderson along with his brother Dr. Bernard Anderson,  co-founded the landmark Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery, thereby helping to preserve one of the oldest freed black communities in our area. 

Dr. Anderson saw that the history of the black community in Sandy Spring was unrecognized and decided to create a museum that would preserve its history and allow future generations to learn about its past.  Through the Museum, he also highlighted the connection between slavery in the Caribbean and slavery in the United States.

Elected officials and dignitaries at the event included:

  • Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Executive, Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Delegate Ms. Jheanelle Wilkins, Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly
  • Andrea Dubidad-Dixon, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, DC
  • Ambassador Curtis Ward, Former Jamaican Ambassador to UN Security Council
  • The Reverend Canon Dr. Kortright Davis, Professor of Theology, Howard University School of Divinity,

Rector Emeritus, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, Washington, DC

As co-founder of the Sandy Spring Historical Landmark Museum and African Art Gallery, Dr. Anderson was not trained as a historian but as a bona fide scientist. Yet, we were very impressed with his vast knowledge of Africa, slavery and forced migration.  His dedication in creating a museum to preserve the history of the black community in Sandy Spring, Maryland, so that it would allow future generations to learn about its past, is worthy of our honor and gratitude.

Our Black History Month event fostered the creation of partnerships among JNA, CAAG, and JAM. This resulted in the successful accomplishment of our objectives for our Caribbean communities that have made significant contributions in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

The reception was excellent, and the feedback received asked that we congratulate everyone on a job well done.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to attend this historic event. Thanks to Dr. Anderson for his enthusiasm and expertise in making this a memorable event for the members and supporters of JNA, CAAG, and JAM. 

Thanks to the JNA Cultural, Heritage and Social Activities Committee, Montgomery County Executive’s Caribbean-American Advisory Group, the Jamaican Association of Maryland, all our volunteers, registration volunteers (Mrs. Yasmin Anderson-Smith, Co-Chair, JNA Student Outreach and Educational Support, Ms. Jennifer Asher, Co-Chair, JNA Student Outreach and Educational Support, Mrs. Carol-Ann Boothe, Co-Chair, JNA Membership, and Ms. Camille Knight), Buzz365 Media, photographer, Mr. Colin Boothe, and the entire JNA organization for their commitment and support.

Note:  Please see link below to view the February 23, 2020 Black History Month Presentation where it was also live-streamed: https://www.facebook.com/silverspringconnect/videos/2573545612971336/

Please also see link below  to JNA’s website to view the February 23, 2020 Black History Month Presentation photographs: https://colinaboothe.passgallery.com/-JNAandBlackHistoryMonth2020/gallery

Black History Month Planning Committee:

Dr. Elaine V. Knight, PhD, President, Jamaican Nationals Association, Inc.(JNA)

Rev. Dr. Noel Godfrey, Vice President, Jamaican Nationals Association, Inc. (JNA)

Mrs. Venice Mundle-Harvey, Co-Chair, Montgomery County Executive’s Caribbean American Advisory Group

Mrs. Derrice Deane, Co-Chair, Montgomery County Executive’s Caribbean American Advisory Group

Mr. Rick Nugent, President and CEO, Jamaican Association of Maryland

Mrs. Yvonne Stephens, Caribbean American Liaison, Office of Community Partnerships, Montgomery County Executive’s Caribbean American Advisory Group

Ms. Jennifer Asher – Co-Chair, Student Outreach and Educational Support, JNA

Mrs. Moye Stephenson-Fairweather – Co-Chair, Cultural Heritage and Social Activities, JNA

Ms. Beverley Thomas – Co-Chair, Cultural Heritage and Social Activities, JNA

Ms. Doreen Thompson, Esq. – Chair, JNA Advisory Council

Mrs. Jennifer Wilson – Executive Secretary & Co-Chair, Cultural Heritage and Social Activities, JNA

Mrs. Delores McKoy – Recording Secretary & Co-Chair, Community Service and Development, JNA

                                         CENSUS 2020

YOU Matter, Get Counted, participate in the 2020 CENSUS

CENSUS 2020 –  Information and how to get involved was available at the event.

Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins informed everyone that it is important to participate in Census 2020.  For everyone not counted, the community loses $18,000.00.

  • It is mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The next census will take place April 1, 2020. Under the U.S. Constitution, the census is taken every 10 years, with the goal of determining the country’s population and where everyone lives. • Census data helps fund our schools, infrastructure, transportation, health care and more. A complete count means the county receives the funding it deserves.
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