Embassy staff and their families with Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore at the flag raising ceremony. (Image courtesy U.S. Embassy Port of Spain)

In honour of Black History Month, and to stand in solidarity with Black communities and persons of African descent in the United States and around the world, the U.S. Embassy Port of Spain raised the Black Lives Matter (BLM) flag at its Queen’s Park West compound today, Tuesday 15 February 2022. 

Embassy staff and their families attended the flag raising ceremony and confirmed their commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all Embassy programs and activities.

Upon raising the flag, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Shante Moore said:

“The United States was founded on the principle that all people are created equal, and it is an ideal we have yet to reach but continue to strive for, to form a more perfect union as articulated in our Constitution.  This Black History Month, I encourage everyone to take time to reflect how Black history and culture have influenced our lives through music, art, literature, politics, science, business, and sports, and their roles in our strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago.”

A release from the Embassy says the BLM flag will fly over the Embassy for the remainder of Black History Month.

The Black Lives Matter and the United States flag at the U.S. Embassy to commemorate Black History Month. (Image courtesy U.S. Embassy Port of Spain)

“Black History Month is held each February to commemorate and celebrate African American history and the African diaspora.  While Black History Month originated in the United States, it has received international recognition in countries including Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.  Black history is American history, and we honour the profound impact of African diaspora culture and the immeasurable contributions of Black Americans to the world,” the Embassy release stated.

The phrase “Black Lives Matter” seeks to raise awareness of and respond to ongoing racism in the United States and abroad.  It also draws attention to the need to end systemic racism and inequity experienced by communities of colour, and most acutely, people of African descent. 

The Embassy notes that raising BLM flags on U.S. Embassy and consulate flagpoles throughout the world is a powerful statement that calls attention to efforts to advance racial equity and access to justice in the United States and worldwide. 

According to Embassy, “the flags serve as a visible reminder of the collective responsibility to advance social justice issues and the U.S. government’s resolute commitment to confronting the injustices that exist today.”