Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement in celebration of Caribbean American Heritage Month:
"As a child of Jamaican immigrants whose roots are firmly planted in my Caribbean heritage, I take great pride in celebrating the sixth anniversary of Caribbean American Heritage Month. This month we celebrate and recognize the many contributions Caribbean Americans have made to this country, people like iconic actress Cicely Tyson, Former Secretary of State, General Colin L. Powell, legendary singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, the Honorable Shirley Chisholm, acclaimed Reggae Artist Bob Marley and political activist Marcus Garvey.
"Caribbean American Heritage Month is also a time to strengthen U.S. relations between the Caribbean nations we consider our allies and neighbors. This is why I encourage all of us to continue to support and help fight for our Haitian brothers and sisters as they work to fully recover from the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. As a representative of the second largest population of first and second generation Haitian immigrants, I understand the importance of ensuring our nation and our global community fulfils its commitment to help Haiti fully recover. Earlier this year, I joined with Senator Kristen Gillibrand to reaffirm our commitment to the long-term recovery efforts of Haiti by announcing new legislative initiatives entitled "The Assessing Progress in Haiti act" and "A Resolution Recognizing the 2 year Anniversary of the Earthquake in Haiti."
"This year's Caribbean American Heritage Month is also special to my heart because the nations of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica celebrate their 50th year anniversary of Independence. I encourage you to reflect on our shared experiences and interwoven cultures. Reflect on the influence and contributions Caribbean Americans have made in our society and appreciate these contributions throughout the year. Let us never forget that we are tightly interconnected in the global community. Caribbean culture has had a positive influence in the world."