August 28, 2018
“The strength and resiliency of the Caribbean nations deserve our honor and our respect,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the annual West Indian American and Caribbean American Heritage Reception at Gracie Mansion. In celebration of the largest West Indian and Caribbean community outside of the West Indies, the annual reception recognized the important contributions that this community has made to New York City. The event featured masqueraders, a live band and a steel pan performer, and food from local Caribbean restaurants. The reception was in advance of J’Ouvert, the annual street festival that occurs in the early morning hours leading up to the West Indian American Day Carnival, which was held on Labor Day, Monday, September 3. See nyc.gov/jouvert to learn more.
First Lady Chirlane McCray, who has Caribbean roots and was a parade marshal at this year’s West Indian Day Parade, said, “We are a beautiful people, and we have to care for one another. That’s how we show our Caribbean pride.” Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed this sentiment, noting, “[New York City] would not be great if it weren’t for what the Caribbean has given us… We will celebrate J’Ouvert in peace... We will send a message about the greatness of this community.”
Mayor de Blasio honored radio personality Angela Yee, whose mother is from Montserrat. Since 2010, Angela has co-hosted The Breakfast Club on New York’s Power 105.1. Additionally, Angela is an entrepreneur who opened a juice bar in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood to expand access to healthy food, and she also hosts a book club to promote literacy, a running club in Prospect Park to encourage fitness, and a series of financial literacy programs to foster economic empowerment. At the reception, Angela was not only presented with a proclamation that named August 28, 2018 as Angela Yee Day, but she was also named an ambassador for the New York Public Library. At the event, Angela Yee noted, “My Caribbean roots are what made me so resilient and work so hard.”
Music for the evening was provided by The Casplash Band, a New York-based band that performs calypso, soca, and reggae as well as American pop and R&B music.
Video description: Watch the livestream of the remarks from the West Indian American and Caribbean American Heritage Reception 2018.
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Last night we celebrated New York City’s beautiful West Indian and Caribbean community at Gracie Mansion! I am honored and so proud to march alongside all of you this weekend with our lively colors, traditions and history! Thank you to last night’s honoree @angelayee for all that you do to help New Yorkers thrive! #CaribbeanNYC
You could say we had some fun at the West Indian heritage event last night... pic.twitter.com/2DrQ7Wnf2I— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) August 29, 2018
Comm. @bittamostofi joined @NYCMayor & @NYCFirstLady last night at Gracie Mansion for the West Indian & Caribbean Heritage Celebration! It was a joy to honor all the contributions to our city’s greatness made by NYers of West Indian & Caribbean heritage. pic.twitter.com/6t4Tu2aUWy— NYC ImmigrantAffairs (@NYCImmigrants) August 29, 2018
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Commissioner Cecile Noel joined @nycmayor & @nycfirstlady at a reception yesterday to celebrate West Indian American & Caribbean American Heritage. Honoring achievements & contributions made to NYC with colleagues and luminaries! @nycveterans @l_sutton1981 #DMThompson @una.st.clarke @nycimmigrants @bittamostofi #CaribbeanNYC
We would like to acknowledge and thank our Community Engagement Partner for their generous support of the West Indian American and Caribbean American Heritage Reception 2018: