St. Paul’s Church holds Black Heritage Bazaar

Members of St. Paul’s congregation strutting their African attire.
Judith Lewis

St. Paul’s Church in the Village of Flatbush celebrated Black History Month with a weekend observance sponsored by the church’s Cultural Committee.

According to Carlos Prescod, the Panamanian-born director of the church’s choir, the celebration began on Sat., Feb. 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a Black Heritage Bazaar featuring products by Black vendors, including clothing, jewelry, beauty products, paintings, books, vintage clothing, jewelry, scarfs, mugs, and a children’s village with face-paintings, balloons and children’s books.

Prescod said there was also a fashion show of Afrocentric male and female clothing.

He said entertainment was provided by a DJ and “the wonderful unique sounds of saxophonist Bryan Hurst.”

Prescod said the celebration continued the next day with a worship service at 10:30 a.m., with the singing of hymns of the Black Church experience, accompanied by organ and percussion instruments (drums, flute, marimba, and many other African percussion instruments).

He said the choir rendered a spiritual anthem, “Ain’t Got Time to Die”.

“There was also a spirited sermon delivered by the Rev. Tyrone Reddie with several references to the struggles of our ancestors and referring to their resilience as ‘overcomers’”, Prescod told Caribbean Life. “The parishioners were dressed in Afrocentric attire providing a colorful and vibrant ambience for the celebration.”

Immediately following the service, he said “a wonderful lunch” was provided to all attendees.

“This was followed by a very informative program,” Prescod said. “It included a libation, roll call of the ancestors, several dance presentations, spoken word, instrumental selection, a Marcus Garvey monologue, a historical perspective and skit about, ‘What if there were no Black People in the world’ with reference to many vital inventions of Blacks, which are used in our daily lives.”

Prescod said patrons at both events “came away with a wealth of information on Black History and were inspired by the intergenerational participation of youngsters and adults.

“St. Paul’s continues to be a place where a lot of things are happening in an exciting and marvelous space,” he said. “If you have never visited that church, you should do so to experience one of the best kept secrets in Brooklyn.”

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