Located in South Florida, the City of Miramar last month was a hotbed of activity where celebrating Black History Month was concerned. In that spirit, it was a festive and ceremonious occasion on February 22nd at the City’s Multicultural Center. As part of this year’s ‘Black History Meets Reggae’ event series, the 3rd Annual Icon Awards was presented by the City’s Commissioner, Alexandra P. Davis, and held under the distinguished patronage of the Consul General of Jamaica Oliver Mair, while being sponsored in part by the Jamaica Tourist Board. In addition to Commissioner Davis, several other City of Miramar elected government officials—including Mayor Wayne Messam and Commissioner Maxwell B. Chambers—were present to enjoy such wonderful evening dedicated to paying homage to the 2023 Reggae Icon Award Recipients: ‘Queen of Reggae’, Marcia Griffiths; Founder of the much-revered Stone Love sound system, Winston ‘Wee Pow’ Powell; and Miami-Dade Commissioner, Marleine Bastien, who received this year’s Marcus Garvey award.
A ‘Red Carpet’ Welcome
An ‘A-List’ of Notables in Attendance
Just to name a few, also on hand for the event were Oliver Mair (Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami and the Southern U.S.A.), Consul General El Hadji Amadou Ndao of Senegal, Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness (former Broward County Mayor 2019-2020), Eddy Edwards, CEO of Jamaican Jerk Festival USA, Inc., and David Cairol—singer and musician who originates from France.
What’s more, the night featured a special speech from Jamaica’s Minister of Sports, Youth and Culture—the Honorable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange—who was also in attendance.
MC Duties Handled by Emmy Award Winning Journalist, Chernéy Amhara:
An Emmy award winning journalist, Chernéy Amhara–who currently anchors NBC 6’s weekend morning newscasts as well as other NBC 6 News Today time slots from its Miramar-based studios–was the primary MC for the evening’s award segment proceedings. And Chernéy is certainly multi-faceted in that she was the Celebrity Quick Fire Challenge winner who took home the trophy at the 2022 Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival held in Miramar.
Sons of Mystro Gave a Dazzling Performance with Their Violins:
Natives of South Florida and born to a Barbadian mother and Jamaican father, Malcolm and his younger brother, Umoja, formed Sons of Mystro after learning to play violin through South Florida’s public school system, and later matriculating at Dillard High School for the Performing Arts.
2023 Icon Award Recipient – Marleine Bastien:
The recipient of the Marcus Garvey Award this year was Miami-Dade Commissioner of Haitian heritage, Marleine Bastien. She is also the executive director of the non-profit, Family Action Network Movement (FANM). FANM has earned worldwide acclaim on account of its advocacy for equity, economic empowerment, comprehensive immigration reform, and climate justice. Not only that, but Marleine Bastien also has advocated for the womens’ rights, for children, for families, for workers, for the elderly, and for the LGBTQ community globally.
2023 Icon Award Recipient – Marcia Griffiths:
With her career now stretching into its fourth decade, Marcia Griffiths famously toured the globe as a member of Bob Marley’s iconic I-Three background harmony group– along with co-members, Rita Marley and Judy Mowatt. Marcia Griffiths’s musical odyssey was launched at Jamaica’s famed Studio One where she voiced a number of 1960s rocksteady era hits, such as: ‘Melody Life’, ‘Feel Like Jumping’, and ‘Really Together’ alongside the late reggae singing titan, Bob Andy.
Going further, Marcia Griffiths was also the one who masterminded and sang the Billboard smash hit in the 1980’s, ‘Electric Boogie’–complemented, of course, by the smooth and rhythmic ‘Electric Slide’ dance move that seemingly took the world by storm. And Marcia Griffiths’s timeless songs from her deep vault of hits, also include: ‘I Shall Sing’, ‘Live On’, ‘Fire Burning’, ‘Truly’, ‘Half Idiot’, and ‘Stepping Out in Babylon’.
2023 Icon Award Recipient – Winston ‘Wee Pow’ Powell:
Stone Love sound system aka ‘Stone Love Immortal’ was founded by Winston “Wee Pow” Powell in 1972. Wee Pow built the ‘sound’ from the ground up, and all his perseverance and hard work surely paid off in a big way seeing that Stone Love has become a household name in Jamaica as one of the island’s most popular ‘sounds’ of all time. Through the years and up to this day, Stone Love is held in high esteem in the Jamaican music industry for its superior sound quality and exclusive dubplates, which have not only featured, but also helped to establish the careers of a number of prominent reggae and dancehall artists, such as Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Wayne Wonder, Sanchez, Tanya Stephens, Capleton, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man—just to name a handful.
Stone Love has strung up its amplifiers and massive speakers all over the world in places from Kingston to New York City, London, and Japan. And let’s add Miramar to that long list of Stone Love bashment (party) scenes, as the Reggae Icon Awards 2023 event featured a delightful segment of Stone Love tune jugglin’ with Wee Pow taking the mic ‘nice-ing up the session’.
Aside from Wee Pow, the roster of Stone Love selectors has included Rory, Geefus, Billy Slaughter, Ice Burg, Dwayne Pow, Jazzy, Genius, and Gugumental. In 2014, Mr. Winston Powell was honored for his contributions to Jamaican music on being awarded the Order of Distinction—which is conferred upon citizens of Jamaica who have rendered outstanding services to the country. Congrats to Father Pow and Stone Love Movement in being a 2023 Reggae Icon Award recipient.
Give Thanks To Miramar And Its City Officials For Putting On Such A Fantastic Event
Photos by Nick Ford, who lives and works in South Florida.