Chairman Crowley Hosts Community’s 18th Annual Black History Month Celebration

February 23, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Cedric Richmond Delivers Keynote Speech; Community Leaders Honored

(Queens, N.Y.)On Wednesday, February 22, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, was joined by Guest of Honor Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) to commemorate Black History Month with the Queens-Bronx community. Richmond, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, delivered the keynote address during the annual event which brings the local community together to pay tribute to the outstanding achievements of African Americans throughout our history. 

“As we celebrate Black History Month and all of the great champions of civil rights that channeled hope into social change in order to truly deliver on America’s promise, it was my privilege to have Congressman Richmond, such an active and dedicated colleague, as this year’s keynote speaker,” said Rep. Crowley. “He has been on the front lines protecting policies that help minority communities, and he continues to be one of our nation’s leading voices.”

“This month we remember the hills and valleys of our history, a history that challenged and continues to challenge America to live up to its highest ideals. This is why we celebrate,” said Rep. Richmond. “Since slavery, African Americans have demonstrated what it means to make the union more perfect by making the impossible possible. I was honored to join Congressman Crowley and hundreds of distinguished guests at this year’s Black History Month event.”

During the event, Crowley presented Richmond with a replica of Louis Armstrong Place, the sign that hangs on 107th Street in Corona - a symbolic gift that unites their two cities by the legendary jazz musician.

Crowley also recognized two individuals who engage closely in their own communities in order to make a difference. This year’s honorees included Reverend Patrick Henry Young of East Elmhurst’s First Baptist Church and Hornrette Washington, Minister of Music Emeritus at the Antioch Baptist Church of Corona.

“I am amazed every day by the work done by these individuals and others like them, who tirelessly work to make our communities stronger – whether it’s through faith or music,” said Crowley. “I am so proud to acknowledge their service because they strive to understand the struggles of others so that they can learn how best to help.”                                                     

NYS Assembly Members Jeffrion Aubry and Michael DenDekker also joined Crowley at the event which was held at Bruno’s on the Boulevard in East Elmhurst and drew close to 300 community members.

Attendees were treated to a spiritual musical selection by the Antioch Baptist Church Choir and a solo saxophone performance from Chelsea Brown Granville. The invocation was led by Reverend Young, and the benediction was delivered by Reverend Dr. Marvin J. Bentley from Antioch Baptist Church.    

Crowley has hosted an annual Black History Month event every year since 2000. Past guests of honor include former President Bill ClintonU.S. Attorney General Eric Holdercivil rights leader and congressman John Lewis, former NBA great Len Elmore and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray.