by Shirley Gooding and Family
In honour of my late husband, Cuba Gooding Sr. – who was a dual citizen of America and Barbados – I, Shirley Gooding and family, send this congratulatory message to the country and people of Barbados for becoming the world’s newest Republic.
My husband passed in 2017. However, there’s no doubt that if he were living, he would have attended the recent regal ceremony to witness Barbados’ removal
of the British monarch as its head of state after almost 400 years.
As the matriarch of the Gooding family, which includes sons and actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Omar Gooding, daughter and actress April Gooding, and stepson and musician Thomas Ware Gooding, we share in your joy and vision of becoming a prosperous Republic.
The Gooding family has a long history in Barbados. My husband’s ancestors were brought to the country as slaves in the late 1700s into the early 1800s.
His father, Dudley MacDonald Gooding, was born in Bridgetown in the late 1800s. Dudley’s parents, William Gooding and Edith Augusta Walcott Gooding had and raised many children in Barbados.
Dudley ultimately lived in Cuba before migrating to Harlem, New York, but always had a true love for his home country of Barbados.
Cuba Sr. and I first visited the lovely country of Barbados in 1998.
My husband, who was the lead singer of the legendary R&B-soul group The Main Ingredient for 47 years, was humbled and mesmerised to walk on the same soil that his father and ancestors once walked.
The visit inspired my husband to seek Barbados citizenship, which was granted in 2001.
It was perhaps his proudest honour. Over the years, he often visited Barbados to meet relatives or perform with The Main Ingredient or as a solo artist.
As Barbados begins a new and exciting chapter as a new Republic and with a new Head of State, my family congratulates President Sandra Mason, the country’s first-ever president, who has now replaced Queen Elizabeth II as the country’s Head of State. We commend Prime Minister Mia Mottley and her role in Barbados’ forward movements. In addition, we congratulate R&B and pop icon, Rihanna, for Barbados honouring her as its “National Hero.”
My husband greatly admired Rihanna for her unwavering love for Barbados and saw her as a gifted and phenomenal singing star, recording artist, and performer.
In addition, we send our love to all the people of Barbados. May God bless you in your new era as a thriving Republic.
Please know that our family is proud to have deep Barbadian roots and rich Bajan blood in our proud lineage.
You will always be in our prayers and an intricate part of our future.
We look forward to visiting again.
This statement was released c/o Don James, 310.497.9566, [email protected]