Boston City Councillor Charles C. Yancey, in collaboration with Councillors Ayanna Pressley and Tito Jackson and Blacks In Government (BIG) Greater Boston Chapter, will host a Black History Month Celebration on Thursday, February 28, 12:00pm to 1:30pm at Boston City Hall in the Iannella Chambers on the 5th Floor.
The Keynote speaker, Peniel E. Joseph, professor of history at Tufts University, is a leading authority on African American History, including the Civil Rights/Black Power Movements; African American Intellectual History; Black Feminism; Comparative Black Nationalism; Twentieth Century American Political and Social History; Urban History; African Diaspora; and Pan-Africanism.
Dr. Joseph was born in New York City to Haitian immigrants. He was raised in a two-story home along Springfield Boulevard, in Jamaica, Queens by his mother, Germaine Joseph, who was a trade-unionist, hospital worker, and member of local 1199 for almost forty years. Dinner table conversation in Joseph’s home centered on Haitian history, contemporary labor politics, and anti-racist struggles. The influences of both his mother and his predominantly African American community taught him the important values of hard work, discipline, compassion, and social justice.
Dr. Joseph received his B.A. from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, where he majored in Africana Studies and European History, and where he was involved in campus activism and journalism as a writer for the campus newspaper, Black World. He received his Ph.D. in American History from Temple University in Philadelphia.
Entertainment will include a soulful gospel selection performed by Boston’s spectacular gospel group, Anointed Biblical Scriptures, who have performed at venues throughout New England.
The audience will be penetrated by the spoken word of poet Sofia Snow, a teacher, a dancer, a community organizer and winner of the 2006 Best Spoken Word Artist in the Massachusetts Industry Committee’s Hip Hop Awards.
The audience will also be charmed by the harmonies of the Orchard Garden School Choir 1st graders of the Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Vocalist Annji Kyle will saturate the Iannella Chambers with her exquisite voice. Kyle, co-founder of the Not Enough Mics Collaborative, has performed throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Central America, and the West Indies.
Since 1975, BIG has been responding to the needs of African Americans in public service to organize around items of mutual concern while using their collective strength to confront workplace and community issues.
Councillor Yancey said this year’s Black History Month celebration is particularly meaningful considering it coincides with the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and with the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech.