US President Joseph Biden – A proclamation on Caribbean-American National Heritage Month, 2021
America’s diversity is and always has been the defining strength of our nation – with each generation our society, spirit and shared ambitions have been refreshed by wave after wave of immigrants in search of their American dream. Throughout our history, Caribbean Americans have brought vibrant cultures, languages, traditions and values ââthat strengthen our country and add new chapters to our shared history. In recognition of the countless gifts and contributions of Caribbean Americans to our nation, we celebrate National Caribbean American Heritage Month.
Caribbean Americans have made our country more innovative and more prosperous; they have enriched the arts and culture of our nation, our public institutions and our economy. I am honored to celebrate this National Caribbean-American Heritage Month alongside the Caribbean-American barrier-breaking officials in my administration, including Vice President Kamala Harris, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice. – all of which continue to be a source of pride and inspiration to Caribbean Americans across the country.
Caribbean-American intellectuals and artists like James Weldon Johnson, the poet who gave us the hymn, Lift up every voice and sing; the famous neo-expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat; and John B. Russwurm, the first Caribbean-American editor-in-chief of an American newspaper, left a lasting impact on our country. Caribbean-American jurists like Constance Baker Motley, the first black woman appointed to the federal bench, and the first Latin American Supreme Court judge, Sonia Sotomayor, have made countless contributions to the American justice system. Shirley Chisholm, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants, broke new ground as our nation’s first black MP – and the first black woman to run for president of a major party. Officials like Antonia Novello, our nation’s first female surgeon general, and Colin Powell, our first black secretary of state, have followed in her footsteps, blazing new trails in service to the American people.
Despite the powerful heritage of Caribbean Americans success, many members of the Caribbean-American community continue to face systemic barriers to fairness, opportunity and justice. Systemic racism has had a unique impact on black and Latino immigrant communities, including Caribbean Americans, resulting in disparities in health care, education, housing, criminal justice, and economic opportunity. . My administration is committed to addressing these ingrained disparities – and bringing our nation closer to its promise that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout their lives. That’s why I launched a whole-of-government approach to advancing racial justice and equity.
During National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we celebrate the legacy and essential contributions of Caribbean Americans who have added so much to our American fabric.
THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of authority conferred on me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, hereby proclaim June 2021 as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to join in celebrating the history, culture, and achievements of Caribbean Americans with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have appended my signature on this first day of June in the year of grace two thousand and twenty-one and of the independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and forty-fifth.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
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