Elsy Mecklembourg Guibert receives Dr. Carter G. Woodson Award
Elmont Online & Highlighting Success, Inc. presented its 7th annual Black History Month (BHM) event on February 6, celebrating Black History, social justice and empowerment. Drawing on the legacy of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History and the “soul” behind the origination of EoL’s annual celebration, the event focused on the Black experience, from tradition and culture to challenge and accomplishment.
The words of Dr. Woodson, “I am ready to act, if I can find brave men to help me,” would well have served as a thrust for this year’s celebration, which turned a spotlight on the meaning of community, responsibility, leadership and involvement.
At the opening Round Table discussion, “Hope, Growth and
In her welcoming remarks, Black History Month Committee Chair Allyson Phillips quoted author, college professor, filmmaker and social activist Toni Cade Bambara’s profound words:
I know that we must reclaim those bones in the
“In the midst of all her works of activism,” said Mrs. Phillips, “Toni Bambara never forgot the importance of community. Community should not be applied in small context as it is not a small word, but an international concept. It is the gathering of idealisms, values, strengths and visions of individuals coming together in the global pursuit of hope, growth and opportunity.” Mrs. Phillips paused to acknowledge the numerous individuals and organizations that had worked behind the scenes to make the 2010 Black History Month Celebration possible. She continued, “It was our ancestors with their communities that broke down barriers.” And referencing the “bones” in the
During the awards ceremony, BHM supporter Assemblyman Tom Alfano presented his 21st Assembly District Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards in the adult category to: Nkenge Gilliam and Tiria Onwuchekwa, and in the youth category to Divinity Babb and Ivana Roman.
Ms Gilliam, a U.S. History and Advanced Placement U.S. History teacher at
Members of the community and guests were treated to a “Collaboration of Song and Spoken Word” that at times moved the spirit and at times touched the funny bone. Once again the ceremony was narrated by 2008 Elmont Memorial graduate Robert Anthony King. The Black National Anthem was sung by a duo from Men of Destiny, Timothy Jean and Nachbi Lacoissiere, who also sang Hear the Cry, a song he wrote in tribute to
Addressing the “spoken word,” Gotham Avenue’s Terrence Lewis gave another spirited presentation, which included, among others, his reading of Langston Hughes poetry and his unique origination, “Pants on the Floor,” referring to those individuals who insist on wearing their pants so low. His performance was at times amusing, but it came with a lesson—teaching responsibility and uprightness, and the caution not to take one’s self too seriously. The program ended with a rendition of Duke Ellington’s C Jam Blues performed by elementary school student musicians who played solos on sax, trombone, clarinet and trumpet.
The 2010 Black History Month Committee—Scott Cushing, Tania Lawes, Dr. Sydney McCalla, Allyson and Aubrey Phillips, Sandra Smith, and 2009 Dr. Carter Woodson Award recipient Joyce Stowe—thank all those who made this year’s celebration a huge success.