The community of Southeast Queens filled the pews of the New Jerusalem Worship Center on a wet and dreary Saturday to witness a grand celebration of Black History Month hosted by Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica).
Community leaders, elected officials and local residents gathered to witness a collection of artistic performances and poignant reflections on the Black experience, including a keynote address by Doctors Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins of the Three Doctors Foundation.
Along with their friend and fellow physician Doctor Sampson Davis, Hunt and Jenkins authored an acclaimed series of books that chronicle their triumph over the adversity of a hard scrabble childhood while growing up in Newark: The Bond, The Pact and We Beat the Street.
“Earning a living wage, workplace safety and job security are principles that served as the foundation of the Memphis Sanitation Strike, and this ceremony takes on added significance because it falls on the same weekend as the Working People’s Day of Action,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee and co-chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. “We have a responsibility to educate our next generation about that history, and inspire them to overcome the odds with the courage, integrity and bold determination as those before them like Doctors Hunt and Jenkins. We thank the Three Doctors Foundation and all of our participants for their contributions.”
“We would like to thank Council Member Miller for affording us the opportunity to share our story,” said Doctors Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins of the Three Doctors Foundation. “Our narrative is crucial to our mission of inspiring communities all across the country because our children cannot aspire to be what they themselves cannot see.”
“I applaud Council Member Miller for bringing together community members, local leaders, artists, and intellectuals for a meaningful celebration of Black History Month,” said Senator Leroy Comrie. “It is important that we not only reflect on our shared history, but also educate our young men and women about what it means to be black in America.”
“Educating our younger members of the community on their history is imperative, to shaping their minds and influencing them on how history has impacted us all,” said Assembly Member Clyde Vanel. “Listening to the different accounts of the doctors was powerful and moving, demonstrating that we cannot be defeated by our circumstances. The Three Doctors Foundation legacy should be preserved and it’s our obligation as a community to share this story to the children. Our history is our foundation and the significance of this narrative is critical for the future generations to come.”
“I was honored to take part in Council Member Miller’s Black History month event this weekend,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica). “Together my colleagues and the community celebrated with an inspirational afternoon designed to help us remember with pride, our nation’s rich African American history and hear from the exceptional contributors to our great culture. The presence of Drs. Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins of the Three Doctors Foundation and performances by our local talent were extraordinary. This celebration was a great reminder that Black history should be commemorated, not only in the month of February, but rather every day.”
“I commend Council Member Miller for organizing such an inspiring Celebration of Black History Month,” said Council Member Rory Lancman. “It was a privilege to listen to The Three Doctors share its inspiring story, as we reflected on the many African American leaders who have made a difference in our community. We will continue to build on their legacies to make the world a more just place for communities of color.”
Performances were provided courtesy of the New Jerusalem Worship Center Choir, St. Albans Montessori Academy, St. Benedict School of Dance, Barbara Scott, Bret Anthony Lowery III, Christine Thomas, Ashley Keiko, Kyron We, the Edge School of the Arts Dance School and Joe’s Music Center.