FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2012
MEDIA CONTACTS: Collin Nash | (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead Hosts Third Annual Black History Month Celebration
Manhasset, NY – Last week, more than 300 people joined Supervisor Jon Kaiman, members of the North Hempstead Town Board, students from neighborhood schools, and Westbury residents Councilwoman Viviana Russell and County Legislator Robert Troiano, to host the Third Annual Black History Month celebration.
The February 26th event was held in the gymnasium at the recently-opened “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury. The event took the audience on a spell-binding journey and highlighted some of civilization’s great African Kings and Queens, the movement to abolish slavery, and the many inspirational African Americans who rose above daunting odds to achieve greatness.
“We are here tonight to learn about Black History…American History,” Supervisor Kaiman said. “The goal is to help pave the way to a better future by sharing the stories of all Americans, making sure we never revisit the mistakes of generations past.”
This year’s event featured music, dance, and tributes to past and present African American notables.
The evening’s spotlight centered on a timeline of events—from 1615 to present day—which definitively shaped African American history. It included a skit depicting the 1841 U.S. Supreme Court case where former President John Quincy Adams (played by Legislator Robert Troiano) argued for the freeing of 53 African slaves captured aboard La Amistad off Long Island.
Participants in the reenactments included students from Carle Place High School, Westbury Schools, and Whispering Pines Elementary School in Old Westbury. Music and dance was provided by Drummers of the Diaspora and the Sanaa Movement, a Westbury-based liturgical dance troupe.
One of the troupe’s principals is Councilwoman Viviana Russell, the first African American female to be elected to the North Hempstead Town Board.
“It’s important,” she said, “for everyone, not just people of African descent, to know about the contributions African Americans made to just about every thread of the American fabric.”