Jamaicans Celebrate Independence in the US

Jamaicans residing in the United States—in cities such as Washington, DC; Baltimore; and Philadelphia—will be celebrating with a number of official events the 49th anniversary of the Jamaica’s independence planned in the next three weeks. The Jamaica Gleaner reports:

Between August 4 and 21, the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, DC, under the leadership of Ambassador Audrey Marks, will be engaged in a number of activities supported by leading Jamaican organisations.

On Thursday, August 4, an open house will be held at the embassy, between noon and 4 p.m. It will provide an opportunity for the public to meet the ambassador and other members of staff. It will also showcase embassy activities and promote various aspects of Jamaican culture.

On Independence Day, Saturday, August 6, two organisations will stage Independence balls – the Jamaica Association of Maryland (JAM) and ‘Team Jamaica Bickle’, Philadelphia chapter. JAM’s ball, under the distinguished patronage of Ambassador Marks, will be at the Martins West Conference Centre, Baltimore, and is expected to attract about 400 Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica. Baltimore’s Mayor, Stephanie Blake, will be the guest speaker.

This year, JAM will present the Marcus Garvey UNIA Award for outstanding educational and community service to Professor of Biology at Morgan State University, Dr Joseph Whittaker, while US congressman Elijah Cummins will be conferred with honorary membership for his support of the Jamaican and Caribbean communities, and Nicolas Nathan for his outstanding support for JAM.

In Philadelphia, ‘Team Jamaica Bickle’ will stage its second annual Independence Ball at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Philadelphia. The organisation will honour Jamaica’s outgoing Honorary Consul in Pennsylvania, Dr Alston Meade and former Consul General to New York, Dr Basil Bryan for outstanding contribution to the Jamaican community in Philadelphia.

The Dumbarton Chapel at Howard University’s School of Law is the venue for the annual service of thanksgiving on Sunday, August 7, starting at 11 am. General Secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union, the Rev. Karl Johnson, will deliver the sermon. Ambassador Marks will give the official welcome and deliver Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s Independence message. [. . .]

On Saturday, August 13, the Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA) will celebrate with its annual gala at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in downtown Washington DC. This calendar event will be attended by members of the diplomatic corps, Mayor Vincent Gray and members and representatives of the US Congress, the Jamaican community and friends of Jamaica.

[. . .] On Sunday, August 14, JAM will hold its annual Independence thanksgiving service at the Baltimore Central New Testament Church of God, commencing at 5 p.m. The curtains come down on the festivities on Sunday, August 21, with the annual cultural day, staged by JAM at the Lake, Clifton Park in Baltimore, Maryland, commencing at noon.

[Shown here: Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States.]

For full article, see http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20110731/news/news6.html

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