FREE Garifuna For Children Event in the Bronx on SATURDAY, March 15th 2014

FREE Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx on SATURDAY, March 15th 2014.

FREE Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx on SATURDAY, March 15th 2014.

Copyright 2014 by Teofilo Colon Jr.  (a.k.a. “Tio Teo” or “Teofilo Campeon”) All Rights Reserved.  Telephone: (646) 961-3674.

Twitter:  @beinggarifuna

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Bronx, New York — As part of 2014 Garifuna American Heritage Month in New York, Isidra Sabio, Garifuna American Illustrator, Children’s Book and Greeting Card Publisher hosts a FREE Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx on SATURDAY, March 15th 2014 at 2pm.

2013 Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

2013 Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

This FREE Garifuna 4 Children will feature Garifuna Children’s songs by James Lovell, Face-Painting, Balloons and Children’s Games by Party Goerz Entertainment as well as Coloring Pages and Crayons for Children.

Garifuna Singer Musician James Lovell at 2013 Garifuna 4 Children Event.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Garifuna Singer Musician James Lovell at 2013 Garifuna 4 Children Event. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

 

Isidra Sabio’s ‘Garifuna 4 Children’ Children’s Coloring Books will also be available for sale.

Party Goerz Entertainment at 2013 Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

Party Goerz Entertainment at 2013 Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

This FREE Event will take place on SATURDAY March 15th 2014 from 2pm to 5pm at:

Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC)

1303 Louis Niñe Blvd

Bronx, New York

Subway: 2 or 5 Subway Train to Freeman St. Subway Stop.

 This event is sponsored by WHEDCO, Bronx Music Heritage Center and the Garifuna Coalition USA Inc.

At the 2013 Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx.  Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr.  All Rights Reserved.

At the 2013 Garifuna 4 Children Event in the Bronx. Photo by Teofilo Colon Jr. All Rights Reserved.

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people  were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.  In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Logo for 2014 Garifuna American Heritage Month.  Logo by Ivan Moreira.

Logo for 2014 Garifuna American Heritage Month. Logo by Ivan Moreira.

March 11th through April 12th is designated Garifuna American Heritage Month in New York.  This period of time marks the date the Garifunas were removed from the St. Vincent area, traveled in a convoy of mostly British ships across the Caribbean Sea and the date the Garifunas reached Central America.  Specifically, Roatan, Honduras on April 12th 1797.  When in Roatan, the Garifunas petitioned the Spanish government to be allowed to move to the mainland of Honduras.  From there the Garifunas migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

Garifuna American Heritage Month is designed to reflect on and observe the forced removal of the Garifuna people (then known as Black Caribs) from their ancestral land of the island of St. Vincent in 1797 to their arrival in Central America on April 12th 1797.

According to a press release from the non-profit organization the Garifuna Coalition USA Inc, Garifuna American Heritage Month in New York also,

“celebrates the great contributions of Garífuna-Americans to the fabric of New York City and New York State, and pays tribute to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Garífuna’s countries of origin (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras Nicaragua and St Vincent and the Grenadines.)”.

The Garifuna Coalition adds, “New York City is home to the largest Garífuna Community outside of Central America!  However, although Garífunas have been migrating here in search of a better life since the 1930s; the community was virtually obscured until the Happy Land Social Club fire on March 25th, 1990.”

Most of the victims of that tragedy were Honduran, many were of Garifuna descent. 1  Overall, the idea is to pay tribute to the survival and resiliency of the Garifuna people and also highlight the contributions made by Garifunas to the state of New York and the United States of America.

Notes:

  1. Edna Negron, “Club Tragedy An Awakening for Garifuna”. New York Newsday, Sunday, August 18th 1991.

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