(Washington, DC) – Today, the House of Representatives approved H.Con.Res 71, a bill introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland, CA) to designate a national Caribbean-American Heritage month.
“Establishing Caribbean American Heritage month will celebrate the contributions of millions of Caribbean-Americans to the United States since the inception of the country,” said Lee.
Last week, Congresswoman Lee co-hosted the annual U.S. Caribbean Legislative Forum where His Excellency Fred Mitchell, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Bahamas delivered the keynote address, and Jamaican Ambassador Gordon Shirley, St. Lucian Ambassador Sonia Johnny, and Grenadian Ambassador Dennis Antoine moderated panels. Many other representatives of the Caribbean diplomatic corps, including recently-elected Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, attended. This event is an example of annual programming for the June Caribbean-American Heritage Month celebration activities.
As a member of Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee and the bipartisan Caribbean Caucus, Rep. Lee wanted to recognize the role that Caribbean people and their descendants have played in the United States.
“The Caribbean-American community is a true melting pot of languages, cultures, and people. Alexander Hamilton, Hazel Scott, Sidney Poitier, Jean Michel Basquiat, Eric Holder, Colin Powell, Susan Taylor, Edwidge Danticat, Kelsey Grammer, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, Roberto Clemente, Maryse Condé, Cicely Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Celia Cruz, Mervyn Dymally and Shirley Chisholm are just a few of the many Caribbean-Americans who have contributed to American government, politics, business, arts, education, science, and culture,” said Lee. “Their story is inseparable from ours.”
To see Rep. Lee’s voting records and more, visit her website: http://www.house.gov/lee/