The great accomplishments of Caribbean Americans in Brooklyn were highlighted at a Heritage Month celebration, sponsored by Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and One Caribbean Radio, under the tent in Restoration Plaza, Brooklyn.
The June 30 event marked the Sixth Annual awards presentation, and the first collaboration with the DA and radio station, that brought together scores of nationals for a spirited afternoon that included music by 2010 Panarama winner, Pan Sonata Steel Orchestra.
Haynes in his presentation, lauded Edmond Braithwaite, owner of One Caribbean, and complemented the airwaves, by saying that “One Caribbean is an outstanding broadcast that keeps nationals and Caribbean Americans here and overseas connected with current events and information.
DA Hynes who made his statements from the historic Restoration Plaza on Fulton Street, thanked Colvin Grannum, president and CEO of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, and praised the organization for being a pillar of stability and engine of growth in the community for 44 years.
“As we celebrate Caribbean Heritage in Brooklyn – which is consider a special landmark of the Caribbean community – let us keep in mind our friends, family and colleagues that are struggling to make ends meet to survive in countries like Haiti, said the politician, who reminded the nationals that one year later, the island nation is still trying to recover from the massive earthquake that paralyzed Port-Au-Prince.
“Let us continue to keep them in our prayers, as we provide assistance and help them to rebuild and improve their nation,” added Haynes.
In recognition of the awardees, Hayne drew parallels with historic Caribbean nationals, by naming General Colin Powell, America’s former Secretary of State who was of Jamaican heritage, and the late Federal Judge Constance Aker Motley, the first African American woman appointed to the federal bench, whose family emigrated from Nevis.
He also named the great Shirley Chisholm, a daughter of Brooklyn whose parents came from Barbados and Guyana. She, he added was the first African American woman elected to Congress, and the first African American woman to run for president of the United States.
Marcus Garvey, a native of Jamaica, and W.E.B. Dubois of Haitian decent, were also on the DA’s list of outstanding Caribbean nationals past.
Before presenting the awards, the politician called the awardees new “torch bearers of this great legacy, Caribbean Americans who are pioneers and who have made significant contributions from a wide range of disciplines to help benefit our community.”
Those presented with plaques included, iconic radio personality, Dahved Levy, from Barbados, Lowell Hawthorne, founder and CEO of Golden Krust, from Jamaica, Candace Sandy and Dawn Marie Daniels, authors of “Souls of My Sisters,” from Trinidad and Barbados, respectively.
Colette Burnet, CEO and founder of Superwings Restaurant, from Trinidad, Charles Small, Chief Court Clerk for Civil Matters in Kings County, who hails from Barbados, David Gayle, CEO of Tropical Paradise, of Belizean and Honduran descent, and Melba Brown, educator and community leader, from Guyana also received honors.
Council Member Juamaane Williams also presented New York City Citations.
One Caribbean founder, Edmon Braithwaite, thanked the many, whom he said make the radio station the success it is today.
The program that was emceed by Lance Ogiste, Counsel to the DA, also featured a presentation of the rebranding of the multi-platform One Caribbean Radio – the only Caribbean radio station in N.Y. – that will now give fans the opportunity to listen in HD via hand-held devices, such as iPads and iPhones.
Some lucky audience members won HD radios after the presentation was completed.
Launched in October 2007, with a Friday through Sunday evening program schedule, One Caribbean Media, has evolved over the last four years, and is in the process of revamping its entire program schedule on WSKO 97.9 HD2.
The media outlet has a target market that includes approximately 700.000 English speaking, Caribbean-born residents in the New York Metro region, in addition to over one million first generation New Yorkers whose parents were born in the Caribbean.