As temperatures soar into the 90s, New Yorkers may be experiencing the “dog days of August.”
However, on Aug. 6, a few Jamaicans risked the heat, sunstroke and Monday morning rush hour in order to join Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Cong. Yvette Clarke and the island’s Consul General Trudy Deans for a flag-raising ceremony hailing the 56th anniversary of independence of the first Caribbean nation to secede from British rule.
The modest crowd rallied on the plaza behind the government building, cheering and waving miniature, paper banners as the black green and green mounted a pole adjacent to the star spangled banner.
“It is the power of the diasporan community… that paved the way… that now makes it possible for the Jamaican flag to rise above the oldest government building in Brooklyn,” Adams said.
The president of the borough who previously hosted the ceremony when he first took office again lauded the nation and its milestone achievement of maintaining self-governance.
Often sticking to a script of retracing the heritage and culture of nationals from the immigrant community that largely resides in the borough, Adams proposed empowerment of citizens and inferred change in national government.
“Just like we took down the Union Jack, (the British flag) we must take down this crazy Jack,” Adams said referring to the current White House occupant.
His audience seemed unanimous in sharing the sentiments he seemed to equate with action against dominance and superior rule.
One day prior, Adams welcomed immigrants from the global community by hosting a celebration of diversity and inclusion with New Yorkers — with more than 80 countries — and individuals who carried the flags of 195 nations during the fifth annual International Day of Friendship celebration in Brooklyn.
The celebration began with a Unity Parade of Flags down Fulton Mall from its intersection with Flatbush Ave. concluding with a festival outside the edifice acclaimed to the ‘People’s House.’ The celebration also presented a global dance party and Global Village which featured tents from countries around the world showcasing their cultures, cuisines, and customs.
Since taking the helm five years ago after winning 90 percent of the vote, Adams has maintained an “Embrace Your Hyphen” platform which encourages Americans to honor their diversity.
He has emphasized the importance of multiculturalism in Brooklyn and its central place as a founding pillar of America, ‘particularly amid recent detention and deportation of immigrant New Yorkers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).’
Brooklyn Congresswoman Clarke amplified Adams’ statement urging Jamaican-American citizens to register and vote during elections. The daughter of an immigrant, she narrowly won reelection during primary elections recently.
In her address she spoke of the might of the people and also reference President Donald Trump as an impediment to independence and free will.
In previous years, flag-raising ceremonies have been held at Queens Borough Hall, Bowling Green in lower Manhattan as well as churches in the Bronx.
A service of thanksgiving and flag-raising ceremony was held on Sunday in the Bronx. The annual ecumenical event was coordinated by Hyacinth Bloomfield.