New Rochelle — Dozens of community leaders, elected officials, advertisers and supporters gathered at Mangoville Restaurant, Bar & Grill (134 North Avenue, New Rochelle) to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Black Westchester Magazine, Wednesday night.
“A lot of people have taken to Black Westchester as a credible news outlet, that tells the stories of African-Americans, in economics, culture and the political atmosphere in Westchester County and the Tri-State area,” BW Publisher Damon K. Jones tells those in attendance to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Black Westchester Magazine. “We’ve been blessed to make friends like Dr. Lenora Fulani, Bob Law, Dr. Ron Daniels and to be invited to be apart of the United Nations Association-Southern New York State Division, the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), to be invited to speak regularly on WFAS, WVOX and WBAI who were all draw to Black Westchester because of our honesty in how we try to tell our story. A lot of times our story is not told. Even now when you have African-Americans being killed by the police and the police being killed, our story is still not being told. There is a story that needs to be told about the black officers and what they go through. I get emails from officers from all over the country about how black officers are being treated by the police department. There is not enough time to tell all the stories, but we try to tell as many stories as we can. Because our stories are not told in the mainstream media. Our stories are not told on News 12. Our stories are not told in Lohud, so we have to pick up the mantle as much as we can and tell our stories.”
“The idea for Black Westchester Magazine was to create a Black News Magazine to change the narrative and like Damon said, tell our many untold stories, mainstream media doesn’t tell in their newscasts and publications,” BW Editor-In-Chief AJ Woodson added.
The intimate gathering in the newly renovated New Rochelle Caribbean Restaurant, sponsored by Cupcake Cutie Boutique, Tha Brown Urban Mother Partnership and Mangoville Restaurant, drew many from across the county who came to celebrate with and congratulate BW, including Westchester Coalition for Police Reform co-founder Kenneth Chamberlain Jr, Owner of African American College Alliance Clothing Chris Latimer, Bob Marrone host of WVOX’s Good Morning Westchester and President of the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, Ms Tamika Y. Rose – the first African-American Female to own and operate an insurance brokerage business in the City of Elmsford, Make-Up Artists Rabab Abdalla, Diva Madonna – host of the Glamsense Divas Morning Show on FutureFM.net, Rev. Jeffrey R. Wheeler – Pastor of Mt. Calvary CME (The Promise Church), Rey Hollingsworth Falu of the Hollingsworth Real Estate Group and Vice President of the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Que English – Senatorial Candidate for the 36th District (Mt. Vernon & NE Bronx), Rashad Bilal of The Bilal Group, representatives of The Steam House Restaurant and OK Freddy’s Meat Market, Linda Morris and several supporters joined Damon K. Jones, AJ Woodson, Dr. Robert Baskerville and Cynthia Turnquest-Jones.
“We like to thank all those who can out to support this momentous occasion as well as all those who wanted to be there but had prior engagements,” Woodson tells those in attendance. “Everyone in this room, as well as all those who support BW & PBP Radio made this day possible, we could not have done it without the support of all of you.”
After Damon K. Jones tell everyone how BW came to be, he takes a minute to uplift and applaud the hard work of AJ Woodson as Editor-In-Chief,
“I really thank AJ for doing the work that he has been doing for Black Westchester as Editor-In-Chief, putting his all into it. How do you tell the difference between a moment and a movement, a movement takes sacrifice, and AJ has sacrificed a lot of his time to make Black Westchester a premier website, not just in Westchester County but throughout the world… let’s give AJ a round of applause.”
After the rousing applause, visibly moved by Damon’s words, AJ took the mic and thanked everyone;
“First let me thank my partner in crime Damon K. Jones for his encouraging words. I would like to thank him for selecting me to embark on this journey with him. I was at a point in life where I was figuring out what was next when this fell in my lap and even though I spent much blood, sweat and tears to help make BW what it is today, I could not have done it by myself. With Damon our combined vision is what came to fruition and I would like to thank all those behind the scenes who have contributed so much to BW to make it work. Cynthia Turnquest-Jones for her various contributions, Priscilla Echi for all the interviews she scheduled and all the people she called as many times as needed to get that quote I needed to finish a story, Rashad Bilal for his financial column, Dr. Robert Baskerville for giving the tireless research and contributions and last by not least all my unofficial editors who check my work and catch the typos and grammatical errors I miss like Patty Coombs, Cathlin Gleason and Brenda L. Crump who also keep me on my toes. And most importantly all of you who support BW, read the articles, share it with others, leave comments, listen to us o the radio show and ride with us with every story, article and editorial and radio show, we would not be here without all of you.”
What started out as an idea during discussions between Publisher Damon K. Jones and Editor-In-Chief AJ Woodson has become one of the premier online black media sources in New York, based in Westchester County. BW was started to help change the narrative of mostly negative media coverage of the African-American community and to help tell the stories the local major media outlets often overlook and leave untold.
Both Rev. Wheeler and Que English who is also a Reverend said a few words about Black Westchester and the role it plays in the community and led the room in prayer. Cynthia Turnquest-Jones said a few words about how her and Damon met and congratulated Damon and AJ for what they have achieved in two years. Several others who could not attend sent words of congratulation including members of the Mount Vernon City Council who had a special council meeting, the Mount Vernon Public Library Board members who had a meeting and sworn in the new president of the board, Greenburgh Superintendent Tahira DuPree Chase, Corey Pegues – author of Once A Cop, New Rochelle Councilman Jared Rice, Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce President Dwayne Brown and many others.
The Full Circle Jazz Ensemble created the soundtrack for this joyous occasion.
Black Westchester Magazine was just recently honored by the African-American Heritage Celebration Coalition for making a positive impact as African-Americans in media and nominated for two awards by the New York City Housing Authority branch of the NAACP, in the last 30 days. August 3rd marks the two-year anniversary of the People Before Politics Radio Show, where Damon, AJ, Dr. Bob and Cynthia discuss many issues dealing with the black community.
Black Westchester - News With The Black Point Of View is an online news magazine for people of color for Westchester and the Tri- State area of New York at every economic level. Our mission is to promote the concept of “community” through media.
It was a true honor to celebrate the anniversary of Black Westchester Magazine’s second year. With so many media outlets reporting one sided point of views, it is rare to find one that is reporting for the people and about the people. I commend the publishers for using their penmanship seeking truth and reporting facts. I look forward to many years of greatness!
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