[BOSTON] – Several community stalwarts were honored at the Fifth Annual Afro-Caribbean Black History Gala & Awards put on by the Authentic Caribbean Foundation (ACF) in Boston. Among the attendees were Boston’s Mayor Michelle Wu and several other city and state representatives.
Mayor Wu expressed her delight in joining the Pan-Caribbean community in celebrating Black History month and congratulated the Authentic Caribbean Foundation and its founder Andrew Sharpe for their advocacy on behalf of the Caribbean community. In paying homage to the rich stories, culture, and traditions of the community, “that all of us will continue to chart together,” Mayor Wu highlighted Caribbean thinker and author Audre Lorde, who said, “Without community, there is no liberation, no future.” And the Mayor acknowledged the contributions of Pan-Caribbeans “whom Boston is lucky to have.”
The honorees were drawn from a cross-section of the community and represent a variety of interests.
- Beulah Providence, from the Commonwealth of Dominica, came to Boston as a housekeeper; she formed the Caribbean Association of Boston, a not-for-profit that provides home aide services for those most in need.
- Dr. Geraldene Gabeau, Haitian-American, founded the Immigrant Family Services Institute over 20 years ago. IFSI focuses on women’s and children’s health and is collaborating with other services to stem what is seen as “brain waste” among immigrants.
- Maurice Lindsay, of the Lindsay Entertainment Network, was the first to introduce Caribbean music on radio in Western Massachusetts in 1980. His show Caribbean Culture has been on air for over 40 years.
- Garfield Wint founded Tropics Food Market after moving to Boston with his family. Today the company is a staple in the community for Caribbean produce.
- CleMarcus James, who hails from St. Lucia, is a journalist, radio host, and television producer. He founded the S.T.E.M. Air Traffic Control (ATC) center in Roxbury, where students can learn about careers in the aviation industry, participate in flight labs, and learn to fly a CESNA 172 Skyhawk using advanced simulation technology.
- Restauranteur, Trinidadian-American Hanif Abrahim manages Ali’s Roti Restaurant, bringing the much-loved cuisine of the twin-island to the people of Boston.
- Arleen Thomas-Campbell, a Jamaican immigrant, started Country Kitchen Restaurant after a career in corporate America. It’s been 17 years of making friends and regaling her community with the ever-popular Jamaican menu.
Also acknowledged for impactful community work were Randolph Town Councilor Natacha Clerger. Additionally, Boston City Councilor At-Large Julia Mejia; Regina Snowden and Partners for Youth with Disabilities. Plus, Arnetta and Carl Baty, Rounding the Bases; and Miranda Alexander, Caribbean Community in Philadelphia. The ACF handed out certificates of appreciation to its volunteers.
The event was supported by Cargo Ventures, the Digital Federal Credit Union, Owl Labs, and the Jamaica Diaspora Northeast United States Council.