In its celebration of the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean and the Diaspora, the Sunshine Awards befittingly marked the passing of Prime Minister David Thompson of Barbados, and soca artist Arrow of Montserrat–two of its distinguished sons. In a solemn moment that affirmed its motto, One Caribbean, One Family, at the 22nd annual Sunshine Awards in New York City, there was a collective mourning. The award ceremony, which has become a Big Apple staple, featured Dancin Africa of Barbados, with its explosive style and technical artistry in traditional and contemporary African, Caribbean and folk dancing. That the group opened the show proved propitious, as the dance troupe went on to capture the award for Traditional Dance.
Known for showcasing and honouring the endeavours of organisations and people who have impacted the lives of the Caribbean peoples and African Americans, the Sunshine Awards continued the tradition as it marked the100th Anniversary of the National Urban League (NUL), a renowned civil rights organisation that continues to assiduously fight for racial equality, economic empowerment and political rights. The Sunshine Awards also paid tribute to Haiti, reminding the world that that the road to recovery was far from complete. Yves Joseph of Tabou Combo, one of Haiti's most famous groups, and popularly called the ambassadors of Kompa, was presented with the 2010 Sunshine Award in recognition of his relief efforts in his homeland.
"Haiti is not poor. Haiti is impoverished but Haiti will never die," he said, as he accepted his award. In an evening of entertainment and reflection hosted by Gil Figaro, Errol Fabien, and Nikki Crosby, there was a sense of deep appreciation for the cultural contribution of a broad genre of artists. Famoro Dioubate's of Guinea captivated the audience with his balafon, a truly unique instrument. He went on to receive the 2010 Sunshine Award for African music. T&T's chutney queen, Drupatee Persad electrified with another of her signature performances, and was later presented with the Sunshine Award for her perennial contribution to chutney music. Other awardees for contribution to the performing arts were Dorbrene O'Marde of Antigua, Sonny Blacks of
England, and Ramiro Crawford of Costa Rica. Two Trinbagonians, Alfred "Sacks" Mayers often described as one of the steelband pioneers of the 1940's, and Norman Darway Adams, were inducted into the 2010 Hall of Fame for their contribution to steelband music. Adams was not in attendance, and "Sacks," with the audience glued to his every word, related an unforgettable exchange with his father, who like many parents then, associated the steel pan with hooliganism. "Is that what I make you for, to beat pan?" he recalled his father saying. But "Sacks" by then was unswerving in his passion, honing his skills and determined to realise his vision for the then burgeoning art form to gain respectability. Other inductees included Trinbagonian calypsonian and comedian Bill Trotman, as well as Guyana's Dave Martins and the Tradewinds.