Bill Text: NY K00537 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 2019, as Caribbean American Heritage Month in the State of New York

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 71-7)

Status: (Passed) 2019-06-12 - adopted [K00537 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-K00537-Introduced.html

Assembly Resolution No. 537

BY: M. of A. Perry

        MEMORIALIZING Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim
        June  2019,  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-American  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,  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 immigrants from the mainland continents of  North  and
South  America  and  also  including Guyana, Belize, Honduras, Suriname,
Costa Rica and Panama, which due to  their  close  cultural  connection,
have been accepted as part of the family of Caribbean countries; and

  WHEREAS, Immigrants from Caribbean countries came to America through
the  bondage  of  slavery,  while others willfully 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 2019,  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
"colonization"  of  the Caribbean by the United States has been recorded
in American 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;

  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 who eventually
became Secretary of State; Alexander Hamilton, who  was  a  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  who  was  also  the  cofounder  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, Each year, New  York  State  proudly  celebrates  Caribbean
heritage  with  the West Indian-American Day Carnival which is a weekend
of cultural activities, culminating  with  the  Labor  Day  Parade  down
Eastern  Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn; this annual 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 prospered in every sector  of  our
society  and  enhanced  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 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
development,  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 2019, 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
transmitted  to  The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of
New York.