QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz and the African American Heritage Committee will host their annual Black History Month Celebration on Tuesday, February 26th, replete with cultural performances, academic scholarship awards, honors for civic-minded community members and more.

“Black history is American history, and Black History Month is an important recognition of countless groundbreaking achievements and impacts made across every imaginable field and industry,” said Borough President KATZ. “Black History Month is also a time to reflect on the idea that we are all human beings deserving of dignity, respect, equal opportunities and fair treatment.”

The celebration, to be held inside the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall, will feature a number of cultural performances, including a dance routine by members of the Edge School of the Arts in Laurelton. Performers from Get Empowered! will close the program with a pair of Afro-Brazilian dances, the capoeira and samba.

Borough President Katz will also present more than a dozen high school seniors with college scholarships of $1,000 each. More than 150 Queens students applied for a scholarship through the African American Heritage Scholarship Competition, with the entrants being judged on their academic and civic achievement and the quality of their written submissions as to what Black History Month means to them. The winning students will be selected by the African American Heritage Committee in the coming weeks.

The keynote address will be given by Primetime Emmy Award-nominated actor and Queens native Obba Babatundé, who is also one of eight individuals who will be presented with awards recognizing their accomplishments in their respective fields. The winners include:

Sponsors of the annual Black History Month Celebration include ConEdison, JetBlue, the Greater Jamaica Development Corp., Ridgewood Savings Bank, the Queens Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Resorts World New York, the H & N Insurance Agency, Community Mediation Services, the Jamaica YMCA, Ponce de Leon Bank, Get Empowered! and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens.

WHAT:           Queens Celebrates Black History Month

WHEN:           Tuesday, February 26 at 6:00 PM

WHERE:         Queens Borough Hall (Helen Marshall Cultural Center)

                       120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

Borough President Katz commended her African American Heritage Committee for coordinating the planning of the celebration. The committee is comprised of community leaders who feel strongly about the importance of honoring the past, while also looking to the future.

Borough President Katz’s African American Heritage Committee includes committee chair Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako); Dr. Sonia R. Banks, Ph. D, LCP; Pastor John Boyd II, New Greater Bethel Ministries; Cedric Dew, Jamaica YMCA; Marc A. Haken, CB #8 Youth, Education and Library Committee; John Harrison, Community Mediation Services; Harbachan Singh, CB #8 & Queens General Assembly; Roslin Spigner, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.



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