Statement of Purpose
The purpose of the Staten Island Black Heritage Family Day is to awaken our community to the dawn of a new day of hope and unity and to promote the best of who we are as offspring of the African Diaspora, by raising our consciousness and awareness that we are the descendants of a great people.
We are here to awaken our community to new realities of empowerment; while testifying to the fact that we can accomplish more when we unite, than when we are divided.
We celebrate the fact that we are a people that have risen out of the torture of enslavement with strength, fortitude and tenacity; as we continue to recover from the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental scars of our suffering.
We declare a new day; of purpose and meaning for ourselves, our families and our communities.
We proclaim the 3rd Saturday in September as our Staten Island Black Heritage Family Day when we will celebrate our ancestors and remember that we are one in our common origin.
History Of Staten Island Black Heritage Day
The conception of the Staten Island Black Heritage Family Day began in late September 2010. Marjorie Garvin, a long time Staten Island Resident and Community Advocate was dishearten by the event that had taken place earlier that month. Not wanting to see her beloved community continue to falter in their attempts to have a heritage celebration, she decided to call together members of the community to begin a new initiative. Hence, the Staten Island Black Heritage Family Day was born.
Community members, clergy and advocates meet in Park Hill, in late October 2010 and began working together to plan the 1st Annual Staten Island Black Heritage Family Day. Planning committee members worked diligently to ensure that the SIBHFD was inclusive of all members of our diverse cultural community. Understanding the vastness of the African Diaspora and the many different cultures, languages and countries where people of African Descent had been disbursed because of chattel slavery our motto was established, “Staten Island Black Heritage Family Day is to honor the vast and diverse cultures of people that originated from the continent of Africa. We celebrate our diversity that derived from our common experience that placed us in different lands though the world.”
The committee members worked diligently to plan fundraising events that have become synonymous with the Staten Island Black Heritage Day. The Families Against Violence (FAV) – Family Night Out, basketball game held in late March or early April and the “Smooth Sounds by the Sea, a relaxing afternoon of jazz and R&B at the picturesque Alice Austen House have become annual events.
SIBHFD made history when with support from local politicians, churches and approximately 60 Community Based Organizations and Black Owned Business the 2011 planning committee secured all of the monies needed to sponsor the first Annual Staten Island Black Heritage Family Day, which was held on Saturday, September 17, 2011.