In recognition of Black History Month 2023 and its theme of Black Resistance, Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, says the party honors the contributions, triumphs and tribulations of Blacks who have “indelibly shaped our nation — and those who continue to do so.”
“The national theme for 2023 is ‘Black Resistance,’ recognizing the historic and ongoing oppression that Black Americans have faced and resisted in all forms,” said Bichotte Hermelyn, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.
“This month is a poignant time to recognize the Black community’s continued resilience in the face of discrimination,” she said on Wednesday. “The adversities African Americans have faced – and continue to face to this day – while overcoming through triumphs are both a central part of our country’s history and shape our continued efforts to ensure equality and overcome hatred.
“Black History Month is not only a celebration of the pioneering contributions of those who paved a trail before us but also a driving force to continue their fight for a better future,” Bichotte Hermelyn continued.
In honoring Brooklyn’s Black pioneers, past and present, she said “New York and Brooklyn have always been at the center of the fight for justice and equality.”
The Brooklyn Democratic Party chair said Weeksville, Brooklyn, was home to one of the first free Black communities in the United States.
“We’re also home to the African Burial Ground, the first national monument dedicated to Africans and African-Americans of New York’s earliest days, which can still be visited today,” she said.
Bichotte Hermelyn said New Yorkers, like the late, former congresswoman Shirley Chisholm – a native Brooklynite who served in the state Assembly, became the first African-American woman to serve in Congress and later became the first female and first Black major-party candidate for president.
Chisholm, the daughter of Barbadian and Guyanese immigrants, “showed and still inspire that greatness can be achieved, despite the barriers that exist,” Bichotte-Hermelyn said.
She said Brooklyn has also increased Black Brooklynites’ political representation, including many Black pioneers, at almost every office in the City, State and Federal level.
She noted that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a native Brooklynite, just last month officially became the first Black leader of a major party in Congress.
Bichotte-Hermelyn said New York State Attorney General Letitia James, also a Brooklynite, is the first woman of color to hold statewide office in New York, and the first woman to be elected New York Attorney General.
In addition, she said Eric Adams is New York City’s second Black Mayor, paving the trail left by David Dinkins.
An unprecedented seven Black New York State Supreme Court Justices ascended to the bench from Brooklyn, Bichotte-Hermelyn said.
“These Justices are part of the historically diverse slate of 12 NYS Supreme Court Justices from Brooklyn who won their seats in November’s Election that the Brooklyn Democratic Party proudly nominated and endorsed,” she said.
“There are countless other Black Brooklynites who continue to break barriers, while resisting adversity and uplifting and inspiring our party and borough,” she added. “This month, and every day, we honor them.
“We represent Democrats from every corner of this borough, all part of the largest county party in the country,” Bichotte-Hermelyn continued. “We are an inclusive and diverse organization with leaders and activists from every neighborhood of Brooklyn.”