Saturday, January 8, 2011
2011Garifuna Heritage Month in New York
New York– The Board of Directors of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. a, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization invites you to celebrate March 11th – April 12th, 2011 as Garifuna Heritage Month 2011. In 2010 we successfully petitioned Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr, to once again proclaim Garifuna Heritage Month in the Bronx.
Furthermore, we were successful in petitioning Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Assemblyman Michael Benjamin sponsored Legislative Resolution K1120 memorializing Governor David A. Paterson to declare March 11 - April 12, 2010, as Garifuna-American Heritage Month in the State of New York. We invite all Garinagu and friends to join us in celebrating Garifuna-American Heritage Month 2011, in observance of the 214th anniversary of the exile of the Garifuna people from St Vincent on March 11th, 1797 and their settlement in Central America on April 12th, 1797.
During Garifuna-American Heritage Month, we will celebrate the great contributions of Garifuna-Americans to the fabric of the Borough of the Bronx, and we will pay tribute to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Garifuna countries of origin.
The Garifuna American legacy and history are inextricably linked to the United States and marked by the strength,determination and vision of such notable individuals as William Henry Brown playwright of The Drama of King Shotaway, a play which is recognized as the first black drama of the American Theatre,which has as its subject the 1795 Black Caribs (Garifunas) Insur rection in the Island of Saint Vincent, led by the Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer.
In July 2009 we organized the Garifuna Reunion in St. Vincent after being exiled 212 years ago. The reunion has been recognized as the Renaissance of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines "Yurumein" the Ancestral Homeland of the Garifuna people.
Furthermore, on May 18th, 2001 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed the Garifuna Language, Dance and Music as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangibles Heritage of Humanity. In 2011 we will return to St Vincent and the Grenadines to continue the Renaissance of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture.
Our Nation has thrived as a country of immigrants, and we are more vibrant and hopeful because of the talent, faith, and values of Garifuna-Americans. For centuries, Garifuna- Americans have enriched our society and added to the strength of America. They have been leaders in many fields.
New York is home to the largest Garifuna Community outside of Central America, according to unofficial estimates, the Garifuna population exceeds 200,000, living in the South Bronx, Brownsville and East New York in Brooklyn, and Manhattan's Upper West Side. However, Although Garifunas have been migrating to the United States in search of a better life since the 1930s; the community was virtually obscured in New York until the Happy Land Social Club fire on March 25th,1990.
The special observance of the 216th anniversary of the death of the Paramount Garifuna Chief Joseph Chatoyer on March 14 1795 and the 214th anniversary of the exile of the Garifuna people from St Vincent, on March 11, 1797, and their ar rival to Central America on April 12th, 1797, also serve to commemorate the survival of the Garifuna Heritage and Culture.
In 2011, the Garifuna community plans to pay tribute to its history and heritage. To kick off Garifuna Heritage Month, the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc in cooperation with other community and civic organizations will schedule various activities,among them the following:
· Friday, March 11th - 214th Anniversary of the Exile of the Garifunas from St Vincent
Bronx Borough President's Office
851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10451
· 188th Anniversary of The Drama of King Shotaway A playby William Henry Brown, which is recognized as the first black dramaof the American theatre, which has as its subject the 1795 Black Caribs Insur rection of the Caribs in the Island of Saint Vincent, led by the Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer.
· Saturday March 12th, 2011 7:00 PM
Garifuna Heritage Awards & Cultural Night
Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture
450 Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 10451
· Sunday, March 13th, 2011
215th Anniversary of the death of the Paramount Garifuna Chief Joseph Chatoyer Memorial Mass St Anthony of Padua Church 832 East 166 St Bronx, NY 10459
· Monday, March 14th - 216th Anniversary of the death of the Paramount Garifuna Chief Joseph Chatoyer
· Friday, March 25th – 21st Anniversary of the Happy Land Social Club Fire
Vigil in front of the 87 Monument on Southern Blvd.
· Saturday, April 2
Garifuna Fashion Show
· Saturday, April 9th
Garifuna day and Conference
Council of Evangelical Garifuna Churches
344 Brook Ave
Bronx, NY 10454
· Sunday, April 10th
Miss Garifuna Cultural Pageant
· Tuesday, April 12th - 214th Anniversary of the Garifunas Settlement in Central America