Poughkeepsie City School District Community Schools Celebrates Black History Month with Kevin Douglass Greene, Descendant of Frederick Douglass

(PHOTO CREDIT: Mr. Evans/topshott.edits)


(L-R) Gibert Colon/Lorraine Boughton/Lesley Rodriguez/Jessica Ortiz /Jessica Hettinger/Natasha Brown (Executive Director), Kevin Douglass Greene/Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser/Jules Lindquist Helen Purnell /Justinne Rodriguez /Charm Blaze.

Poughkeepsie, NY – In a spirited celebration of Black History Month, the Poughkeepsie School District (PCSD) Community Schools, in collaboration with Echelon Auto Black Car Service, DoubleTree by Hilton Poughkeepsie, and an array of esteemed community- based organizations, proudly presented a Black History Month event that enlightened, engaged, and honored the rich heritage of the African Diaspora.

On Friday, February 23, 2024, the event unfolded at the historic Poughkeepsie Middle School located at 55 College Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. The event hosts, Jamar Cummings, Natasha Brown and organizers witnessed a vibrant turnout from dignitaries, local community members and beyond, as attendees partook in an array of culturally enriching activities and presentations.

One of the most anticipated aspects of the event was the appearance by Kevin Douglass Greene, the Great-Great Grandson of the legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Anna Murry Douglass. Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass rose to become a prominent figure in American history, championing the cause of emancipation and civil rights. Now, Kevin Douglass Greene, himself a distinguished veteran of the United States Army, continues his ancestor’s legacy as a Senior Advisor with the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative, advocating for global literacy through the Million Abolitionists Project.

An inspiring keynote address by Dr. Edward Antonio, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Marist College, was a highlight of the event.

The program featured a diverse array of offerings, including captivating musical performances and special guest appearances by our overseer and Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Eric Rosser, Senator Rob Rolison, City of Poughkeepsie Mayor, Yvonne Flowers, Stacey Bottoms, Executive Assistant to the Mayor. City of Poughkeepsie Common Council Members, Terriciena Brown, Nedra Patterson Thompson, Ondie James, Christopher Grant, Chief Wagner with the Poughkeepsie High School JROTC, The Black National Anthem: Lift Every Voice by Mr. Park with the Mighty Young Techs S.T.E.A.M. program/Drumming Set Mr. Esponda with the Performing Arts Center for Excellence Band, Poem: Still I Rise by Maya Angelo Brianna Whyte, What a Wonderful World Mighty Young Techs, African Drumming Extraordinaire Kazi Oliver, Alone by Maya Angelo, Bianca Whyte and Javiana Wood, Little Light of Mine, Mrs. Edmond with the Morse, Clinton, & Krieger Strings, PMS Cheerleaders, Diamond by Rihanna, Heaven Murphy, Lara Topalogu, Hamiley Murphy.  Attendees had the opportunity to explore booths set up by local vendors.

Organizers: Executive Director Natasha Brown; Lorraine Boughton, Jessica Ortiz, Gilbert Colon; Jessica Hettinger, Helen Purnell, Jules Lindquist, Justine Rodrigues, Charm Blaze, Da’Ron Wilson, and Diandria Williams. Participation and organization were key to making this historic event happen, along with the esteemed community partners Essie’s Restaurant, Kedaer Parks, Charlia Frank, Prestigious Inspirational Entertainment Inc, Dulce Café, Ari Sweets, Pat’s Kitchen,Gennie’s House of Blues, Edible Arrangements Poughkeepsie, Pretty to Think So-Rhinebeck. All who made this event a huge success for all attendees in the county for celebration of Black History Month.

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Website: www.poughkeepsieschools.org/Domain/432