Harlem celebrates 50th annual African American Day Parade

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The community celebrated the 50th annual African American Day Parade in Harlem Sunday.

The theme of this year’s event is to honor black excellence in government.

Figures in culture and politics came to Harlem to celebrate their roots.

Poet Jeanette Foster read her work to pay tribute her culture. 

“We’ve come a long way…slavery, segregation and Jim Crow laws, just different systems of oppression. So, to use art as a way of expressing ourselves and freeing ourselves is really prolific and important,” she says.

Collette Smith marched in the parade. She was the first black woman to coach in the history of the National Football League. She was hired by the New York Jets as defensive assistant in 2017.

The first lady of New York City Chirlane McCray also came to march with residents.

Organizers of the event say the historical celebration is kept alive by the younger generation.

“We see so many young people now, so many young groups. It’s showing us that things are going to happen,” says Priscilla Crowell.

For a few residents, they say the parade is a tradition for them and their family.

“This here is a parade I’ve been a part of and been watching since I was a child, being born and raised here,” says Alpheus Marcus.

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