Celia V. Davis

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Honored by Jacqueline B. Knights, her daughter

My mother, Celia V. Davis, née Celia Virginia McFarlane, has a proud heritage. The world will not recognize the Celias of the world, which is why this opportunity to honor her is important.

Celia was born in Jamaica, W.I. in 1939. An unwed mother of five children, Celia recognized that her opportunity was limited. In 1968, after being sponsored by a family to assist in their household, Celia emigrated to the U.S. She was the first member of her family to enter the U.S. and, as a result, had no relatives or relations here. She spent siz months with the family in Boston and, after meeting with adversity in the household, decided to move to Hartford where she rented a room from another Jamaican family.

Celia worked as a nurse's aide and took on additional jobs with the goal of saving money to bring her five children to the United States. Within four years of her entry into the U.S., Celia managed to save enough money to return to Jamaica, get married to her Jamaican sweetheart, sponsor her husband and later her five children to the U.S. On December 16, 1972, my brothers and sisters and I, all five of us, flew from Jamaica to New York's JFK airport.

My mother, with less than a high school education at that time, was a resourceful woman. She found opportunities to save for and purchase a home with my step-father and provided for her family. She encouraged her children to get an education and to do the best we can. She instilled in us the value of work and of being resourceful. Since that time, Celia has been responsible for sponsoring and opening economic opportunities, not only for her husband and children, but for all of her five siblings and their children. She was a pioneer who paved the way to opportunity for many productive citizens in Connecticut, Florida, and other communities nationally.