Celebrating June as Caribbean Heritage Month, the citywide WiFi service LinkNYC is commemorating the annual observance by gracing all of their kiosks with images of influential Americans of Caribbean descent. The campaign, which highlights several notable people born or living in the city, launched last year and was created in partnership with cultural hub, Caribbeing. And its returned for another year to celebrate it, said the commissioner of the city’s Department of Information Technology.
“This month, New Yorkers will get to see some of the most influential Caribbean American icons of the past century just by walking by a LinkNYC kiosk,” Samir Saini. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with Caribbeing to showcase the Caribbean culture and heritage while shining a light on the figures who have positively impacted New York City.”
The honorees included are comedian Majah Hype, dancehall artists Spice, writer and author Elizabeth Acevedo, famed artist Jean Michel Basquiat, Pan-African leader Marcus Garvey, activist and leader Malcolm X, actor Winston Duke, hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash, salsa singer La Lupe, award-winning actor Sidney Poitier, singer Amara La Negra, author Roxane Gay, the city’s first Caribbean-born elected official Dr. Una Clarke, politician and first black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, and rapper Biggie Smalls.
All the aforementioned are of Jamaican, Trinidadian, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Haitian, Barbadian, and Cuban descent. Many of them creating history not only for the city, but for themselves and the Caribbean Diaspora, said the service’s director of community affairs.
“Caribbeing chose figures who have impacted New York City’s culture in so many ways, from artists and authors to activists and notable politicians,” said Ruth Fasoldt. “We were thrilled to work with Caribbeing for the second year in a row to showcase these icons and their accomplishments throughout the city.”
With one of the country’s biggest concentration of Caribbean immigrants, this campaign is timely and complimenting of the city’s Caribbean Diaspora.
“New York City is home to one of the largest, most diverse Caribbean populations in the world,” added Fasoldt. “We are honored to use the LinkNYC platform to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month and recognize the many contributions Caribbean Americans have made throughout history.”
A few of the icons in the campaign are deceased, but majority of them are living and thrilled to see their likeness represented through visual billboard across the city, according to Fasoldt.
“We have been delighted to see some of the artists — including Majah Hype and Amara La Negra — catch themselves on Link kiosks and share the images on social media with their fans,” said Fasoldt.
Saini says this campaign is one of the many ways the city is working to use technology to help educate passerby and spread knowledge.
“LinkNYC and the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications have worked with many local organizations to highlight the roles of both well known and un-sung figures in history and culture,” he said. “We love that our platform of 1,600 kiosks, provides the opportunity to further connect New Yorkers to their communities, and help us all learn more about each other.”