Street-co naming ceremony in Jamaica held in honor of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. founding member

New York City Mayor Eric Adams delivers remarks at the Street Co-Naming Ceremony in honor of Ethel Cuff Black
Photo courtesy of Benny Polatseck

Local government leaders gathered at Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica on Sunday, May 5, to host a street co-naming ceremony honoring the legacy of a founding member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. 

Council Member Nantasha Williams (D-27), in partnership with the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Queens Alumnae Chapter (DSTQUAC), hosted the ceremony to celebrate the life and legacy of Ethel Cuff Black, a founding member of the sorority.

Williams was joined by Mayor Eric Adams, Assemblymember Alicia L. Hyndman (D-29), Speaker Adrienne E. Adams (D-28) and Council Member Selvena N. Brooks-Powers (D-31) for the commemorative event, which renamed a portion of Foch Boulevard in Black’s honor. Over 350 community members joined the local government leaders at the event, with many of the attendees being members of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. 

The ceremony showcased Black’s contributions to the community and her pioneering role in establishing one of the nation’s most prominent African-American sororities. During her time as a Delta Sigma Theta sorority member, Black was at the forefront of causes related to education, community development and civil rights. In 1951, she helped to charter the Queens Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Additionally, she became the first African American teacher on staff at P.S. 108Q, located at 108-10 109 Ave.

Local Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. members show their support at Sunday’s street co-naming ceremony. Photo courtesy of Benny Polatseck

Williams, who is a member of the sorority, said the event was a poignant reminder of Black’s remarkable legacy in her community and beyond. “Her dedication to service and advocacy continues to inspire and guide us in our own efforts to uplift our communities.” Williams added that the street-co naming ceremony will “ensure that ensure that her memory and impact will continue to inspire future generations.”

Charelle Hassell-Gilbert, president of DSTQUAC, added that Black was a true servant of the Queens community, leaving a lasting legacy in her wake. “It brings the Queens Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated immense joy to see her dedication honored with the street co-naming ceremony. This will forever be a momentous occasion in HERStory,” she said.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. was founded on Jan. 13, 1913, at Howard University, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The sorority is a nonprofit organization committed to the three pillars of sisterhood, scholarship and service.