by Derrick Scott
[WASHINGTON, DC] – Caribbean diaspora contributions to the United States take the spotlight as the curtains come down on February as Black History Month, with Dr. Julius Garvey. Garvey is the son of Jamaica’s first national hero, Marcus Garvey. He is set to keynote a virtual Black History Month forum on February 28.
Influence of Caribbean Nationals
Caribbean nationals have influenced every facet of American society for generations. Their contributions include the performing and visual arts. This includes music (Rap has its roots in Jamaica) and popular culture. Not to mention science, medicine, business, politics, and the culinary arts. Likewise, without the success of the Haitian Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, by which the United States doubled its landmass, may not have been consummated.
Authors, Elliott and Sandra Bastien have also published a book, Caribbean American Heritage: A History of High Achievers. The book highlights many of the Caribbean-American achievers who shaped the history of the United States.
Caribbean Diaspora Contributions in the U.S. Forum
The Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA) of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, through the leadership of JNA President Dr. Elaine Knight and Vice President Rev. Dr. Noel Godfrey, will host this forum. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the gathering will be held virtually, via Zoom, beginning at 4:00 p.m. EST.
Her Excellency Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s ambassador to the United States, will also deliver remarks. Meanwhile, Dr. Karren Dunkley, Jamaica Diaspora Northeast USA Representative, will moderate this important forum.
Most importantly, this event will recognize and raise awareness about the role Caribbean nationals have played in the history and development of the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey, the Caribbean diaspora is well-educated and an affluent demographic numbering close to 8 million people.
Commenting on essential contributions that the Caribbean Diaspora has made, Dr. Garvey, himself a surgeon, medical professor and activist, notes that his father “is considered one of the major pillars of the pan-African movement. He laid a foundation of African philosophy and organized the largest global organization of African peoples.”
Bust of Marcus Garvey Commissioned
Dr. Garvey, a recipient of Jamaica’s 5th highest national honor – the Order of Jamaica (O.J.) . He also announced that a bust of his world-famous father has been commissioned. The bust will be installed at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Best of all, on the anniversary of the elder Garvey’s 134th birthday – August 17, 2021. The Marcus Garvey Institute, Pan-African Technical Association Whirlwind Group, and National Association of Kawaida Organizations are serving as the committee overseeing this project.
The Caribbean-American Political Action Committee (C-PAC), Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM), and the Montgomery County Executive’s Caribbean American Advisory Group will also collaborate with JNA on this critical forum.
The Jamaica Diaspora Northeast USA, Global Jamaica Diaspora Council, endorses the “Contributions of the Caribbean Diaspora to America” event.