Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has extended an invitation to actress Kerry Washington and her family to come to Jamaica for a family getaway during her next shoot break. The Minister, who was special guest at the Jamaica Independence Gala, had high praises for the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated American-born actress, who is of Jamaican descent.
She was honoured with an ‘Artistic Achievement Award’ at Jamaica’s 57th Independence Black Tie Gala, held at the Hilton Westchester Hotel in Rye, New York on Saturday, August 10. While Ms. Washington was unable to attend in person to accept the award, Minister Bartlett conveyed the special invitation to Kerry by way of her parents and lauded her for the contribution she has made as part of the Jamaican Diaspora, which has helped to propel and promote Jamaica, not just in the United States, but globally.
Mr. Bartlett told the gathering that Ms. Washington, through her trailblazing artistic endeavours, has made a significant contribution not only to tourism in Jamaica but by extension brand Jamaica.
In a letter read by her parents, Ms. Washington noted her appreciation for the award and was humbled to have been considered for the recognition. She thanked the organizers, expressing regret that she was unable to attend in person to accept the award, reiterating that “I AM JAMAICAN” to enthusiastic applause.
Kerry’s career took flight in 2004 when she appeared as Della Bea Robinson, the wife of musician Ray Charles, in the biopic Ray. She won “Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture” for Ray at the NAACP Image Awards in 2005. Washington is best known for her portrayal of Olivia Pope in the ABC TV drama Scandal – that has earned her several Emmy, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Golden Globe nominations. She is also known for portraying lawyer/academic Anita Hill in the 2016 HBO film Confirmation, which she executive produced under the banner of her production company Simpson Street. Last year, Washington starred on Broadway in ‘American Son,’ which is now a motion picture to premiere on Netflix in fall of 2019.