Tag Archives: Black History month


The Annual Hudson County Black History Month Celebration Awards Dinner honors local African Americans who have served their community with distinction.

Hudson County Executive Craig Guy will join Vice Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Jerry Walker, County Register Jeff Dublin and a host of other elected officials and community leaders to recognize Hudson County’s 2024 Black History Month Honorees at the Black History Month Celebration Dinner to be held at High Tech High School in Secaucus tomorrow evening at 6 pm.

“I was honored to nominate my dear friend, Florence Holmes, for this year’s Coretta Scott King Humanitarian Award, and pleased that the Hudson County Black History Month Committee confirmed the nomination,” said County Executive Guy. “I look forward to joining our Vice Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, Jerry Walker, Register Jeff Dublin, and other county and municipal officials and community leaders as we salute all our Black History Month honorees at this wonderful annual event.”

Vice Chairman Walker, who serves as a member of the Hudson County Black History Month Committee, noted how valuable events like the Celebration Dinner remain, even in an evermore fast-paced, online-driven world. 

“Taking time to understand who we are as individuals requires each of us to understand and appreciate our heritage and our place in history,” said Commissioner Walker. “Our Black History Month honorees’ remarkable stories of courage, creativity, and compassion we will celebrate tomorrow night remind us how that place is shaped and re-shaped for the better every day—right here in Hudson County.” 

The Hudson County Black History Month Committee accepts nominations for five traditional countywide awards recognizing the service and achievements of local residents in keeping with the theme of that year’s celebration. This year’s theme is “African Americans and the Arts.” 

The Hudson County Black History Month Celebration Dinner will include oratory and musical performances from Hudson County Schools of Technology students and an invocation and benediction by the Rev. Chester Banks of Jersey City.

The 2024 Hudson County Black History Month Honorees are as follows:

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drum Major Award: Demetrius

Terry, of Kearny. Mr. Terry is a former aide to two New Jersey state legislators and served as the Executive Director of the Greenville Health Access Coalition, a non-profit organization that fought to expand healthcare access for local residents. He now works in property management for a real estate development company and remains active in local community affairs with a focus on bipartisanship and encouraging more participation by younger and LGBTQ voters in local politics.

The Coretta Scott King Humanitarian Award: Florence Holmes of Jersey City. Ms. Holmes has won countless previous awards for her remarkable half-century of service to her community. She currently serves as the Director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Senior Center in Jersey City, the Vice Chairperson of the Hudson County HIV/AIDS Planning Council, a member of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, a member of the Jersey City Golden Door Rotary Club and as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Patrick’s Church, where she has been a parishioner since 1970. 

The Rhudell Snelling, Sr., Community Service Award: Jovina Johnson of Jersey City. Ms. Johnson, a resident of Jersey City for more than twenty years, serves as President of the Journal Square Community Association (JSQCA). She is the first African American woman to lead the JSQCA as President. Ms. Johnson has been active in community redevelopment in the Journal Square area as a property owner and member of the JSQCA since 2019.

The Hudson County Public Service Award: Sgt. Steven Rhodes of Bayonne. Sgt. Rhodes has served for a quarter century as a member of the Bayonne Police Department. As a detective, he worked as a member of the Detective Bureau, the Narcotics Unit, and the Juvenile Aide Bureau. Today he serves as the Community Outreach Officer in the office of Bayonne’s Police Chief, Robert Geisler. In that role Sgt. Rhodes works closely with the city’s Community Policing Unit as well as community organizations and local clergy. He is a member of the Bayonne Branch of the NAACP, Bayonne PAL and the Bayonne Community Center.

Outstanding Hudson County Healthcare Award: Joan Dublin of Jersey City. Ms. Dublin holds a B.S. in Nursing from New Jersey City University and a Masters in Public Administration from Seton Hall University. Since 2007, she has served as President & CEO of Metropolitan Family Health Network. In that role, she increased the number of patients served and created health-provider partnerships to expand access to better and more affordable care for local residents. Ms. Dublin has served as Chair of the New Jersey Primary Care Association, Jersey City Medical Center’s Senior Director of Patient Care Services, and as Executive Director of Jersey City Family Health Services. 

Residents can learn more about this event by contacting the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs at 201-459-2070 or online at: www.visithudson.org. The Celebration Dinner is free and open to the public.

Hudson County Community College Foundation Art Collection Celebrates the Incredible Works of African American Artists  

The Foundation Art Collection is proud to honor the works of African American artists during Black History Month

Willie Cole’s 1999 work, “Man, Spirit, Mask,” is displayed prominently in HCCC’s Gabert Library.

February 9, 2024, Jersey City, NJ – With Black History Month upon us, it’s a good time to reflect on and celebrate the rich and diverse contributions and experiences of African and African American artists. The Hudson County Community College Foundation Art Collection is proud to feature an extensive collection of works by African and African American artists and works depicting the African American experience and story.

The Foundation Art Collection is home to over 90 permanently installed works by African American artists and artworks exploring the impact of the African diaspora. Many of these are world-renowned artists, some of whom are from or live in New Jersey, like Willie Cole, Faith Ringgold, and more. 

Some of the works in the Collection are challenging to look at, serving as a stark reminder of the severe hardships and grave injustices that Africans and African Americans have endured. But the Collection also pays homage to the resilience and spirit of the people who collectively struggled against injustice and celebrates the triumph of overcoming adversity. In many ways, the works in the Collection embody famed African American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou’s words, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. It may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

One group of works that captures the poetry of this struggle is the Collection’s many portraits of renowned Caribbean artist Bob Blackburn by differing artists including Will Barnett, Paul John, Rie Hasagawa, Denise Kasof, Justin Sands, and Bruce Waldman. Born in Summit, New Jersey to Jamaican immigrant parents, Blackburn grew up in Harlem and became an accomplished artist. Frustrated that segregated printshops of the day wouldn’t let him work there, Blackburn took matters into his own hands and created his printshop in 1947 so that people of color and women (who were also excluded from printmaking workshops) had a place to work and create. Today, over 75 years later, the EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop (EFA RBPMW) is the nation’s oldest and longest-running community print shop.

The Foundation Art Collection is home to three works by Willie Cole, a world-renowned sculptor and New Jersey native. Cole is perhaps best known for transforming unassuming, everyday household items like bicycle parts, high-heeled shoes, and even discarded appliances into striking sculptures. He also creates art inspired by African masks, and his 1999 limited-edition print triptych, Man Spirit Mask, is prominently displayed in Gabert Library. Beyond HCCC, Cole’s art is found at prestigious museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Newark Museum.

The Collection also features two works by Faith Ringgold, who was born in Harlem and later moved to Englewood, New Jersey. As a child, Ringgold suffered from chronic asthma and was thus drawn to art as a hobby at an early age. Ringgold is known for her paintings, sculptures, mixed media, and, perhaps most of all, her narrative quilts like The American Collection and The French Collection. The Foundation Art Collection is home to the digital print with hand lithography, Coming to Jones Road, Under a Blood Red Sky, which explores the relationship between African Americans’ experience of escaping slavery by the Underground Railroad during the Civil War and Ringgold’s move from Harlem, where she was treated with dignity and respect, to her new home in Englewood, where she encountered racism and hostility. Meanwhile, a serigraph of Here Come Moses tells the story of the hopes and dreams of another formerly enslaved person as he fled northward by the underground railroad African Americans followed to freedom during slavery. Ringgold’s art can be seen in high-profile museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum.

Other accomplished African American artists featured in the Collection include Gordon Parks, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Carmen Cartiness Johnson, Mickalene Thomas, and Chakaia Booker. The Collection also features art from HCCC’s own African American art students, right alongside the works of world-renowned artists. Notably, recent donations have brought to the Collection of sculptures from ancient Egypt, Kenya, and Ethiopia.  

Furthermore, the Collection features many inspiring photographs of iconic moments of the civil rights movement, such as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at the National Mall and the iconic photo of Olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in the Black Power salute during the medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics.  The Collection’s curator, Andrea Siegel, Ph.D., explains, “The gravity of these iconic, historic moments can seem intimidating to students, but seeing these smaller photographs up close in person makes it a more manageable experience that they can take something from.”

Beyond celebrating the lives and work of African and African American artists, another primary goal of the Collection is to awaken a newfound appreciation and curiosity about African American art. Siegel says, “We want to instill and reinforce a sense of pride in the community. When the Collection can show someone something new about their heritage they didn’t know about or inspire a new passion, it has done its job.”

HCCC serves Hudson, one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Its Journal Square campus in Jersey City is located in the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the United States, while its North Hudson Campus in Union City is home to a richly diverse community of the Hispanic diaspora.  HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber says, “We are honored to serve one of the most diverse communities in the United States, and our Foundation Art Collection is a true reflection of this diversity.”

Additionally, the Foundation Art Collection supports HCCC students, many of whom are first-generation college students from traditionally underserved communities. Seeing fine art firsthand inspires empathy, ignites curiosity, and gives students newfound cultural capital. Siegel states that, ultimately, “The Foundation Art Collection reflects to our community all its diverse beauty.”

Unlike some college collections, the Foundation Art Collection isn’t under lock and key, out of reach of the public. Under Dr. Andrea Siegel’s leadership, the entire HCCC campus has blossomed into a living art museum, open to all members of the College and the wider community to experience and enjoy. Students see these pieces by renowned African and African American artists daily.

The Foundation Art Collection is proud to pay homage to the incredible contributions of African and African American artists during Black History Month and all year long. The Foundation Art Collection honors these amazing artists and works by being open to all, and HCCC is happy to give tours of the Collection.

If you’d like to arrange a tour of the Hudson County Community College Art Collection, please email Andrea Siegel at [email protected]

If you’re interested in checking the collection out online, visit  www.hccc.edu/FoundationArt/Collections

Hudson County Concludes Black History Month with Annual Black History Month Celebration and Awards Dinner

Tuesday’s celebration honors leaders in education, health care, public service.

Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and Hudson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Pro Tempore Jerry Walker will welcome host of local leaders, community activists, and students to the County’s Annual Black History Month Celebration and Awards Dinner to be held at High Tech High School (One High Tech Way, Secaucus, NJ 07094) this Tuesday, February 28th, at 6pm.

Among the honorees will be Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd III, President of the Bayonne Branch of the NAACP, who will receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Drum Major Award; Pamela Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of the Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County, who will receive the Coretta Scott King Humanitarian Award; Susan Curry, longtime Jersey City Community Organizer, who will receive the Rhudell Snelling Sr., Community Service Award; Christopher A. Brown, Hoboken’s Director of Community Development,  who will receive the Hudson County Public Service Award; and Trina Boyd-Clyburn, RN, BSN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer for Bayonne Medical Center, who will receive the Hudson County Healthcare Award.

  “We are proud to honor these outstanding individuals who mean so much to our community and have done so much for Hudson County,” said Commissioner Walker. “I am looking forward to publicly saying “thank you” to all of them as we celebrate our history and heritage at this very special event.”  

“For two decades, it has been my pleasure to salute some of the finest community servant-leaders we have ever produced in Hudson County during our annual Black History Month Celebration Dinner,” said County Executive DeGise. “This year’s list of outstanding honorees proudly continues that long tradition.”  

As in past years, attendees will be entertained by student performers and have an opportunity to hear from the award winners about their lives, their work, and their reaction to being honored by Hudson County. This public event is by invitation only. Media members are welcome and additional background on the honorees will be provided.

  The Annual Hudson County Black History Month Celebration and Awards Dinner is organized by the Hudson County Black History Month Committee, The Committee members are: Gina Hulings, Victoria Parks, Sharonda Walker, Diane Jennings, and Krista Kenny.

America’s 1st African American Couple Makes History as Principal Owners of a Professional Soccer Team

Bayonne, New Jersey – New Jersey Teamsters Football Club (NJTFC) announces its membership acceptance in to the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA), a professional soccer league under the United States Soccer Federation, pending a successful launch and compliance with United States Soccer Federation Pro League Standards.

This month, the team’s owner Sibrena Stowe-Geraldino makes history as the first female African American principal owner of a professional soccer team in the United States, and husband Alexsi Geraldino is the great-grandson of the founder & president of Dominican Republic’s Lotería Nacional (National Lottery) now, Alex is first Dominican American professional soccer club owner in the United States, both major accomplishments during Black history month.

Bridges Art Gallery Expressive Creative Soul Art Exhibition Celebrating Black History Month

Bridges Art Gallery in Bayonne, New Jersey recently held an Art Exhibition at the Bayonne Museum entitled Expressive Creative Soul. The event was held over a 3-day period and featured many black artists from the Bayonne and Jersey City area.
See the video of the event here


Expressive Creative Soul Art Exhibition Bayonne


ART MATTERS Galleria Hudson Jersey City Celebrates Black History Month

  New Owners offer Framing, Photo-Printing & Venue for Artists

 Art Matters


Art Matters







Paintings by the late Elmira Wood and photographs by Mickey Mathis on view at Galleria Hudson in Jersey City.

By Sally Deering

Downtown Jersey City, on the corner where Jersey and Newark Avenues meet, Galleria Hudson frame shop just got a little more interesting. John and MaryJean Frohling and MaryJean’s son Henry Greenfield took over Galleria Hudson just a few months ago and made some changes. Along with framing services, and large-format photo-printing, Galleria Hudson now offers local artists a venue to show their work.

Art Matters February is Black History Month, and the Frohlings and Greenfield are spotlighting local photographer Mickey Mathis, a Jersey City resident who can be seen, camera in hand, strolling through local neighborhoods capturing light as it spills onto buildings, and freeze-framing moments in time. Mathis has been chronicling Jersey City’s neighborhoods for more than 20 years. He made his mark as a New York photographer taking pictures of celebrities and big events like the Ali-Frasier fight. Continue reading ART MATTERS Galleria Hudson Jersey City Celebrates Black History Month


The Two Time Grammy-Award Winners and Internationally Acclaimed World Music Sensation.

A non-stop celebration of Song and Culture In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and In Celebration of Black History Month


“Mesmerizing, Beautiful and Phenomenally Resonant” 


“Their brilliance lies in their clean voices”

“The public will be blown away”

Lehman centerBronx, NY – Lehman Center for the Performing Arts delivers a world of internationally acclaimed performances to the Bronx highlighting South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choiron Saturday, February 15th, 2014 at 8pm in their 10th Anniversary National Tour. This choir is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences from around the world and this special concert in the Bronx is dedication to  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for Soweto Gospel Choir  on Saturday, February 15th, at 8pm start at $25 | Children 12 and under $10 for any seat, and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am–5pm, and beginning at 12 noon on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. All students, senior citizens, Lehman College alumni and CUNY staff and faculty receive $5 discount per ticket. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low cost on-site parking available for $5. Continue reading SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR AT LEHMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS – Saturday, February 15th at 8 PM

Jersey City to Raise African-American Flag In Honor of Black History Month

Jersey City Seal www.riverviewobserver.netMayor Jerramiah T. Healy, members of the Municipal Council and the Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services/Division of Cultural Affairs will hold a flag raising ceremony to mark Black History Month at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at City Hall, 280 Grove Street. The flag-raising ceremony will be followed by a short program. Continue reading Jersey City to Raise African-American Flag In Honor of Black History Month

Students at Bayonne HS Explore Legacy of ‘Greensboro Four’ In Conjunction with Cablevision’s Power to Learn Education Initiative and the Smithsonian Channel

 Original ‘Greensboro Four’ Member Joseph Mc Neil Addresses Students;

Congressman Albio Sires, Assemblyman Charles Mainor,

Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell  and Mayor Mark Smith Participate

 Students at Bayonne High School will receive a history lesson firsthand from Joseph McNeil, an original member of the “Greensboro Four” and an icon of the civil rights movement. As part of the Black History Month educational initiative from Cablevision’s Power to Learn and the Smithsonian Channel, junior honors students will make presentations and elected officials will also participate.

 Monday, February 27 @ 1:00 PM

Bayonne High School (BOE Meeting Room) 669 Avenue A Bayonne, NJ 07002

Elected Officials (Congressman Albio Sires, Assemblyman Charles Mainor,

Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, Mayor Mark Smith)

Trent Anderson, Cablevision Vice President of Education

Joseph McNeil, original member of “Greensboro Four”

Christopher M. Wilson, Director/Program in African American Culture,

Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History

Joss Gross, Director of PR, Smithsonian Institution

Richard Baccarella, Principal

Deidre Hurley & Tim Maset, Junior Honors Social Studies & English Teachers

James Harris, New Jersey NAACP President

Al Strickland, Bayonne NAACP President