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An African-American Musical Journey: Yonkers, NY

Celebrating the impact of African-American music on America and the world

In honor of Black History Month, Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader and Councilwomen Shanae Williams (District 1) and Tasha Diaz (District 3) celebrated the impact of African-American music on America and the world by collectively taking us on An African-American Musical Journey, with an online concert, Saturday, February 20, 2021, (see full video below).

“We remain incredibly grateful to all who made this event possible: the performers, Yonkers Public Library, Tasha Diaz, Shanae Williams, and to my team who has worked hard to pull this event together in honor of Black History Month,” Council President Khader shared with Black Westchester.

From the powerful spoken word presentation from Dr. Alexandria Connally, to an education on the the musical contributions of African-Americans by Effie Phillips of the National Council of Negro Women, to the soul stirring singing of Nev performing “Police” to the Sound of Kingdom singing “Days of Elijah,” to Messiah Baptist Church Pastor Frank Coleman singing “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” an African-American spiritual song that originated during the period of slavery but was not published until 1867 followed by SolidRock Christian Center Choir singing Psalm 23.

Nitisha Moore sang The Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” which was written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson. Katori Walker, an artist of the Mayor’s African-American Advisory Board performed a spoken word piece titled ‘Awaken,” Sakura Myers masterfully performed Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise” on the piano, Azalea Moore recited an excerpt of Maya Angelou’s powerful poem that draws on a range of influences, including her personal background and the African-American experience in the United States “Still I Rise.”

Cecilia Tucker Myers and Sakura Myers performed Silence, Elvina Schullere gave a rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu, from his Requiem, followed by the Kingdom Christian Cultural Center preforming singing “I Am A Friend Of God.” Artist/Songwriter/Producer/Musician Devory L. Pugh performed an original composition titled, “Love Will Win” featuring JaQwan J. Kelly, Dayal Richardson, Stepheynie and Terri Cann.

It was truly a beautiful celebration of African-American heritage through music and spoken word from Yonkers, The City of Hills. Salute to Council President Mike Khader for putting this together.


About AJ Woodson (2396 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.

1 Comment on An African-American Musical Journey: Yonkers, NY

  1. John C. Bojemski // February 21, 2021 at 1:30 AM //

    Dear friends,
    My Dad, a WWII veteran was surprised to learn that much of the “BIG BAND” popular and JAZZ music originated in the AFRICAN-AMERICAN community.
    He, from Eastern Europe first heard it in England following “liberation” by the English Army and his relocation there as a refugee.
    (His homeland, Poland, the one he was called back into the Army infantry at age 26 to defend, and got wounded doing so, had mearly “swapped” one invading foreign oppressor for another!)
    I had quite a time convincing him of the actual origins of what became known worldwide as “American” music. It’s very telling that only COLE PORTER and GEORGE GERSHWIN were truly acknowledged properly for their original works.
    Though, as we ALL know…
    It was DUKE ELINGTON and COUNT BASEY and countless other “BLACK” musicians, singers and performers who truly deserved the credit for originating the genre.
    Yours Sincerely… see below!

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