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.