By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
If you live in New York, regardless of whether you’re in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, you see this dynamic couple always in the mix and in the midst of movers and shakers and dignitaries from all over the world.
If you live in New York, you may have (or should have) read their publication, Carib News, which has been around for 25 years.
If not, let me introduce you to Carl and Faye Rodney, not only one of the most dynamic power couples, but one of the best looking as well.
They have been devoted to the principle of keeping the Caribbean community, and by extrapolation, the Black community in general, informed and involved in issues that concern them. And I have been reading the Carib News for as long as it has been published (in fact I try to read all the Black publications. It’s the only way you get the truth. Main stream media is too busy trying to distort and conceal).
Jamaican born and bred, the Rodneys should be a template for successful marriage partnerships, and how you can take a passion for each other and expand it to a passion for your people and a passion for truth.
The ceremony, which was held at the Institute for Pan-American Affairs, founded and headed by Dr. Marco Mason, another stellar figure in the Black community.
On hand to provide honors and kudos to the Rodneys were Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, City Councilwoman Letitia James, both of whom presented them with Proclamations. Poet Laureate Carlos A. Russell composed a poem in their honor. Motivational speaker Bro. Dennis Rahim Watson as usual gave a fabulous audience participatory performance. Medgar Evers President, Dr. William Pollard, Tony A. Best, Dean of Caribbean American Journalists, also spoke glowingly of the Rodney’s contribution to the community. There was also a surprise presentation of charicatures in their honor.
The Mistress of Ceremony, Dr. Marcia Bayne-Smith kept the program flowing, as accolade after well deserved accolade was heaped upon the couple. The tribute, in part, read: “Karl B. Rodney and Faye A. Rodney founded the New York CARIB NEWS twenty-five years ago to fill a recognized void in communication of the growing Caribbean-American community. CARIB NEWS was designed to provide consistent, timely, accurate, and reliable information of the Caribbean region, and the Caribbean American community. Because of the pioneering efforts of Karl and Faye Rodney, CARIB NEWS is now recognized institution of the community playing a significant role in projecting the importance and potential of the community. As founder and sponsor of the Annual Multi-National Business Conference in the Caribbean, CARIB NEWS for the past 11 years has hosted the most successful business conferences, bringing together African American Entrepreneurs, elected officials and Civic Leaders to explore opportunities of business, health, education and information in the Caribbean and between our American friends.
They have been supporters of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), and founded the annual breakfast held the morning of the day-long event. Their honors and awards are legion, including the prestigious national honors from the Government of Jamaica. Faye received the Prime Minister’s Medal of Recognition and Karl received the Order of Distinction - Commander Class.
The wonderful thing about the Carib News is that it continues to be the go to paper in the Caribbean community. The wonderful thing about the Black Press is that there are at several local publications that also give you the inside information you need; the alternative to the vilification and distortions so often found in the mainstream media.
In fact, if you read the Carib News, Black Star News, Daily Challenge, Our Times Press, New York Beacon, Amsterdam News, Harlem Times, The African Sun Times, among others.
In fact, as a man of great wisdom (Rev. Ike) once said: “You know the truth when you read it. Many news papers spend more time giving you negative information, and scare tactics, than information. You cannot allow the negative press to manipulate you; you have to know how to manipulate the mainstream media, get the information you need, and discard the rest.” With Black publications (and online-news service) you get a more balanced, informative, and comprehensive view of what’s happening in your community and how it affects you.
Kudos to Karl and Faye Rodney, and the Carib News for keeping it real positive and powerful for us all.
Which brings us to the launching of the Caribbean American Legal Defense and Education Fund (CALDEF): was founded based on the premise that as of 2010 Black people will fall to the level of the third largest minority in the US, after Hispanics and Asians. Given the rise in derisive and divisive commentary in the mainstream media, Dr. Marco Mason sees an escalation in attacks launched against people of Caribbean heritage (as well as against all Black people).
The need for CALDEF is apparent to advocate, litigate, educate, prodect and defend the Caribbean American community.
The organization was conceived by Dr. Mason and Faye Rodney in 2009 to address the growing demand for advocating on behalf of, as well as supporting, protecting and defending the rights of Caribbean Americans. It aims to improve the status and conditions of immigrants and thus strengthen the economic, civic, social and cultural fiber of the Caribbean American Community.
There will be a concomitant “Welcome” program to help immigrants, and facilitate the legalization of immigrant status for qualified individuals.
The also have established a Peer Mentorship program for students on both the undergraduate and graduate level.
The underlying purpose, of course, is as an anti-defamation arm that readily responds to the aspersions being cast against the Caribbean community by insensitive, racist, and xenophobics. As with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, we must support them and make sure that they have all the assistance they need in becoming a force and a resource to be reckoned with.
The best way to celebrate Black History month is to make history of your own (yes, I said that, and you can quote me). Dr. Marco Mason exemplifies that wisdom, and has consistently been part of what makes us all great, and all proud.
Stay Blessed &