Lawmaker hosts weeklong celebration of Black lives in Jamaica

Photo by Dean Moses

Following the painting of a Black Lives Matter mural along Jamaica Avenue and a street naming ceremony last week, Councilman I. Daneek Miller launched a weeklong celebration of Black lives and the Jamaica community from Aug. 2 through Aug. 7.

The celebration included performances from a gospel choir, activities for families and young people and a block party.

“Standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us, we’ve fought for both social and economic justice and the respect and dignity of black lives. The Black Lives Matter mural will serve as a visual representation of all we have done and what we still have yet to do as a community, and we are grateful for the opportunity to bring this to Downtown Jamaica, a vibrant hub of arts and culture in Southeast Queens,” Miller said. “The week’s events seek to highlight the richness of Southeast Queens, while also serving as an opportunity to gather and do the critical work of discussing how we can collectively better our community.

On Sunday, the weeklong celebration kicked off with Gospel Day, which featured prayer, live music, dance and vocal performances. On Monday, dubbed Youth Day, families and children enjoyed activities and were given information on educational enrichment activities.

On Tuesday, physical and mental health experts came out to educate the community. COVID-19 tests were available, as well as a Planned Parenthood mobile van. A Block Party for Peace was held on the street on Wednesday.

Thursday was Community Day, hosted by Dr. Bob Lee of WBLS. Friday, Aug. 7, was for the youth, featuring live performances from young musicians and a youth rally.

On all six days of celebration, a Census 2020 representative was available to encourage people to fill out the census.

See photos from the celebration below.

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