by Brenda Fryson
Member Robinson’s concern for the children of our community and throughout the State of New York is not only reflected in the important pieces of legislation that she has sponsored over the years, but also in her very personal concern for individual families and children.
There are so many stories told by adults who remember her encouragement during their early years…. A hug on the street, a quiet talk on the stoop, a visit to a school, a nod of the head that said you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Parents recall her steady intervention during moments of crisis. Her life’s work centered around the success of the entire family, whether it was the welfare and education of the children; training and employment that moved mothers and fathers forward; access to quality health care close to home ; safe and affordable housing; or cultural activities that enriched day-to-day life. In her heart, it was about the children.
Those who know her, know that Mrs. Robinson has always seen children as the hope for the future of the people in her district. Even in the toughest fiscal times, she made certain that there was always funding for various youth groups, early childhood centers, and cultural programs in her district. In that spirit, the Community Celebrates a Queen Tribute Committee on Saturday, March 25 made certain that she would see young people at every phase of the celebration.
Michael Bailey, who proudly served as her escort for the entire day, is one of the “neighborhood kids”, who just obtained his law degree, and has returned home to work for Brooklyn Legal Services. The Brooklyn United Marching Band is a group that the Assembly Member has supported from its earliest days. They surprised and thrilled her as “the Queen’s procession” made its way down Marcy Avenue, led by the Honor Guard from Boy Scout Throop 409 of Cornerstone Baptist Church, and the Youth Explorers from the 79th Precinct.
Other outstanding youth groups on the program included: the Cradle in the Rock, whose dancers ushered the Queen into Memorial Hall with traditional African pomp and circumstance; preschoolers from the Little Sun People Daycare Center, who brought the house down with their recitation on Harriet Tubman; the wonderful and accomplished Phantazia String Players from the Noel Pointer Foundation, with their moving rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing; and the lively jazz music from Quest Youth Organization’s Q City Sounds, whose young people entertained the large crowd during the luncheon hour. The Asha Junior Dance Ensemble and the P.S. 54 Samuel E. Barnes Dancers both delivered inspired presentations that demonstrated history, struggle, and triumph. Assembly Member Robinson could be heard to say time and again…” those children, those children!”.
Judge Betty Staton, who led the Tribute Committee, commented that, “There is no way that we could have presented such a large event without the wonderful participation of all of those marvelous young people who came to help. There was no job that was too big or too small for them to take on with good attitudes and a genuine willingness to serve.”
Youth from several community groups volunteered to assist with the array of tasks that were needed to set the scene for the sparkling celebration.
Young people from Bridge Street Development Corporation’s My Base program and students from Boys and Girls High School set tables, served lunch, acted as ushers, and helped with clean-up. The Explorers from the 79th Precinct marched in the parade, and others were assigned as users and to stage duty with Peggy Alston, Artistic Director for the event … all under the watchful eyes of Precinct Commander Charles Minch, Community Affairs Officer Michelle McLeod, and Youth Officer Vanessa Merino, who were on hand for the festivities.
Our “Pride and Joy” from Boys and Girls High School included: Darwin Damus, Zaire Cortes, Keson Edwards, Ahkeem Langdoncadtille, Mioshi Roseboro, Star Watson, Woodlyne Macon, Danita Archer, Denessa Archer and DJennika Seraphin. Principal Grecian Harrison and Parent Coordinator L. Gaston made certain that this hard-working group stayed on course throughout the entire afternoon.
Also, Oma Holloway and Imelba Rodriguez of the My Base Bridge Street Development youth program provided the following names: Jordan Allbrooks, Najee Borden, Abigail Blake, David Brown, Jemmy Charmant, Kiara Dash, Xavier Evans, Confuscious Francis, Shahmyre Haile, Shantavia Jackman, Dimitri Laroche, Chris Marseilles, Chandon Reece, Nickolas Regis, Nasiru Shellow, Sasha Spruill plus staff Jamal Harris, Sharita Seon-Whalen and Kayla Samantha Rivera.
Enjoy the stunning images on this page photographer Winston Wharton captured of our regal young people on that festive day.