A wide cross section of the Caribbean community in Brooklyn Sunday night celebrated the lifetime achievements of journalist Nelson A. King at a gala ceremony at Glen Terrace on Avenue N in Brooklyn.
King, on Aug. 1, successfully defended his dissertation on the topic: “Exploring Female Former Sugar Cane Farmers’ Livelihood Transition in St. Kitts and Nevis: A Multiple Case Study.”
In a recent letter to King, the Registrar’s Office at Northcentral University (NCU), a fully-accredited university, whose corporate headquarters is in San Diego, CA congratulated him on the “conferral of doctorate” — a doctorate in business administration (DBA), with specialization in international business.
“Greetings Dr. Nelson King, we would like to congratulate you on the completion of your degree!” the letter states. “Your transcripts now list your degree as conferred.”
King said the findings of his doctoral study provide “concrete information on social and vocational training policy recommendations to the current government in St. Kitts and Nevis to address the needs of former female sugarcane farmers and other potential workers affected by the closure of agricultural and other industries.”
The versatile journalist, with training in diverse fields, said, in the coming weeks, he will work on articles for peer-reviewed journals from his dissertation. He also said he will seek publication of extracts from his dissertation in local, regional and international periodicals.
“I came to congratulate my adopted son from Vincy [St. Vincent and the Grenadines],” said Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, the Jamaican-born, trailblazing former New York City Council Member, whose political club, the Brooklyn-based Progressive Democrats Political Association (PDPA) honored King in early July as part of its African American Heritage Month celebration. “So, Dr. King, I come to congratulate you.
“I know you long enough,” Dr. Clarke added. “I know you’re not selfish, so I give you wings so you can fly.”
Noting that it was a “grand occasion,” New York State Assemblyman Jamaican Nick Perry, who represents the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, said he couldn’t miss the event, despite the United States Presidential Debate that same evening.
“All the degrees Nelson has, he earned them,” he said. “Nelson, we’re all proud of you. We know you’ll not walk around with a big sign. We certainly will enjoy with you your achievement.”
Former New York State Senator John Sampson, the son of a Guyanese father, who had represented the 19th Senatorial District in Brooklyn, said he was “proud of Dr. King.
“I have to give you a lot of credit,” he said. “You’re the epitome of a hard working brother, despite all that we go through.”
Earl Horne – a founding member and former president of the Brooklyn-based Hairoun Sports Club and an executive member of the Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO), the umbrella Vincentian group in the US – described King as “really a true Caribbean man.
“You work very hard in getting your work out,” he said. “Congrats for the work you’ve done.”
Hewitt James, who accompanied James Cordice, the architect behind St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ participation in the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, said he was “honored and gratified to celebrate with Dr. Nelson King all of his successes and achievements.
“Nelson was born and raised in Chateaubelair, my hometown in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said the Philadelphia-based James, who was a member when King was president of Clubland, a drama group in the Chateaubelair Methodist Church, in the mid-to-late 1970s. “Because of this, I think it is fair to say that I must have known him virtually all my life.
“When I look back at his work both as teacher and journalist, I can say, unequivocally, he has effected positive and lasting community changes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean and the wider Diaspora of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” added the former elementary school teacher and police officer in his native land. “I have personally witnessed his excellent work in action and saw the fruitful results.
“I have no doubts that Nelson will continue to steer his intellectually-driven life on a steady path, while he juggles with work, family, church/faith in God and community and social actions,” James continued. “Nelson is, indeed, incredible, and I am very proud of him.”
Calypsonian Cyril N. “Scorcher” Thomas, a former St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ New York Deputy Consul General, who performed several of his hits at the event, said, in jest, that he knew King was “a doctor for a long time.”
King’s DBA brings to seven the number of degrees he now possesses. He has a Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science from Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY); an Executive Masters in Public Administration (MPA Exec.) from Baruch College (CUNY); and a Master of Law (LL.M) in United States Legal Studies from St. John’s University School of Law in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
He obtained his undergraduate law degree — Bachelor of Law (LL. B), (Upper Second Class Honors) – from Huddersfield University School of Law at Holborn College in the United Kingdom.
King holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science (honors) and Journalism from Brooklyn College, graduating cum laude; and an Associate Degree (AA) in Liberal Arts from St. Leo University in Florida, while serving in the United States Army at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia.
Registered Nurse Celia Bramble, a former president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association of New York and Laverne McDowald-Thompson, COSAGO president and King’s fellow Chateaubelair native, read King’s lengthy biography.
A representative from Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, the first Haitian American to be elected to New York State Assembly, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, presented King with a proclamation.
Caribbean Life’s associate editor Kevin Williams also presented his colleague with a framed photograph he did of a scene in Grenada.
Saxophonist Joe Allert serenaded King with “I did it my way,” and King’s friend and Grenadian-born entertainment producer Derek Ventour served as Master of Ceremonies.