Revelers celebrate Haitian Flag Day in Flatbush
Cultural pride was on full display in Flatbush as people gathered to celebrate Haitian Flag Day on Saturday.
The holiday marks the creation of Haiti's flag and the island nation's uprising that ultimately led to its freedom from France.
The sounds of horns and drums filled the air and drew spectators on the sidelines as members of a marching band made their way down Nostrand Avenue for the annual Haitian American Heritage and Flag Day Celebration.
"It feels like an opportunity for us to bring unity for everyone, and for us to be able to understand and appreciate the different cultures that we have in the program and in the community," said Jada John, executive director of Big Apple Leadership Academy for the Arts.
The group Life of Hope organized the event's festivities.
"The parade has been going on for over 10 years, but it wasn't…on the street. But this year, because we feel like people have been stressed and we decided it would be good since the city's open to have the parade and to bring some joy and to bring some excitement to people in our community," said Porez Luxama, executive director of Life of Hope.
The celebration was also a way to pay tribute to Haitians who have paved the way for others in the community, like Councilwoman Farah Louis. She says, as the first Haitian American woman to hold that position, it's important for her to be an example for the youth.
"We've contributed to the Black revolution. We've contributed to people in our community here, to small businesses, to the economy," Louis said.
Although Haitian Flag Day is officially May 18, attendees said the Haitian culture stays with them every day.