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OAS to Honor African Heritage in the Americas with a Celebration of its Cultural Legacy

  February 22, 2017

The Organization of American States (OAS) will join the celebration of "Black History Month and the International Decade for People of African Descent" TOMORROW, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 with a celebration on "Afro-Inspired Culture in the Americas," which will take place in the Hall of the Americas at the headquarters of the Organization in Washington, DC.

The event will feature several specialists on the influence of African culture in the Americas:
• Demont Hussey, from Jamaica, will speak about the history of reggae music
• James Lovell and Vincent Martinez of Belize will play Afro-Garifuna jazz music
• Von Martin, from Trinidad and Tobago, will speak about the history of the Trinitarian drums
• Dr. Miguel Vilar, from National Geographic's "Ancestral Discoveries" team, will present the testimony of Henry Jímenez, who in 2016 took the DNA test kit.
• Music and dance performances such as the Steel Pan Trinitarian Drums and the Congo Dance.

Secretary General Luis Almagro and Assistant Secretary General Nestor Mendez will participate in the event, in which the OAS Secretary for Access to Rights and Equity, Ideli Salvatti, will present the OAS Action Plan for the "International Decade for People of African Descent."

The event is organized by Assistant Secretary General Méndez and the Permanent Missions to the OAS of Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, the United States, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela; and the Embassy and the Permanent Mission of Haiti.

As part of the celebration, at 16:00 EST (21:00 GMT), an art exhibition will be inaugurated at the Marcus Garvey Cultural Hall.

The exhibition displays works of art on loan from, among others, the Permanent Missions of Belize, Costa Rica, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay, as well as the Permanent Observer Mission of France and staff of the OAS General Secretariat. The exhibition will be open to the public until February 28.

The meeting will be broadcast live on the OAS Website and the OAS Facebook page. The agenda is available here.

Press Contact: Mónica Reyes (

WHAT: OAS to Honors African Heritage in the Americas with a Celebration of its Cultural Legacy

WHEN: Thursday, February 23 14:00 to 17:30 EST (19:00 to 22:30 GMT)

WHERE: Hall of the Americas
Organization of American States
17th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Reference: AVI-012/17