On April 6, 2021, I lost a very dear friend and mentor. He was a giant of a man; a fearless fighter for inclusion, justice, equality, and opportunity for all, no matter where you were from. Congressman Alcee Hastings was a voice for those without a voice and his impact on my life and the lives of many others will be long-lasting.
I will honor, cherish and hold dear the bond of friendship that we had, not only with myself but also my family over the years. A lawyer, judge and congressman, he would visit my father and always provided encouraging words to me.
Congressman Hastings has been an inspiration and a model as a public servant. His support of the tourism industry and black hotel ownership did not stop when he appointed me to the White House Conference on Tourism during the Clinton administration. He made sure that the Congressional Black Caucus supported the National Association of Black Hotel Owners and Developers (NABHOOD) workshops and seminars on Capitol Hill. His support as a participant and speaker at our summits contributed greatly to my success and the success of the organization. He was also a great supporter of The Bahamas and from his first visit with me over 20 years ago to his last visit this past year, he always looked for opportunities to help. On his last visit, he met with local leaders in government and business, including the director general and permanent secretary of tourism; Brave Davis, leader of the opposition; Sir Franklyn Willson; and United States Embassy personnel. He dined at Fish Fry, where both he and his wife enjoyed our local cuisine. As a lasting commitment to his legacy and friendship, we are going to name the Bahamas Preclearance Center at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport “The Alcee Hastings Bahamas Clear Center”.
On behalf of NABHOOD and his many friends in The Bahamas, I want to personally extend our deepest sympathies to Congressman Hastings’ wife, Patricia, my college professor; son Jody; his entire family; and staff. Congressman Hastings was a leader who fought to create jobs and provide greater economic opportunities for all.
He was a true international leader and a blessing to our entire community, particularly The Bahamas. Goodbye, my friend, and thank you for the many opportunities and memories. May you rest in peace.
National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers
- To have your letter to the editor published, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note letters should be under 500 words and refrain from using profanity, slurs or otherwise offensive language.