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K00287 Summary:

MLTSPNSRAshby, Aubry, Barron, Bichotte Hermelyn, Brabenec, Buttenschon, Cusick, Epstein, Fitzpatrick, Forrest, Frontus, Galef, Gottfried, Hyndman, Jackson, Jean-Pierre, Lawler, Lupardo, McDonald, Montesano, Nolan, Perry, Ramos, Rosenthal L, Rozic, Sillitti, Simon, Stern, Tague, Thiele, Vanel, Weinstein, Zebrowski, Zinerman
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K00287 Text:

Assembly Resolution No. 287
BY: M. of A. Solages
        MEMORIALIZING Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim
        May  12,  2021, as Haitian Unity Day in the State of
        New York, in  conjunction  with  the  observance  of
        Haitian Heritage Month
  WHEREAS,  It  is the sense of this Legislative Body, in keeping with
its time-honored traditions, to  recognize  and  pay  tribute  to  those
organizations  which  foster  ethnic  pride  and  enhance the profile of
cultural diversity which strengthens the fabric of  the  communities  of
New York State; and
  WHEREAS,  Attendant  to  such  concern,  and in full accord with its
long-standing traditions, this  Legislative  Body  is  justly  proud  to
memorialize  Governor  Andrew  M.  Cuomo  to  proclaim  May 12, 2021, as
Haitian Unity Day in the State of New  York,  in  conjunction  with  the
observance of Haitian Heritage Month; and
  WHEREAS,  Haiti,  located less than 700 miles from the United States
of America, is the second nation in the Western  Hemisphere,  after  the
United States, to earn its independence, and has, since 1803, stood as a
beacon of freedom as the first black-governed republic in the world; and
  WHEREAS,  Haiti is one of the original members of the United Nations
and several of its specialized and related agencies, as well as a member
of the Organization of American States (OAS); and
  WHEREAS, On August 22, 1791,  Haiti  was  the  island  nation  where
hundreds  of thousands of enslaved persons initiated the most successful
slave rebellion in history; under the military  leadership  of  Francois
Toussaint  L'Ouverture,  the  grandson  of  an African chief, making the
Haitian revolution a major turning point in the  history  of  the  world
with repercussions extending far beyond the Caribbean nation; and
  WHEREAS,  The  contributions  of  Jean-Jacques  Dessalines, a former
slave, led to Haiti's declaration of independence in 1804;  Jean-Jacques
Dessalines   became   the   first   ruler  over  an  independent  Haiti;
Jean-Jacques Dessalines' actions left a legacy of  Haitian  nationalism;
The  Haitian  National  anthem,  La Dessalinienne, is named after him to
honor his fervent efforts to protect the independence of Haiti; and
  WHEREAS, Haiti's victory against France redefined  Napoleon's  goals
in  the  Western  Hemisphere  and  so  set  the  stage for the Louisiana
Purchase, a single acquisition doubling the United States' size,  giving
the  United  States  its heartland, control of the Mississippi River and
the important port city of New  Orleans  on  the  Gulf  of  Mexico;  the
Louisiana  territory  drew immigrants from all over Europe, transforming
and strengthening the United States and the American people; and
  WHEREAS, For many  years  preceding  the  American  Civil  War,  the
Haitian Revolution had a substantial influence over many of the policies
and  laws  in the United States that related to slavery such as, in 1794
and 1800, the federal government passage of  anti-slave  trade  laws  to
prevent  the  possible  spread of the Haitian slave revolt to the United
States:   prohibiting citizens from equipping  ships  engaged  in  slave
trade  commerce,  barring  Americans  from serving aboard such ships, or
from having any interest in their voyages; and
  WHEREAS,  In  1792,  a  number  of measures taken to prevent a slave
rebellion in the United States were so brutal and  inhumane  that  these
acts  drove  and  strengthened  the  crusade of the abolitionists in the
United States, therefore having a profound  influence  on  the  movement
that led to the Civil War; and
  WHEREAS,  The Haitian Revolution ignited a ground-breaking change in
the history of the modern world by enabling  hundreds  of  thousands  of
African  slaves worldwide and tens of thousands of free persons of color
to find the wherewithal  to  unite  in  the  quest  for  individual  and
collective liberty; and
  WHEREAS, Haitian people have migrated to the United States since the
1700s, resulting in approximately 200,000 Haitians residing in the State
of New York; and
  WHEREAS,  Our  state  enjoys  a  great legacy from the successors of
freed Haitian slaves who came  to  the  United  States,  notably  Pierre
Toussaint, the first layman now being proposed by the Catholic Church to
become  a  saint,  who  arrived in New York in 1787, where he turned his
home into a shelter for orphans, a credit bureau, an employment  agency,
and  a  safe  haven for priests; Toussaint was a benefactor of the first
New York City Catholic school for Black children at St. Vincent de  Paul
on  Canal  Street;  Toussaint  also  provided money to build a new Roman
Catholic church in New York, which became old Saint Patrick's  Cathedral
on Mulberry Street; and
  WHEREAS,  In  October of 1995, Pope John Paul II, from the throne in
the sanctuary of New York's Saint Patrick's Cathedral, publicly bestowed
Pierre Toussaint with the suffix Venerable, which  is  the  second  step
towards becoming a saint in the Catholic Church because Pierre Toussaint
transcends race through his miracle and charitable acts as evidence that
he  is  not a man limited in range and that his love for his neighbor is
not restricted to race or tribe; and
  WHEREAS, Many other notable Haitians have made rich contributions to
the nation, such as the Tuskegee trained Raymond  Cassagnol  who  helped
form the Haitian Air Force in the United States; and
  WHEREAS,  Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable was born in Saint-Marc Haiti;
Du Sable became the first permanent resident of Chicago and is known  as
the  Father of Chicago; Du Sable was honored with the creation of the Du
Sable Museum of African American History in  Washington  Park  and  also
honored with the issue of a Black Heritage Series, 22 cent post stamp on
February 20th, 1987; and
  WHEREAS,  W.E.B.  Du  Bois  was  a  civil rights activist who helped
advocate for equality amongst  African  Americans,  he  also  encouraged
social  mobility  by  introducing African Americans to higher education,
W.E.B. Du Bois is the founder of the NAACP and he  was  also  the  first
African  American  to  earn a doctorate degree, thus setting a precedent
for the development of the Black race in the United States; and
  WHEREAS, Jean-Michel Basquiat, born in Brooklyn,  New  York,  became
famous for his profound, thought provoking artwork which employed social
commentary  to  discuss  social inequalities and promote social mobility
and  equality;  Basquiat's  artwork  has  been   influential   to   many
contemporary   artists  and  poets;  Basquiat's  legacy  is  universally
recognized as a catalyst for social change; and
  WHEREAS, John James Audubon, born in  Haiti,  inspired  one  of  the
founders  of  the Audubon Society in the late 1800s, to name the society
after John James Audubon because of his reputation and deep appreciation
and concern for the natural world; to this day, the name Audubon remains
synonymous with  avian  life,  wildlife  protection,  and  environmental
conservation the world over; and
  WHEREAS,  Haitian culture and contributions have had a definite mark
on not only the progression of equality and independence but  also  upon
the development of eclectic expressions of arts and literature, moreover
the  long  lasting  influence  that Haitian Americans have on the United
States can be seen through the movements of a productive  society,  such
developments  have  been  collectively  centered  to  push  the populace
forward; and
  WHEREAS, It is the practice of this Legislative  Body  to  recognize
those important days which remind us of the rich and diverse heritage of
our great State and Nation; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M.  Cuomo  to  proclaim  May  12,  2021,  as
Haitian  Unity  Day  in  the  State of New York, in conjunction with the
observance of Haitian Heritage Month, in  honor  of  Haiti's  legacy  of
liberty and justice throughout the world and in honor of the significant
and  countless  contributions of New Yorkers of Haitian descent who have
enriched our Nation and our State; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this  Resolution,  suitably  engrossed,  be
transmitted  to  The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of
New York.
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