ROSELL, NJ - The Borough of Roselle recently released a video series in honor of Black History Month. 

The series features several borough officials and employees addressing important African American heroes and paying tribute to their struggles and accomplishments. Important figures highlighted include Issa Rae, Paul Robeson, Samuel L. Jackson and some closer-to-home heroes, such as Mayor Donald Shaw’s mom, Ditha Shaw-Thomas.

“This series is the culmination of the borough’s Black History Month celebration and is a great way to recognize these important and influential individuals that have helped to shape our future,” Mayor Shaw said. “These people have all sacrificed and overcome adversity to benefit future generations.”

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Second Ward Councilman Brandon Bernier added that the project was not only a great way to highlight important Black History icons but also provided some insight into local history. Bernier focused his comments on Lewis Latimer, an inventor with an interesting tie to Roselle.

“Latimer improved on Thomas Edison’s original paper filament light bulb and invented the carbon filament light bulb, the same type of light bulb that was used in 1883 when Roselle became the first lighted village in the world,” the councilman said.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Cindy Thomas and Fifth Ward Councilman John Fortuna are also among the members of the Borough Council who spoke about their favorite Black heroes.

The series includes more than 10 videos and can be accessed via the Borough’s Facebook page at @OfficialRoselleNJ or at