Mighty River Event at College Highlights Untold Histories of Black Americans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: January 30, 2009
CONTACT: Lisa Saunders
(845) 574 - 4244
Mighty River Event at SUNY Rockland Highlights Untold Histories of Black Americans
Five hundred middle school students scheduled to attend morning session.
Afternoon session free and open to the public
Suffern, NY - In honor of African American History Month and the New York State Hudson River Quadricentennial, SUNY Rockland Community College will highlight the contributions of African Americans to Hudson River communities from the 1600's to the early 20th Century.
Students from East Ramapo, North Rockland, Nyack and Ramapo Central School Districts will be in attendance.
Tuesday, February 10
Snow Date: Tues., February 26
A Mighty River: Contributions of Peoples of the African Diaspora to the Economic Development along the Lower Hudson River
Co-Sponsored by: The CEJJES Institute, The African American Historical Society of Rockland and The Rockland African Diaspora Heritage Center
Session I: 10:00 a.m. – Noon, Cultural Arts Theater
Session II: 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Cultural Arts Theater
The program, which is part of the New York State Hudson River Quadricentennial, will be in two parts: Session I for students in grades 7-9 (by reservation only), and Session II will be for the college community and the general public. Both events will feature lectures, dramatic interpretation, music and exhibits that tell the little known story of how the labor of black people, from the 1600’s to the early 20th Century, helped the Hudson River communities to flourish.
Featured Speakers include:
Dr. Cliff L. Wood, President, Rockland Community College
Dr. A.J. Williams-Myers, Professor of Black Studies, SUNY New Paltz
Mack Brandon, Professor of Music, Ramapo College
Jamila Shabazz-Brathwaite, Program Director, The CEJJES Institute
Christopher Paul Moore, Research Coordinator, Schomburg Center for Research in Black History and Culture
Dr. Edmund W. Gordon, Co-founder, The CEJJES Institute
Dr. Lori Martin, Professor, Black Studies, John Jay College
"The Brick Industry Monologue" presented by the RCC Performing Arts Department.
Whether enslaved or free, Africans of the Diaspora have always had a ubiquitous presence in the ever-changing economies of the Hudson Valley. Black workers in saw and grist mills and construction; fishermen, boatmen and waterman, whose nautical knowledge of the Hudson was unparalleled; iron workers in the Ramapo hills; paper mill workers in Piermont; cutters and harvesters of ice in Congers; makers of bricks in Haverstraw; migrant farm workers producing fruits and vegetables; and entrepreneurs who broke through barriers of repression, all contributed greatly to the development of life and industry in the river towns along the Hudson.
Wylene Wood, Coordinator of the Mighty River event and President of The African American Historical Society of Rockland commented that the program should be important to everyone in Rockland County and elsewhere, for it gives a glimpse of the physical, social, cultural, emotional, and financial investment made in this community by peoples of the African Diaspora. "It is time to begin to unearth the history and to tell the story. As we enlighten and educate, we correct the record. Hopefully, this effort will change attitudes--and hearts -- so that peoples of the Diaspora will feel a renewed pride in and connection to this community and that those of other backgrounds will find a new respect and appreciation for these enormous contributions."
For further information about the "A Mighty River" event, contact The CEJJES Institute at (845) 362-8610.
For further information about African American History Month, contact members of the African American History Month Committee, Melissa Roy at 845-574-4758, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lisa Schachter, 845-574-4396, email@example.com
Stay informed: sign up for RCC's free monthly e-newsletter of events by visiting www.sunyrockland.edu and clicking into the “Sign up for events newsletter” button on the lower right.
Suffern campus map: http://www.sunyrockland.edu/about/campus-guide/map
Rockland Community College, a unit of the State University of New York, is located 25 miles northwest of NYC. The majority of its students transfer to four-year colleges, and many find immediate employment upon earning their associate's degree or certificate. The College also offers others, from preschoolers to senior citizens, the opportunity to simply learn something new. Quality education...at a price you can afford.