Friday, February 22, 2008

Black History Month

On Thursday, the Cyclones hosted Coney Island's First Annual Black History Month Celebration, and it was a huge success (I really want to say it was "poppin'"). We celebrated with cultural and artistic performances, including song, dance, sculpture, poetry, and much more.

Over 150 of Coney Island's residents and supporters came out in full force, including friends (old and new), colleagues, and family members. The lobby of KeySpan Park was overflowing with talent. Our young people were awesome -- they performed with such passion and enthusiasm it brought joy to our hearts.

Our Master of Ceremony, Bro. Ronald Stewart, warmed the atmosphere with his walk down memory lane. Most of the audience could relate to his comments of Coney Island’s "good old days" and its hope and vision for the future.

There was so much history displayed in the gallery: hand-made quilts (Delores Deloach), artwork depicting legends like Jackie Robinson, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin (We Wan Inn) and Kwanzaa (Kumlia Zairee). We also had a moving speech/discussion given by Ashley Cobb (who captivated the audience). Of course, I may be a little biased, but I think the highlight of the evening was the poetry reading by my son, Mark Anthony, who read Do You Know Who I Am? by Maya Angelou. And a thank you goes out to Robert Daniely, who provided the sound system and the video for the evening (DVD copies will be available soon).

Africasso (Bro. Dan) overwhelmed us with his sculpture of Buck O’Neil, who he met when Mr. O’Neil made an appearance (at the age of 94) at KeySpan Park on African American Heritage Night. This year's African American Heritage Night is scheduled for Thursday, June 26th.

Afterwards, all enjoyed the fantastic food and atmosphere at Footprints, across the street from the ballpark, and we greatly appreciate their support.

Many of the performers had other engagements but they came to the Brooklyn Cyclones first, and shared their talents to support the first “Black History Celebration” of many more to come at KeySpan Park.

I can’t begin to express the love and emotion I experienced.

Thank you everyone for your support.

To see the entire list of performers, Click Here

-- Sharon Lundy-Ross
Community Relations