The special period of recognition was so declared by US President, Barack Obama, who in a statement to proclaim June 2011 as National Caribbean American Heritage Month, said the fabric of America has been woven together and enriched by the diversity of its people.
As part of the celebrations, St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister, Dr. Denzil Douglas, on Tuesday, 7th June, 2011, was scheduled to lay a wreath in recognition of the contribution of Nevis-born Alexander Hamilton, who is regarded as a Founding Father of the United States and one of America’s first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton has been described as one whom, more than any other, designed the Government of the United States.
The prime Minister is reported to be in New York for various official engagements at the United Nations.
In his address, President Obama said, “Our legacy as a Nation of immigrants is part of what makes America strong, and during, we celebrate the rich history and vibrant culture Caribbean Americans have brought to our shores. Immigrants from Caribbean countries have come to America for centuries. Some came through the bondage of slavery. Others willfully left behind the world they knew in search of a better life. Regardless of the circumstances of their arrival, they had faith and their descendants would have a chance to realize their greatest potential,” said President Obama.
He noted that Caribbean Americans have prospered in every sector of American society and enhanced its national character while maintaining the multiethnic and multicultural 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 borne of hard work and ambition, and my Administration is committed to creating pathways to prosperity that ensure future generations of Caribbean Americans, along with all Americans, are able to pursue and realize the American dream,” said the United States President.
He noted the month also recognizes 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.”
The US President also stated that Caribbean-American Heritage Month is also a time to strengthen U.S. relations with the many Caribbean nations that the US considers allies and neighbours.