News / Africa

African-Caribbean Diaspora to Take Part in Obama Inauguration

President Obama taking the oath of office at his first inauguration in 2009.President Obama taking the oath of office at his first inauguration in 2009.
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President Obama taking the oath of office at his first inauguration in 2009.
President Obama taking the oath of office at his first inauguration in 2009.
James Butty
At President Barack Obama’s second inauguration ceremony Monday, the African-Caribbean diaspora will play a part in some of the several events. 

The group will host the first-ever African-Caribbean Diaspora Presidential Inaugural Ball.

The Reverend Doctor Agorom Constantine Dike, chairman of the inaugural ball committee, said the group wants to celebrate Obama’s re-election.

“We are cognizant that people of the African and Caribbean Diaspora, of which we are all sons and daughters of Africa, have been praying and laboring and giving sacrificially to ensure that President Barack Obama is re-elected because he is one of us, and he is a son of Africa. We are also cognizant of the hard work that [the] president has done in spite of much opposition,” he said.

Diki said the group will also use the occasion to form the first African-Caribbean Caucus that would advance the group’s interests in the U.S. government.

“In this country, we have the Hispanic Caucus that represents the political, welfare, and different interests of the Hispanic community.  And, there is a Congressional Black Caucus. However, as a diaspora, we are not at the table, and the main reasons we are having this event is to collaborate with all our stakeholders to form this caucus to advance the interests and the socio-economic realities of our people,” he said.

He said the Caucus will set up political action committees that would advocate for the advancement of the African diaspora.

Butty interview with Dike
Butty interview with Dikei
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Dike said all African and Caribbean embassies in Washington have been invited to attend the inaugural ball.

He said the group will honor several individuals during the ball, who, he said, have worked tirelessly to advance interest of the African-Caribbean diaspora.

“We also have on our list of honorees Michael Blake, who is President Obama’s right hand man, and we want to identify the work that he has done.  We also want to recognize Congresswoman Yvette Clarke of New York, who has been advocating for immigration reform.  We want to recognize Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Donna Christie, and these persons who have assisted in Congress to legislate to what we call Caribbean-American Month, which we celebrated in June,” Dike said.

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