Caribbean Immigrant Makes History At White House Briefing

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Caribbean born Karine Jean-Pierre, deputy White House press secretary, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. May 27, 2021: Caribbean immigrant Karine Jean-Pierre made history at the White House press briefing Wednesday.

Jean-Pierre became the first Black and Caribbean immigrant as well as openly gay person to address reporters on behalf of the US president yesterday. It was a new chapter in the White House briefing room as she opened also with a nod to Caribbean American Kristen Clarke, who was confirmed with and sworn in Tuesday as the first woman and first woman of color to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. 

The briefing was widely seen as an audition by Jean-Pierre, who was born in Martinique to Haitian parents, before migrating to the US, for the top job of presidential spokesperson. The incumbent, Jen Psaki, who has been briefing almost daily, said recently she intends to leave the post after a year.

Jean-Pierre is currently principal deputy press secretary.

“It’s a real honor to be standing here today. I appreciate the historic nature, I really do, but I believe that being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building is not about one person. It’s about what we do on behalf of the American people,” she said.  “Clearly the president believes that representation matters, and I appreciate him giving me this opportunity, and it’s another reason why I think we are all so proud that this is the most diverse administration in history.”

Since joining the Biden White House, Jean-Pierre has been a fixture in the room for Psaki’s briefings and has sometimes delivered her own, away from the cameras, aboard Air Force One.