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Overseas Jamaicans urged to remember their history

NEW YORK – Former Acting Consul General of Jamaica in New York, Lincoln Downer, has called on Jamaicans overseas to remember their history and the positive contributions of their forefathers to the development of the world community.

Mr. Downer, who was addressing a Black History Month event at Brooklyn’s Borough Hall in New York late last month, said that as people of African descent, “we have a story to tell”.

“We have a rich history and culture, which must be highlighted. People of African descent are pioneers in science, the arts, education, music and many other areas. We must use every opportunity to showcase the positive contributions and accomplishments that our fathers and forefathers have made to the development of this nation and to their respective fields of endeavour,” he stated.

Mr. Downer said that “telling our own story will ensure that future generations will have a true sense of their own identity and be better able to build on the solid foundation of those who have gone before”.

In her remarks, Yvonne Graham, Deputy Borough President, Borough of Brooklyn said that a month is simply not enough time to acknowledge the impact that black people have made on arts and letters, governance and business, popular culture and industry.

“It is not enough time to convey the struggle and pain, the tears and triumphs, the lives lost and strides made by those who went before. We must share those stories, starting today,” she stated.

Ms. Graham, who is Jamaican, was one of nine persons recognized at the function for outstanding contribution to the development of Jamaica’s heritage and culture overseas.

Also recognized were Hyacinth Spence for contribution to human rights; Sadie Aarons-Campbell and Dr. Cynthia Richards for literature; Ian Forrest for media; Ken Williams, broadcasting; and Annette Nelson and Norman Narcisse for culture.

The program also featured a cultural cavalcade with members of the Caribbean Cultural Theatre led by artistic director E. Wayne McDonald, who doubled as master of ceremonies.

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