“BISHOP JAMES P. ROBERTS WAY” Will Honor Antiguan Community Leader and Capture the Dreams of Caribbean Immigrants

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

 “BISHOP JAMES P. ROBERTS, SNR. WAY” Street Block Will Honor Antiguan Community Leader and Capture the Dreams of Caribbean Immigrants

Caribbean nationals have been pursuing the “American Dream” since the abolition of slavery when many migrated to the United States in search of better economic opportunities.

Caribbean American Heritage Month is celebrated throughout the month of June, by highlighting many stories that chronicle the struggle, sacrifice and accomplishments of Caribbean Americans.

On Saturday June 25th, 2022, a co-naming ceremony will be held at 122nd Lenox/Malcolm X Blvd.

The street will be co-named to honor the founder of the Antigua and Barbuda Progressive Society Inc., Bishop James P. Robert Sr.

This Antiguan national arrived  in New York City in the early 1900s. Roberts gained employment as an elevator operator in a commercial building in Harlem.

Simultaneously, he pursued academic studies at night and was a member of the Holy Cross Pro-Cathedral of the African Orthodox Cathedral.

He was also a part of to the United Negro Improvement Association (the Marcus Garvey Movement).

Roberts later became a postulant in the Endich Theological Seminary under the tutelage of his Eminence George Alexander McGuire and after he completed his training he was admitted to the Holy Orders.

On August 22nd 1934, during the Great Depression, Bishop Roberts and a group of 22 fellow Antiguans living in Harlem

founded the Antigua Progressive Society.

As President of the organization, Bishop Roberts provided new immigrants with spiritual guidance and economic support to help navigate the challenges they faced upon arrival in a new country.

Although the “New Deal” enacted by President Franklyn D. Roosevelt, rolled out a series of social programs, these did not addressed the needs of new immigrants.

The Antigua and Barbuda Progressive Society (ABPS) has become a “Lighthouse in Harlem” and for almost 90 years has been dedicated to the principles of promoting and cultivating social and intellectual activities among its members and throughout the community.

In 1964, ABPS purchased a building located at 12 West 122nd Street in the village of Harlem which now serves as its Headquarters. The block on which this edifice stands, will be officially co-named in honor of the Society’s first President, James P. Roberts.

“We are extremely proud of the work that the ABPS has done for almost nine decades. We are proud that we can continue to preserve the dreams, aspirations and physical movements of our ancestors. It is critical that we continue to highlight the accomplishments of Caribbean people as we remain a beacon of faith, hope and charity for future generations,” said former President of the ABPS, Mona Wyre-Manigo.

In 2012, the first 50 years of the history of the ABPS was featured at the Schomburg Center, Research in Black Culture, in an exhibit titled ” A Light House in New York.”

Caribbean nationals have been pursuing the “American Dream” since the abolition of slavery when many migrated to the United States in search of better economic opportunities. Caribbean American Heritage Month is celebrated throughout the month of June, by highlighting many stories that chronicle the struggle, sacrifice and accomplishments of Caribbean Americans.

On Saturday June 25th, 2022, a co-naming ceremony will be held at 122nd Lenox/Malcolm X Blvd. The street will be co-named to honor the founder of the Antigua and Barbuda Progressive Society Inc., Bishop James P. Robert Sr.

This Antiguan national originally from Newgate Street, arrived  in New York City in the early 1900s. Roberts gained employment as an elevator operator in a commercial building in Harlem. Simultaneously, he pursued academic studies at night and was a member of the Holy Cross Pro-Cathedral of the African Orthodox Cathedral. He was also a part of to the United Negro Improvement Association (the Marcus Garvey Movement). Roberts later became a postulant in the Endich Theological Seminary under the tutelage of his Eminence George Alexander McGuire and after he completed his training he was admitted to the Holy Orders.

On August 22nd 1934, during the Great Depression, Bishop Roberts and a group of 22 fellow Antiguans living in Harlem

founded the Antigua Progressive Society.

As President of the organization, Bishop Roberts provided new immigrants with spiritual guidance and economic support to help navigate the challenges they faced upon arrival in a new country. Although the “New Deal” enacted by President Franklyn D. Roosevelt, rolled out a series of social programs, these did not addressed the needs of new immigrants.

The Antigua and Barbuda Progressive Society (ABPS) has become a “Lighthouse in Harlem” and for almost 90 years has been dedicated to the principles of promoting and cultivating social and intellectual activities among its members and throughout the community.

In 1964, ABPS purchased a building located at 12 West 122nd Street in the village of Harlem which now serves as its Headquarters. The block on which this edifice stands, will be officially co-named in honor of the Society’s first President, James P. Roberts.

“We are extremely proud of the work that the ABPS has done for almost nine decades. We are proud that we can continue to preserve the dreams, aspirations and physical movements of our ancestors. It is critical that we continue to highlight the accomplishments of Caribbean people as we remain a beacon of faith, hope and charity for future generations,” said former President of the ABPS, Mona Wyre-Manigo.

In 2012, the first 50 years of the history of the ABPS was featured at the Schomburg Center, Research in Black Culture, in an exhibit titled ” A Light House in New York.”

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