The Bronx-based Garifuna Coalition, USA, Inc. is cordially inviting the public to join in the celebration of March 11- April 12, 2016 as Garifuna-American Heritage Month 2016 in New York City.
The Coalition said the celebration is in observance of the 219th Anniversary of the Forcible Transfer of the Garifuna People by the British from St. Vincent and the Grenadines on March 11, 1797 and their settlement in Central America on April 12, 1797.
“Garifuna-American Heritage Month provides an opportunity to recognize the significance of Garifuna’ contributions to the quality and character of life of New York City,” said the group in a statement.
Through many events and activities throughout the month, the Coalition said “all people” will “gain a greater appreciation of Garifuna history and traditions, and of the role Garifuna-Americans have played, and will continue to play, in New York’s society.”
“Garifuna-American Heritage Month has uplifted the Garifuna Community from obscurity to the pinnacle of recognition by raising awareness and appreciation of the Garifuna Community and its contribution to the culture and society of New York City,” said the coalition, stating that New York City is home to the largest Garifuna population outside of Central America, with more than 200,000.
The 2016 Garifuna-American Heritage Month will launch with the 6th Annual “Abrazo Garifuna in New York” on Friday, March 11.
The Coalition said this event will honor the contributions of Garifuna-Americans to the State and City of New York.
The next day, March 12, at 7 pm, the 2016 Garifuna Music Awards will be presented at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY.
“This will be the premier Garifuna event in the USA and [we] invite you to be a participant in this historic moment,” the Coaliton said.
On Tuesday, March 15, a Garifuna delegation from New York City will travel to Albany, the state’s capital, to attend the Sixth Annual Garifuna-American Legislative Day.
In Albany, the Coaltion said Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, Sr. and Assemblymen Marcos Crespo, Michael Blake and Luis Sepulveda will present the resolution “memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to declare March 11, 2016, to April 12, 2016, as Garifuna-American Heritage Month in the State of New York.”