Guyanese beamed with pride in New York City this morning as Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens, was co-named ‘Little Guyana Avenue’ in recognition of the contribution of Guyanese to the development of the city.
Scores of Guyanese braved the rain to attend the unveiling of the new street sign, co-naming the popular Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard intersection as ‘Little Guyana Avenue’.
Liberty Avenue has long been referred to as Little Guyana given the large Guyanese population, living and operating businesses there. In fact, the wider Richmond Hill area in Queens, by extension, has earned this title for being home to the largest Guyanese community outside of Guyana.
Saturday’s co-naming ceremony was attended by Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Robert Persaud, who highlighted that this significant ceremony was being done just days after Guyana celebrated its 55th Independence anniversary.
“We view this as a very importance recognition of our country and of our people… I want the people here, community here to be proud of this co-naming and to live up to what people expect of Guyana [and Guyanese], and to make Guyana and Guyanese proud; and to make your community as it were, a better place,” he urged.
Persaud went onto encouraged the Guyanese diaspora to also play a role in the development drive that is raking off here in Guyana.
“…Think about Guyana, think about what you can do. Think about how you can also participate in what’s taking place in our country. An our government, we want to engage our diaspora in a more significant way and we see this recognition here as aiding and also supporting our efforts in not only recognising but connecting Guyanese living here with Guyana,” the Foreign Secretary posited.
Also, there at the unveiling ceremony was Minister of Public Affairs, Kwame McKoy, as well as Congressman, Gregory Meeks.
Meanwhile, Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, lauded the Guyanese community for their contribution to the development of the City, noting that this recognition is well-deserved.
“You have earned this day for all you have done for this city and for this country,” he stated.
Mayor de Blasio, who has been lauded for hiring several Guyanese in high-ranking posts in his office, said the Guyanese community is also contributing to the leadership of New York City in a big way.
“I am not just Mayor of New York City, I am Mayor of the largest Guyanese community outside of Guyana and I’m proud of that because this community has done so much. But I’ve hear from community members too often feeling unseen and forgotten in the context of this great metropolis but I want to say, I see you, I respect you and I appreciate you. And I want to make sure that today is one of the many things we do to fully acknowledge the strength and importance of this community,” the mayor noted.
He further added that the Guyanese community represents the possibility of diverse people coming together as one, which he said is what New York City stands for as well.
This co-naming came about after New York City Council Member, Adrienne Adams, voted to approve the co-naming legislation in December 2020.
Following the ceremonial unveiling of the ‘Little Guyana Avenue’ sign, attendees were threated several performances including from popular Guyanese artiste, Terry Gajraj, who some say manifested this significant name change in his 2019 track ‘Richmond Hill Ah Little Guyana’. He performed this song on Saturday.