Eastchester: BP Gibson Hosts 3rd Annual Black History Month Celebration

Originally published by Norwood News, February 8, 2024

Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson hosted her 3rd Annual Black History Month celebration at Eastwood Manor, located at 3371 Eastchester Road in the Eastchester section of the Bronx, on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The evening, recognized what was described as the richness of African American culture and history in the borough, and featured special performances by The Harlem Group Ensemble, and Renaissance H.S. Varsity Voices.

Receiving the Aurelia Greene Memorial Award was principal administrative associate of NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Shirley Williams Myrie, who is celebrating her 70th year as a New York City employee. The Bronx native who began her career in 1953, was joined by her family and ACS Commissioner Jess Dannhauser, who hailed her years of dedication to the city as a public servant.

The award is named for beloved former Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene who, as reported, died on Saturday, May 8, 2021, at the age of 86.

Also honored was president/CEO of Soul Snacks Cookies, Ralph Rolle, whose product, once a staple at local bodegas in the 1990s, is now being sold at Krogers and Walmart stores across the country.

Recently featured in People magazine and Fortune magazine, Rolle, who once baked out of the kitchen of his apartment at the Bronx River Houses, will soon be partnering with former White House pastry chef under the Obama Administration, Bill Yosses, to start a culinary school based in the Soundview section.

Attendees also heard that executive director of Mt. Eden-based housing nonprofit, New Settlement, Rigaud Yves Noel, another honoree, has served in senior and executive management positions at nonprofits across New York City over the last two decades. Noel credited his Haitian-born parents who, despite financial challenges, sent him to Catholic school to ensure his future success in the workforce.

Norma Saunders, tenant association president and Family Enrichment Center director at Bronx River Houses, located in the Soundview section, was also recognized for what was described as her tireless work in advocating for youth and adults in public housing.

This year’s Youth Award was given to the Renaissance H.S. Varsity Voices. PIX 11’s Arrianee LeBeau served as MC for the event. Other attendees included New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Black History Month got off to a good start for Bronx Jazz singer, Samara Joy, who, as reported, won her third Grammy at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 4, in Los Angeles, CA.

Click herehere, hereherehere, hereherehere, to read some related coverage on this topic, and check our regular Out & About sections for details of various events marking Black History Month throughout February. We will publish a new listing shortly.