On Sunday February 28, 2016, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, His Excellency Sam T. Condor, graced the halls of the Crawford United Church in the Bronx as a guest of the Kittitian American Benevolent Association’s (KABA) annual Black History Concert.
The Ambassador used the opportunity to laud the work of KABA and commended members for over thirty three years of service to the federation. In his delivery, Ambassador Condor demonstrated that KABA’s work is a lesson in Black History. “Our own Kittitian and Nevisian heritage bears evidence of a rich history and our future looks extremely promising given the foundation laid for our current generation and the rich pool of resources that continue to be available for generations to come,” he stated. Ambassador Condor also used the opportunity to recognize the founders of KABA for their vision and motivation to extend their philanthropic spirit beyond their adopted home away from St. Kitts and Nevis.
Ambassador Condor declared, “It is instructive that the motivation to establish KABA was the desire to rebuild the St. Kitts Public Library, which was tragically destroyed by fire in 1982. The collaboration of these founding women resulted in the collection and the shipping of over ten thousand books to St. Kitts.” The Ambassador expressed his pleasure for the invitation to give remarks at the annual event and looks forward to more initiatives that celebrate Kittitian and Nevisian heritage.
The KABA Black History event was an exercise in sober reflection on the challenges of the black race, appreciation for the accomplishments of people of colour, and the burgeoning anticipation for the future of black people throughout the world. From Uriel Swanston’s rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” on guitar to the group rendition of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, Sunday’s event served as a reminder that the tireless work of KABA organizers is really a testimony to the dedication of its members to the mission of service to others. Without committed servants who continue to share the stories of our ancestors, we are void as a people.
KABA executive Mrs. Helen Byron-Baker, shared a story titled, “What if There Were No Black People in the World.” It’s a lesson of a young boy who learns from his mother the myriad inventions for which black people are responsible and the challenges ordinary human beings would endure today if there were no black people. From the light bulb, to the refrigerator to the iron board and the fountain pen, there is much for which people of colour ought to feel proud. See link. http://williamsonlibrary.lib.wv.us/African%20American/what_if_there_were_no_black_peop.htm.
What if There Were No Black People in the World This is a story of a little boy named Michael, who woke up one morning and asked his mother, “Mom …
Guests engaged in an insightful quiz on Black History, and were also entertained in song by KABA executive member and event host Mr. Randy Wyatt. Other contributions included a History of the celebration of Black History Month delivered by Mr. Eugene Francis and a poem about the love of her maternal grandmother by Ms. Heather Archibald.
Educator and main speaker for Sunday’s Black History event Kittitian born Dr. Mamzelle Adolphine took attendees on a visual journey throughout the United States of America. There, she offered candid insights on the accomplishments of people of colour and the importance of sharing the rich history of the black race. Dr. Adolphine posited that many of our youth wander at a very early stage of their life not merely because they want to be mischief makers but because they are void of the knowledge about who came before them and what they endured, lack of appreciation for the prosperity of black people in light of the trials they have overcome and lack of direction or desire to attain great things in the future. Every young person must be taught through the adults in their lives how much pride there is in the black culture. Without it, she opined, we are a people doomed. Mervyn Boone of Primerica, a US based insurance and financial firm shared insight on growing wealth in the black community and offered his services to attendees interested in wealth building.
The event ended with closing remarks by long standing KABA member Shirley Nelson.