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Why New York Mayor held Madaraka Day celebrations in U.S.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams made history in June, becoming the 1st mayor to raise the Kenyan flag in New York City.

New York Mayor Eric Adams raised Kenya's flag in the city for the first time on June 30, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams honoured Kenya in June by raising Kenya’s flag for the first time in New York to celebrate Madaraka Day.

During the ceremony on June 29, Mayor Adams emphasized the significance of the moment, urging everyone to recognise the historical context.

Usually, the day is marked on June 1, but the ceremony was held on June 29.

To my people of Kenya, just as you fought for your independence 50 years ago, you have to acknowledge the success.

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“When I went to Africa, one of my seven visits, I saw that our ancestors left in slavery, but I returned with the mayoralty, there's an African that is the mayor of the City of New York. You should never remove yourself from that reality,” he said.

The Mayor, who was born in New York and worked as a police officer, added that hoisting Kenya's flag marked a momentous occasion, symbolizing the inclusivity and diversity of New York City.

“Today, we are raising the flag of Kenya. The first time in the history of this city that this flag is going to be raised.

“It is going to be raised because I believe that this city is representative of all the groups, the number of countries that have had their flag raised here for the first time,” Mayor Adams stated.

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He emphasised that everyone in the world was welcome to become part of the New York experience.

New York City has a population of a little over 8 million people with 800 languages being spoken.

When we raise this flag, we raise the energy and spirit of the people of Kenya that you are part of the New York experience. Your contribution, your commitment, your song, your dance, your food, your culture, your energy is united with the greatness of this great city,” Mayor Adams said.

Also present during the ceremony was Kenya's Ambassador to U.S. Lazarus Amayo who was joined by Kenyans living in New York.

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In his remarks, he underscored the strong multifaceted relationship between Kenya & the United States. He encouraged U.S. investors to consider Kenya, citing the positive reforms and existing conducive business environment.

Mayor Adams on his part acknowledged that the raising of the flag raises the energy and spirit of Kenyans that are part of the New York experience and that the contribution and commitment of Kenyans in New York City is united with the greatness of the city.

Eric Adams was born in 1960 in Brownsville and raised in South Jamaica, a residential neighborhood in the borough of Queens in New York by a single mom.

He had his first experience with police brutality at 15 years old when he was beaten by a police officer in the basement of a police station.

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Eric turned his pain into purpose and decided to change the police department from within by joining the service.

He rose through the ranks and ultimately joined politics.

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