Florida Senate - 2016                                     SM 484
       By Senator Thompson
       12-00650-16                                            2016484__
    1                           Senate Memorial                         
    2         A memorial to the Congress of the United States,
    3         urging Congress to recognize the month of June each
    4         year as “Caribbean American Heritage Month.”
    6         WHEREAS, from a region that conjures images of a scenic
    7  paradise, Caribbean Americans are as vibrant as the islands from
    8  which they come, possessing a wealth of talent and history that
    9  reverberates throughout this great state and nation, and
   10         WHEREAS, emigration from the Caribbean region to the
   11  American colonies began as early as 1619, with the arrival of
   12  indentured workers in Jamestown, Virginia, and since 1820,
   13  millions of people have emigrated from the Caribbean region to
   14  the United States, and
   15         WHEREAS, as educators, authors, community leaders and
   16  activists, musicians, and politicians, Caribbean Americans have
   17  made their mark on every facet of our society and have
   18  contributed to the betterment and diversity of our state and
   19  nation, and
   20         WHEREAS, counted among the many famous sons and daughters
   21  of the Caribbean are activist W.E.B. Du Bois; Secretary of the
   22  Treasury Alexander Hamilton; the first African-American
   23  Secretary of State Colin Powell; actress Cicely Tyson; actor
   24  Sidney Poitier, the first African-American actor to receive the
   25  Academy Award for best actor in a leading role; author, poet,
   26  and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson; musician, actor,
   27  and activist Harry Belafonte; athlete Roberto Clemente, the
   28  first Latino inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame;
   29  and numerous others who have displayed great strength and
   30  resiliency while serving as pioneers among the people of the
   31  Caribbean, and
   32         WHEREAS, the modern political influences of Caribbean
   33  Americans are evident in the election of former member of the
   34  Florida House of Representatives, Jennifer Carroll of Trinidad
   35  and Tobago, as Florida’s first Caribbean American Lieutenant
   36  Governor; the election of former Maryland Lieutenant Governor
   37  Anthony G. Brown, who is of Jamaican descent; and the continued
   38  representation in local, state, and national governments by
   39  members from the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, Jamaica,
   40  and other Caribbean nations, and
   41         WHEREAS, in June 2005, the United States House of
   42  Representatives unanimously adopted a concurrent resolution
   43  recognizing the significance of Caribbean people and their
   44  descendants in the history and culture of the United States and
   45  observing the month of June as “Caribbean American Heritage
   46  Month,” and
   47         WHEREAS, on February 14, 2006, the United States Senate
   48  unanimously passed the resolution, culminating a two-year
   49  bicameral effort, and
   50         WHEREAS, since the passage of the resolution in 2005, the
   51  White House has issued an annual proclamation recognizing June
   52  as “Caribbean American Heritage Month,” exemplifying the
   53  importance of this observance across the nation, and
   54         WHEREAS, the United States of America has thrived as a
   55  country of immigrants, united by common values and the promise
   56  of a better tomorrow, NOW, THEREFORE,
   58  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   60         That the Congress of the United States is urged to
   61  recognize the month of June each year as “Caribbean American
   62  Heritage Month” as a celebration of our shared past with the
   63  Caribbean region, intertwined present, and inextricably linked
   64  future, as well as the strength, diversity, and richness that
   65  Caribbean Americans have woven into the fabric of this nation.
   66         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be
   67  dispatched to the President of the United States, to the
   68  President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the
   69  United States House of Representatives, and to each member of
   70  the Florida delegation to the United States Congress.