Brooklyn Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene, in partnership with the Haiti History and Culture, Inc., Haitian Solidarity, The Haitian American Council on Unity and Empowerment, For The Love of Haiti and the Haitian community recently hosted The 2019 NYC Haitian Day Celebration at Bowling Green.
The festivities commenced with the Haitian Flag Raising Ceremony, at which Eugene was joined by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Assembly Member Haitian-American, Mathylde Frontus, and students from Walt Whitman Middle School in Brooklyn.
“The event served as an important moment of reflection on the current socioeconomic and political crisis in Haiti, and an opportunity to pay tribute to the contributions of Haitian people to the United States and the world,” said Eugene, the first Haitian-born to be elected to New York City Council and who represents the 40th Council District in Brooklyn.
Three years ago, Eugene introduced two pieces of legislation — Resolutions 687 and 664 — asking the City of New York, the State of New York and the federal government to establish Oct. 9, the date of the Battle of Savannah, Ga as NYC Haitian Day in recognition of Haitian contributions to the United States.
“This important date, which commemorates the historic battle in 1779 when free men from Haiti fought alongside American soldiers during the Revolutionary War, symbolizes the dedication of the Haitian people to freedom and liberty,” Eugene said. “It also defines the character of resiliency that the Haitian community continues to embody to this day.”
Both resolutions were overwhelmingly passed by the New York City Council on Jun. 21, 2016, with Oct. 9 as officially New York City Haitian Day.
“It is a great honor to host the 2019 NYC Haitian Day Celebration,” Eugene said. “This is such an important occasion for the Haitian community, as we come together to acknowledge and celebrate our contributions to the United States, past, present and future.
“The date of Oct. 9 is of special significance, because it commemorates the Battle of Savannah, when free Haitian men helped American soldiers in this nation’s battle for independence,” he added. “This reminds us of the tremendous contributions of our Haitian ancestors to the history of the United States.
“We are recognizing these accomplishments as a symbol of who we are and what we can still achieve as people when we work together,” Eugene continued. “I am very proud of every Haitian who has come to the United States to work hard and contribute to the success of this country.”
He said the 2019 NYC Haitian Day celebration is an occasion “when we recognize their continued success.
“They are the foundation of what we do and what we are able to achieve, and they are role models for the next generation,” the councilman said. “I want to commend my colleagues in government, members of the clergy, community leaders, and New Yorkers who joined us for NYC Haitian Day.
“This is time when we will acknowledge prominent Haitian Americans who are leaders and an inspiration to us, as well as our ancestors on whose shoulders we are now standing,” Eugene stated. “It is my hope that the New York City Haitian Day celebration will inspire our community to continue to contribute to the fabric of the United States.”