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Jamaica’s history and culture showcased at Broward’s Urban League Gala

FT. LAUDERDALE – Jamaica’s history and culture, once again took centre stage at the recent 22nd annual Empowerment Gala of the Urban League, Broward County.

The event, held at the Broward Convention Centre, attracted an audience of nearly 1,000 persons, taking a different approach, incorporating a Caribbean theme in its planning. With the theme: ‘Celebrating the exhilarating Rhythm and Flavor of Broward’, it had on show the cultures of two Caribbean nations, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, through culinary delights, entertainment, and sights and landmarks of both areas.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Broward, Dr. Germaine Smith Baugh, said that as the Broward County population has grown to include Caribbean immigrants, it was necessary to reflect the change. The objective was to “feature two countries that are undeniably an important part of the fabric of Broward County” at the gala, he said.

The purpose of the Urban League, is to empower and develop youth and adults in the areas of economic development, education and health.

Dr. Baugh explained that as the Caribbean community has grown throughout the communities in Florida State, young persons from the Caribbean are becoming more involved in the League’s young professional group.

At the event, persons were curious to sample servings of jerk chicken, roast beef, rice and peas, bammy and Caribbean coleslaw, prepared by Jamaican restaurateurs, Catherine and Desmond Malcolm of Jerk Machine, Incorporated, in Fort Lauderdale.

There was also a display and sampling of an assortment of food products from Grace Foods (USA).

A ‘coconut-stand’, reflective of a common theme in the Caribbean, was a highlight of the Jamaican port. Visitors stood in long lines to sample coconut water served in its natural form from the husk, as the ‘coconut man’ was on hand to chop and serve from his stall decorated with fronds of the coconut tree.

The Jamaican port was adorned with props of tourist locations throughout the island. A selection of art by Jamaican artist, Jerry Craig, also formed part of the display.

Several awards were presented to persons in the Broward area, for their contribution to empowering and developing the community.

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