Farmingville, NY - On February 7, the Town of Brookhaven’s Black History Commission hosted its 29th Annual Black History Month celebration at Town Hall. The program included the presentation of Academic Achievement Awards to more than 77 of Brookhaven’s top African-American high school seniors from 14 school districts who achieved a cumulative grade point average of 90 or higher. The Commission also recognized its Honoree and Keynote Speaker, the Honorable Derrick J. Robinson, Acting Suffolk County Court Judge presiding over Drug Court and Mental Health Court. He is also President-elect of the Suffolk County Bar Association.The theme of this year’s Black History Month Celebration was “African Americans and the Vote.” The evening included musical performances by the Brookhaven NAACP, the Faith Baptist Church Choir and Taylor Niles, as well as a dance performance by Eugenia Woods. Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright, the first woman of African American descent to serve on the Town Board, also serves as the Town Board Liaison to the Town’s Black History Commission. The Black History Commission’s next event is the 6th Annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 20.Pictured in the top photo are Councilman Kevin LaValle; Councilman Neil Foley; Hon. Derrick J. Robinson; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Dan Panico and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright. Pictured in the bottom left photo is event Chairperson Jennifer Martin presenting a proclamation to Hon. Derrick J. Robinson. Bottom right shows part of the crowd of attendees and the students.About the Black History CommissionIn 1991, a Black History Month Committee was formed in observance of Black History Month. Two years later, the then-Town Board established a permanent Black History Commission to provide continuity in planning and organizing a Black History Night celebration each February. The purpose of these celebrations is to acknowledge and honor the contributions of Black Americans, both nationally and locally, while fostering an appreciation for Black culture and heritage.Recognizing that celebrating black culture should not be limited to one specific month, in January 2014 the Town Board unanimously passed a resolution expanding and broadening the scope of the Black History Commission. This afforded the residents of Brookhaven the opportunity to attend the first ever Juneteenth event hosted by the Town on 2014 and has since become a new annual tradition.
Division of Public Information * Office of the SupervisorOne Independence Hill • Farmingville • NY 11738 • Phone 631-451-6595