WIADCA to kick-off 50th lauding Bob Marley as Caribbean Cultural Ambassador

WIADCA to kick-off 50th lauding Bob Marley as Caribbean Cultural Ambassador
Stephen Marley performs during the “Catch A Fire Tour 2015” stop at The Paramount in Huntington, Long Island on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in New York
Donald Traill / Invision / Associated Press, File

Stephen, the son of Robert Nesta and Rita Marley is scheduled to make an appearance on the inaugural evening of the 50th anniversary celebration of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association’s annual five-day tribute to Caribbean culture by adding to the line-up of “Reggae Unda Di Stars” with acceptance of a posthumous special tribute to his famous father.

The six-time Grammy winner will accept WIADCA’s cultural ambassador honor on behalf of his iconic father who died in Miami, Florida in 1981.

Offered in commemoration of the NY visit he made in 1978-1980 where he debuted a now-prophetic album titled “Uprising,” the nostalgic event was hosted at that juncture by WIADCA during the Brooklyn festivities.

The Rastafarian, acclaimed ‘king of reggae,” designated first Third World superstar, singer, composer, husband and father allegedly expressed his enthusiasm and support of the “organization’s efforts in bringing the community together by promoting diversity and tolerance of all ethnicities.”

This occasion marks a significant milestone appearance of any member of the talented Marley family members.

Probably the most-sported image of any T-shirt worn on Labor Day, Marley’s image and “One Love” mantra has been an integral aspect of the summer’s-end festivities.

A Tribute to Bob Marley theme previously prevailed throughout the history of the celebration alongside those signifying “Caribbeans Unite,” “Samba Brazil” and “African Feelin.”

It’s been 16 years since Damian, Marley’s youngest son launched his “Half-Way-Tree” CD. It was his second album and he introduced it by parading on a truck with a legion of fans following behind as he performed tracks from the now Grammy winning compilation.

On the last day of August, Stephen will again add Marley magic to the revelry which headlines Cocoa Tea.

The singer will be backed by Derrick Barnett & Statement Band, and also features Afro-beat songstress Wunmi, Ghanaian dancehall artist Stonebwoy Dajah. Also billed is music from Road international and Irie Jam Rdio’s Cali B, Max Glazer and Kenny Meez of Federation Sound.

Road International’s DJ Roy will emcee the rain or shine showcase which is slated to begin at 7 pm at the rear of the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway.

On Labor Day Eastern Parkway Will Be Runway For Longest Fashion Show

Janice Lawrence-Clarke, Trinidad & Tobago’s creative fashion guru plans to ramp up WIADCA’s half century parade along the span of the Brooklyn boulevard by presenting the best of the best designs created by Caribbean trendsetters.

President and creative director of JLC Productions, she is also founder of Caribbean American Fashion Exchange, a program aimed at integrating fashion design talent into United States markets.

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With that sense of purpose she established the CAFE Scholarship Fund at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) with the sole purpose of aiding two students who live in the Caribbean to study at the reputed Manhattan fashion institution.

Committed to adding flair and fashion to the already spectacular thoroughfare she plans to amplify the mass celebration with unique creations which may never be exposed to such a vast spectator crowd.

Reportedly, the parade attracts more than two million spectators and Lawrence-Clarke wants to capture the eyes of twice that many on Sept. 4.

With silk, satin, feathers, lace, glitter and glamour and every color of the rainbow, the annual 50-year fete has never been short on showcasing the most colorful and outrageous Caribbean cultural pride masquerading images depicting various characters reflective of a global view imagined by skilled designers and crafts-persons adept at presenting a larger-than-life tapestry of images.

This unique fashion addition will likely showcase a variety of designs featuring glamour to suit all four seasons of summer, winter, fall and spring.

“It is something I always wanted to do,” the innovative fashionista said, “but I wasn’t quite sure how I could effectively execute such a showcase.”

Her brainchild caught the ears of WIADCA organizers and 2017, the historic anniversary year will be her premiere presentation.

She has been associated with the fashion industry since 1975.

First as a runway and illustration model, she later entered the business side of the industry as Evan Picone’s fashion director of sportswear manufacture.

In 1984, she launched Visual Excitement!, a fashion and trade show company which produced events for established outlets such as the Jones New York, New York City Opera Guild, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

After her first engagement in the business of fashion, she elevated herself to champion the

development of a Caribbean fashion industry.

Three decades ago, Jamaica’s Daphne Brown had toiled to establish the industry with her Caribbean American Designers & Models Association (CADMA). Brown also founded a CAFÉ scholarship she hoped would benefit young Caribbean, designers and models.

Brown “was a visionary,” Lawrence-Clarke opined.

“I knew her and even participated in her many endeavors.”

Although those experiences shaped her future, the TT native said in 1994 she returned home.

While there, she rose to prominence in the country’s social and fashion scene as a journalist and provided her fashion expertise revolutionizing coverage of fashion events in print media by developing the ‘Style Page’ for The Trinidad Guardian, the daily newspaper.

In addition she contributed columns to The Independent and served as associate editor at Ibis Magazine.

Five years later she returned stateside and embarked on a mission to expand her expertise marketing and promoting cultural events.

According to the forward-thinker, a belief in economic empowerment through cultural development motivated her to partner in the masquerade carnival theatre company — DRJ Vision In Motion — to present the story of Nelson Mandela during the 2014 WIADCA’s Labor Day Parade.

Her aim is to bring attention to Caribbeans in fashion through several events.

Earlier, this year she scored a bucket list achievement with the success of a fashion event named “A Taste of Caribbean Carnival.”

For the 50th anniversary there will be a few other firsts.

For the first time ever “Senior Viewing Stands” will be designated along the parade route.

Senior citizens will be able to participate in the parade with costumes, refreshments and their very own viewing stands.

In addition, Caribbean American Pride Unity has created a coalition to promote HIV awareness and education — The Stigma, The Faces and the Fight!

The coalition will march in solidarity along Eastern Parkway — branded Cultural Row — on Labor Day.

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