History is now.
Brooklyn justices ushered in Black History Month with a ceremony at Kings County Supreme Court, which drew a more diverse crowd than ever since they began the kick-off celebrations two decades ago.
“There was a record number of judges of all color,” said Justice Sylvia Ash. “Each year we get a larger turnout.”
Each year, the jurists choose a theme for the opening ceremony based on current events. And their 21st-annual event centered around “The Great Migration,” recognizing both black Americans’ move from the southern to northern United States to escape segregation and Jim Crow laws over the last century, and the treks residents of war-torn countries in Central and South America make to the U.S. today, Ash said.
“We basically choose themes based on current events and there’s a lot of talk now about immigration,” she said.
Attendees began the Feb. 1 festivities with spirited renditions of the National Anthem and the Black National Anthem, before Brooklyn Board of Elections Commissioner Dr. John Flateau — who is also a professor at Crown Heights’s historically black Medgar Evers College — addressed the crowd as the keynote speaker at the event, where he also received an award for distinguished service.
Flateau spoke eloquently and made important connections between migration then and now, said Ash.
“Dr. Flateau was a very captivating speaker, being a professor he has a wealth of knowledge of black history and migration,” she said. “He was able to impart that knowledge to a captive audience.”
The kick-off event marked the first of many Black History Month celebrations at the local courts, including a health and wellness seminar on Feb. 14, and a closing ceremony on Feb. 28, when the jurists will become judges of a different sort during a celebratory fashion show.
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.