MAYOR BOLLWAGE CELEBRATES AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH

Contact: Kelly Vence

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MAYOR BOLLWAGE CELEBRATES AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH

ELIZABETH, NJ—February 9, 2012—Mayor J. Christian Bollwage joined Senator Raymond Lesniak, members of the Elizabeth Branch NAACP, Councilwoman-At-Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste, Councilman William Gallman, Council President Nelson Gonzalez and Councilman Manny Grova at a ceremony to celebrate Black History Month.

The event, which was held on Monday, February 6th, marked the start of the month with an African American Heritage Flag Raising Ceremony on the front steps of City Hall.

“We are proud to celebrate the vast contributions of African Americans throughout our nation,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage.  “These great leaders positively impacted history and continue to improve the quality of life for all. The African American flag will stand tall at City Hall for the remainder of the month as a symbol of strength and unity.”

At the event, African American members of the Elizabeth Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Technicians were honored. Special recognition was given to the first African American police officer in the City of Elizabeth, Kirkpatrick Marrow; the first African American firefighter, Charles “Spunky” Stewart  and the first African American EMT Charles Douglas.

“The Elizabeth Branch NAACP would like to thank its many partners for making the day special by helping us recognize not only current civil servants but the first to hold these positions in Elizabeth, breaking the glass ceiling of discrimination,” said Krishna Garlic, President of the Elizabeth Branch NAACP.

Presenters included: Reverend Joseph Garlic, Christina Nieves and Lorraine Hogans, a family member of Charles Stewart.

Upcoming events in celebration of African American History Month around Elizabeth include:

Saturday, February 18th at 5:00 p.m.- the United Youth of New Jersey’s African American History Month Play, titled “Ambo, the Untold Journey” at the Terence Reilly School #7, located at 436 First Avenue.

Tuesday, February 21st at 12:00 p.m.- African American History Month celebration at the Stephen Sampson Center, located at 800 Anna Street and Jazz Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., featuring Lorriane Harris and The E City Band at Michelino's Brick Oven Pizza, located at 14-26 Julian Place.

Tuesday, February 28th at 6:00 p.m., Jazz Tuesdays, featuring Edwina Jones and The Inclusive Band at Michelino's Brick Oven Pizza, located at 14-26 Julian Place.

Wedensday, February 29th at 10:00 a.m., an African American History Month celebration at the O’Donnell Dempsey Center, located at 622 Salem Avenue.