NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – ‘Honoring Our Past, Inspiring Our Future,” a special Black History Celebration, is planned for Sunday, Feb. 19 at the North Plainfield Community Center.

The free event, which is being sponsored by Borough Councilwoman Keiona Miller in celebration of February being Black History Month, will run from 4 to 7 p.m. and include guest speakers, music, dance, and inspiration.

“Black History Month is a time to publicly acknowledge and pay honor to Americans of African and Caribbean descent whose outstanding contributions have helped shaped this great nation; and whose courage and dedication have set us on a path towards equal opportunity, and social and economic justice,” said Miller, first black American to be elected to the borough council. “It is also a time for Americans of all races to reflect on the power that we have when we come together as a diverse yet united people.”

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“During this current climate of social, economic, and political unrest it is vital for communities across the country to find ways to bring people together in positive atmospheres,” she continued, “Protests and rallies have their place in spurring change, but we need balance. We must not neglect the power of reflection, and celebration to inspire the changes that we seek.

In planning the Celebration of Black History, Miller said the goal was to ‘create an opportunity for the community to coalesce its brightest talents, and to call on its best personal reserves to help cultivate a culture of knowledge and understanding, that will strengthen the bonds of solidarity across the racial and cultural lines that have so markedly divided us as Americans for so many generations.’

North Plainfield’s Black History Celebration will feature Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10th L.D.) will serve as the keynote speaker. Other representatives with the New Jersey State Legislature, Somerset County Democratic Committee Black Caucus, and Paul Robeson Institute will also be speaking. Throughout the day, there will be performances by the Central Jersey Community Chorale, orator Rhyan Brown, pianist Quinn DeGeneste, and soloist Erika Staley-Williams as well as the Royal Priesthood of the North Stelton AME Liturgical Dance Ministry.

Additionally, the event will include volunteers from various borough groups and organizations, including Girl Scouts, the Optimist Club, and students and staff from North Plainfield High School. “The theme of Sunday’s program is ‘Honoring Our Past, Inspiring Our Future.’ The youth are our future and I am delighted that many of our young people will be participating in the program,” noted Miller.

‘Honor Our Past, Inspiring Our Future,’ a Celebration of Black History will be held at the North Plainfield Community Center, 614 Greenbrook Road. Admission is free. For more information, contact Councilwoman Keiona Miller at (609) 848-8801 or email

“This is a community affair. The event is open to the public and everyone is invited. I encourage people of all races, all faiths, and all cultures to attend,” said Miller, extending an advance ‘thank you’ to all the parents, scouts leaders, school staff, and various community partners and civic organizations for ‘enthusiastically committing to help make the event a success.’

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