Institute of Caribbean Studies Announces A Message from…
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 2, 2009
NATIONAL CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2009
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Caribbean Americans have made lasting contributions to our Nation’s culture and history, and the month of June has been set aside to honor their cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and social diversity.
Generations of immigrants have preserved the traditions of their homelands, and these traditions have defined our Nation’s identity. Caribbean Americans bring a unique and vibrant culture. This multilingual and multiethnic tradition has strengthened our social fabric and enriched the diversity of our Nation.
Millions of individuals in the United States have Caribbean roots. Unfortunately some Caribbean Americans were forced to our country as slaves; others arrived of their own volition. All have sought the promise of a brighter tomorrow for themselves and their children.
In their pursuit of success, Caribbean Americans exhibit the traits all Americans prize: determination, a devotion to community, and patriotism. They have made their mark in every facet of our society, from art to athletics and science to service. Caribbean Americans have also safeguarded our Nation in the United States Armed Forces.
This month we also recognize the critical relationship the United States maintains with Caribbean nations. In a world of increasing communication and connectivity, this friendship has become even more important. We are neighbors, partners, and friends; we share the same aspirations for our children; and we strive for the very same freedoms. Together, we can meet the common challenges we face.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. I urge all Americans to commemorate this month by learning more about the history and culture of Caribbean Americans.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
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About Caribbean American Heritage Month
In 2000, ICS began leading the celebration of June as Caribbean American Heritage Month in Washington DC, building on efforts started by a now defunct Ad-Hoc Group of Washington DC residents to have a Caribbean Heritage Month in Washington DC in 1999. The official Campaign for a National Caribbean American Heritage Month began in 2004, when the Bill was tabled in Congress by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. The Bill was reintroduced and passed the House in June, 2005, and the Senate in February, 2006.
During Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we celebrate the great contributions of Caribbean Americans to the fabric of our Nation, and we pay tribute to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Caribbean countries.