NYCHA residents ended Black History Month with a musical celebration that highlighted legends and the achievements of African Americans throughout the country’s history.
On February 28, more than 300 residents from developments across the city filled the Johnson Community Center in Harlem for the event hosted by NYCHA’s Family Partnerships Department.
Audience members were treated to a production of music from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, including a little “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” during a tribute to “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, tunes by the Four Tops, and a crowd-stirring presentation by a group performing as The Supremes.
Residents from Taft Senior Center performed a spoken word piece of James Weldon Johnson’s poem “The Creation.” Johnson is the writer and activist behind “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” also known as the “Black National Anthem,” and the Johnson Community Center was named after him. There was also a Black History game, where contestants had to answer questions correctly to win a prize, such as what percentage of the U.S. population is African American (answer: 13 percent) and who was America’s first female African-American entrepreneur (Madam C.J. Walker). Black History Month-themed artwork by seniors was also on display.
In addition to lunch, health resources and services were provided by partners UniCare, Avondale Care, Humana, HealthFirst, Blossom Home Care, and Harlem Health Advocacy Partners.