Three Bajan artistes have been named to be part of a virtual Caribbean inauguration party for United States’ Vice President-elect Kamala Harris under the theme: Celebrating #CaribbeanAmericanKamala.
Edwin The General Yearwood, Kirk Brown and Toni Norville are set to perform at the event which will be broadcast on Sunday January 17, the day before Martin Luther King Day.
The event promises to be “an impressive gathering in cyberspace” with some of the Caribbean’s most notable artistes, dignitaries, and organisations marking an important moment in history – the official swearing-in of Kamala Harris as the first female and the first black Caribbean-American US Vice-President at the 59th Presidential Inauguration.
Both Edwin and Kirk Brown have deemed it “an honour” to be selected to be a part of the virtual celebration. Efforts to reach Norville were unsuccessful.
Edwin will be performing I Am, the Black affirmation song he released in July 2020 after the May killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and during the racial marches which were taking place globally.
He said: “It is an honour to be able to represent Barbados and by extension the Caribbean. It feels good to join others in wishing success to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. I feel proud as a Black person. I feel proud as a Caribbean person.
“We feel a sense of her representing us in as many ways possible. She is the first female vice president in the US who may be looking at some day becoming the president so I feel privileged to be able to bless her with encouragement and support from this tiny rock called Barbados,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Entertainer and media personality Kirk Brown will be singing his hit single You’re My Number. Kirk said he wanted to show respect for women.
“She [Kamala] is the first in many categories. Performing at this event means a lot to me in terms of being one of three Barbadians to be personally selected and given the opportunity. I think it is great that we as Caribbean people are coming together for unity and I was just happy even to be mentioned. We all congratulate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and look forward to the inauguration,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Invest Caribbean, a leading investment agency of the Caribbean, has initiated the Caribbean American Action Network, (CAAN), a collective of Caribbean American and Caribbean organisations, to present the live event.
Manager of Live Wire Entertainment Ingrid Holder said she was originally contacted by Aubry Padmore who wanted Edwin to do a one-minute congratulatory video. Subsequently, event planners added him to perform I Am, which they deemed suitable for the event. Padmore, owner of Global Village Book Publishing LLC, is a CAAN partner.
Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, is expected to deliver a message of her own to the Caribbean diaspora and Caribbean people globally.
The brainchild and organiser of the event, Caribbean-America immigrant, journalist, entrepreneur and advocate, Felicia J. Persaud said that it was a historic moment for Caribbean people in the United States.
“We are convinced that VP-elect Harris represents the best interests of all Americans, inclusive of those who share her Caribbean ancestry. America and the Caribbean region have always enjoyed a positive working diplomacy and no doubt, this will be reinforced, as we now have a strong ally in the White House. We are proud that she is one of us,” she said.
The event will be hosted by the first Black woman in a James Bond movie, Trina Parks, whose roots extend to Barbados, through her mother and to Antigua through her grandparents.
The virtual celebration will feature signature performances from some of the Caribbean’s top entertainers, including Jamaican-born dancehall star, Flourgon and legendary group Fab 5.
The other performers making up the slate are Jamaican gospel singer Joan Meyers, of Can’t Even Walk fame; independent Jamaican artiste Janine Jkuhl of Sway fame; Owen Dalhouse who recently released Heal the Soul of America; as well Guyanese Menes De Griot and Shanto along with Frankie McIntosh, Maxie Gouevia and Rashid Thorpe.
Among those bringing congratulatory messages will be Caribbean-born Congressman Adriano Espaillat of NY, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and Chair of the CARICOM Consular Corps of New York Counsel General of Barbados to NY, O. St. E. Mackie Holder.
The live stream will kick-off at 7 p.m. EST on the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube platforms of One Caribbean Television, (OCTV), as well as on Radio 102.9 FM in Antigua & Barbuda. On Inauguration Day, OCTV will air the event on television across the Caribbean.