Black History Month on Roosevelt Island – Where did it go?

Black History Month on Roosevelt Island – Where did it go?

For as long as Black History Month has been a thing, Roosevelt Island shined a spotlight on it. The community came together, sharing values, honoring tradition. But inexplicably, that’s gone now, and no one, outside RIOC, knows why.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Black History Month Traditions

Spurred on by RIOC’s former President/CEO Susan Rosenthal, in 2020, Roosevelt Islanders came together, honoring Black History Month in an art exhibit at Gallery RIVAA.

In years past, it wasn’t just art exhibits and library talks. RIOC hung posters on Main Street and in the Tram plazas. Awareness fused a community built on economic ideals intended to make everyone welcome. True, we did not always meet those high standards, but the commitment was almost always there.

Another thing that’s true is that the state agency that never gets it wrong has fumbled every significant public event for the last six months. RIOC’s vaunted Communications and Community Relations Team pitched strange, thin rationales from behind the bunker, refusing to lead events surrounding 9/11, the Halloween Parade and the Holiday Tree Lighting.

But in a year in which conservatives are on the attack, pushing back furiously against Critical Race Theory, RIOC’s going completely blank during Black History Month is as inexcusable as it is inexplicable. They offer no apology or explanation, making the glaring hole of negligence even more disturbing.

But we can offer a little help…

The real state website 6SQFT offers an alternative. Their How to Celebrate Black History Month 2022 in New York City offers a robust list of activities that might help yo pick up the slack on Roosevelt Island.

Other communities are celebrating, and they welcome your joining in.

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