As the Caribbean community in New York over the Labor Day weekend virtually celebrated the annual West Indian American Day Carnival festivities, Brooklyn Assemblywoman Diana Richardson said the observance was reminiscent of the region’s heritage, culture and pride.
“For those of us of Caribbean descent, Labor Day weekend plays an integral role in our experience as residents of Brooklyn,” said Richardson, the daughter of Aruban and St. Martin residents, in an email message to constituents.
“It serves as a reminder of our heritage, culture and pride as Caribbean people,” added the representative for the 43rd Assembly District that encompasses Crown Heights and other neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
“While this weekend reminds us that summer is coming to a close, it also usually brings with it a weekend of festivities, highlighting and celebrating Caribbean culture in New York, the pinnacle of which is West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s Labor Day Parade,” she continued.
Richardson noted that, every year, people from all over the world converge on Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway “to celebrate not only Labor Day but (also) our culture and pride as Caribbean people.
“Regrettably, this year, the community is not able to observe the way it traditionally would, because of our desire to be responsible and safe amid this public health crisis,” she said.
The assemblywoman applauded the Brooklyn-based carnival organizing group, West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), for doing “a phenomenal job in trying to bring us the best virtual carnival experience that they possibly can.
“And I know I speak on behalf of everyone, when I state that we appreciate their hard work throughout this time.,” she said.
Richardson said Labor Day has always been “a day that not only brought us the latest soca, reggae and dance hall tunes from our home countries, but, each year, it has been a day that has brought us closer together as a community.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an immense toll on many of our families, but it has also shown us how resilient we are as people, and why we need to continue to stand together,” she added. “Always remember that, in unity, there is strength.”