Celebration of Black History Month
Exuberant Celebration of Black History Month at US Residence
March 7, 2012 – USINT Chief of Mission John P. Caulfield hosted a musical program entitled “African Influences on American and Cuban Music” in honor of Black History Month. Cuban music greats Bobby Carcassés and Carlos Alfonso (band leader of well-known Cuban group Síntesis) shared their insights on the topic, accompanying their presentations with musical demonstrations of the African influences in jazz and Cuban music. Female drumming band Obini Batá provided an electrifying interlude during which guests were treated to performances of Yoruba dance rites. Síntesis offered modern interpretations of African musical themes, and were joined by Bobby Carcassés and his flugelhorn for the closing number. Showcasing the ever-present spontaneity of Cuban musicians, 14-year old trumpeter Jesus Anduz joined the veteran musicians on-stage for a final jam session.
Black History Month is celebrated every February in cities and towns across the United States and in U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. The Month recognizes the diversity of the United States and the contributions and influences of African culture. It was the inspiration of Carter G. Woodson, a noted scholar and historian, who in 1926 instituted Negro History Week during the second week of February to coincide with the birthday of Afro-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Negro History Week later became known as Black History Week, and in 1976 during the nation’s bicentennial, the celebration was expanded to a month by presidential decree.
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