The Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Bandleaders Association hosted the annual Caribbean festival in downtown Atlanta on Saturday May 25, 2013. The excitement from the colorful display of cultural costumes, local vendors, and international artist set the mood for a successful annual celebration. However, unconfirmed reports of a bomb threat were rumored to change the already existing parade route. The route ended at the Georgia Dome, which required participants of all ages to cross a major highway to access the next street to the festival stadium.
Photos by HKSr. PHOTOGRAPHY
This year’s celebration was very disorganized and unprofessionally executed, due to lack of personnel during the annual parade. Media and talent where delayed for more than 24 hours, with non committed time lines of credential distributions, along with location changes. The annual event included performances by returning Antigua artists Burning Flames, along with Tizzy, Pumpa, Rudy, and many others. One positive highlight of the day, was the large turnout of local, and national attendees.
Photos by HKSr. PHOTOGRAPHY
There is much to be said about this year’s festival and it’s success. The bands and masqueraders were in full glamour, and was stated to be a memorable parade for onlookers. The entertainment line up and show was also a positive highlight of the festival. However, attendees and guests, waited in long lines, due to a delay in the festival village opening, from a Jouvert fete the previous night. The ACCBA President Patricia Henry apologized via her personal Facebook page, where she also released parade winner results to a targeted few. Her apology included a comparison to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. See Below….
THEY CRUCIFIED OUR LORD AND SAVIOR WHO DIED TO SAVE US ALL FROM OUR SINS SO WHO AM I? ON BEHALF OF THE ATLANTA CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL BANDLEADERS ASSOCIATION WE WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A PUBLIC APOLOGY TO ALL OF OUR GUEST MASQUERADERS AND OUR BANDS. HAS ANYONE INFORM ANY OF YOU THAT AT 10AM A MASSIVE TEXT MESSAGE WAS SENT OUT TO ALL BANDS TO INFORM THEM THAT THE PARADE ROUTE HAS CHANGED. WHEN I RECEIVED THE PHONE CALL THAT MASQUERADERS WERE ALL OVER TRYING TO FIND THE STARTING LOCATION I HAD TO LEAVE MY LOGISTICS AT THE FESTIVAL VILLAGE TO HEAD OVER TO THE PARADE ROUTE TO MAKE SURE I GOT TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT ABOUT THIS ISSUE. THEY TRIED TO SABOTAGE,BUT GUESS WHAT WHO GOD BLESS NO MAN CURSE. AS PRESIDENT OF THIS ORGANIZATION I WILL BE THE ONE TO TAKE THE BLAME EVEN IF I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING. BUT THAT IS OK, JUST LIKE ANY PRESIDENT AROUND THE WORLD WE ALL STAND TO TAKE THE BLAME. WE KNEW WHAT WE SIGNED UP FOR. DID ANYONE INFORMED YOU THAT ATLANTA CARNIVAL IS RUN BY TWO PEOPLE THIS YEAR WE HAD A NEW VENUE AND A NEW ROUTE WE KNEW WE WERE GOING TO HAVE CHALLENGES BUT WE MADE THE BEST OUT OF A BAD SITUATION. NO ONE IS PERFECT THEREFORE RATHER THAN CRITICIZING ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO DO JUSTICE TO YOUR CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY, WE ALREADY HAVE A HARD TIME IN AMERICA AND INSTEAD OF UNITY THE GOAL OF OTHERS IS TO CONQUER AND DIVIDE. WITH THAT BEING SAID THANKS TO ALL MY SUPPORTERS WHO STOOD BESIDES ME AND RATHER THAN COMPLAINING JUMP IN TO ASSIST.
Although the City of Atlanta notified the Executive Duo of Patrica Henry and Karen Cline-David, about the parade route before the close of business on May 24, 2013, and 60 days prior about the parade route stopping by the Georgia Dome, band leaders were still kept in the dark about these crucial facts. Further, investigation also states that limited or no communication toke place between the local City Council representative and the ACCBA Executive Duo. The following questions are raised about this disorganization of this annual festival.
Why were there not enough security to help innocent children cross a highway? With large festivals, police and security plays a major role in this matter. However, the cost for extra security was overlooked or dismissed by the Executive Duo, thus jeopardizing the life’s of young children.
Why was the 25th celebration so disorganized? As stated in President Patricia Henry apology, there is only two people, including herself, running the organization at this time. In years past, a team of up to ten executive members, along with a vast number of volunteers and contractors assisted with the production, to ensure its success and safety.
Why do some band leaders feel that they were cheated this year? ROUTE CHANGES! As stated in the City of Atlanta event site there were two proposed carnivals, thus two routes were mapped out. The Executive Duo was fortunate enough to receive the detailed route of the other organization “The Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Organizers” route, but did not notify fellow members. Due to lack of experience in creating a parade route, the executive duo, give fellow ACCBA Band members the run around, and changed the route a minimum of 4 times, prior to Saturday morning final change. Multiple sources shared details about their disgust and anger towards the lack of knowledge about the official parade route. It is also rumored that the winners of 2012 parade has yet to be paid prize money, which they earned legally.
What professional assistance was given to ACCBA to execute this project? NONE! The team picked and choose who they wanted to work with on this project, leaving long time contributors and professionals in the dark. A mob gang mentality was enforced to remove other board members, only a Vice President and Treasurer from their post, months prior to the disorderly celebration. President Patricia Henry, enlisted the help of various Caribbean natives, however over time, release them from their duties, as stated on numerous Facebook postings throughout the past three months.
What did Homeland Security do about the Bomb Threat? NOTHING! .. There is no records of this matter. The rumor started from within the ACCBA team, which is by US law, and illegal action, punishable up to 7 years in prison.
Is there a full board, or staff running this organization? NO! .. Ms Henry made it clear she and Ms Cline-David were the only two people running the show.
MADDNESS FACTOR: .. My message to Ms Patricia Henry directly to her Facebook posting was deleted and I was blocked from the page: However, I will share with you my comment. I believe the time has come for the duo to RESIGN, Gracefully! They need to past the baton to someone else, to ensure the success of this cultural event. However, I am quite sure that fame and fortunate will not escape them, postponing a wrap up meeting or town hall discussion, until fall (September), when they think everyone has forgotten.
It has been brought to my attention that this Executive Duo, are not only micro managers, however they are currently engaging in multiple federal and local offenses, such as misuse of funds of the 501 C3 organization, to line their own pockets. Once told this, I disregarded the matter as a simple ugly rumor. However, official documentation was presented and viewed by myself personally, showing the criminal actions of the following…
1. Money spent on multiple hotel, rental car, and lodging, which calculate to over two or more festival budgets.
2. Bogus receipts, that was ignorantly presented from a word template, stating that the Georgia Sales tax as 12%, when its only 7%. If the presenter of said document had any common sense, they would know that within the union called the United States, there’s not territory or state with a 12% sales tax at this time.
3. 501 C3 law prohibits any organization to be run individually or without a full board, thus meaning that ACCBA, by Ms Henry’s admission on Facebook, is in clear violation of this law.
I can continue. BUT!!!…. As a native of the Caribbean, I am so disgusted with this unprofessional display in the Caribbean American community. The Caribbean Community in the United States are a strong, hard working, and professional. I believe that everyone should be given a chance to prove themselves. However,this is a sad moment for the Atlanta Caribbean community. In closing, I say.. Caribbean Americans are no slackers.. we should not accept MEDIOCRE WORK NOR MEDIOCRE LEADERSHIP! CHANGE IS NEEDED!
STATE YOUR MIND!