Remarks by Ambassador Jay Anania at the opening of the Black History Month Film Festival

Thank you for joining us.

Tonight, we kick off the United States Embassy’s Black History Month film festival. Our theme, “Reaching Back, Moving Forward,” commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This Act set the tone and basis for equality in the United States.

During this festival, you will watch films that look at the struggle for human rights.

You will also see films that celebrate the many and varied contributions of  African Americans to the United States.

In the United States, we still strive to reach true equality.

In this respect, I see much in Suriname that people in the United States could learn from.  When I walk down the streets of Paramaribo, I see people of different races and religions, not only tolerating each other, but working and living together.

When I remark on this to my Surinamese friends, they are surprised by the comment, because it is something so normal and usual here.

I think that people in the United States should learn from this example.

Every day, the world seems to become smaller.  It is up to each of us to decide what we want, what we need the world to be for the betterment of people all over the world. I ask you to join me this evening as we look back at the story of baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

I also ask you to join with me as we move forward, into a more inclusive and diverse world, working together for peace and prosperity for all persons.

Thank you.