The Second Annual Jefferson Avenue Block Party Friday, August 24 from 6-10 p.m. on Jefferson between Utica and Glenwood, will usher in the all day festival Tribute to Rick in LaSalle Park on Saturday, August 25 from 3-10 p.m. There will be dancing, vendors and plenty of music courtesy of DJ EZ Ed, DJ Papa Trini, DJ Stoney and DJ Big Poppa. Created by Dolly Michelle Randle of CASNY, this years street party will also feature a Prayer and Peace Rally at 5 p.m. – an hour before the party begins.
“We’re going to be praying for everybody,” said Rev. Kenneth Simmons, Pastor of Coldspring Bible Chapel on Northland Avenue. Rev. Simmons, who will lead the peace rally ,said that includes the young people caught up in the current violent cycle. “We’ve got to start keeping it real,” he said. “We have everything we need in the Black community to bring peace to our children…but we are suffering because the so-called role models need to stop playing roles, and be real models!”
“We have to come together as elders and adults first …we have to set the examples of peace and respect among ourselves. All the infighting, finger-pointing, crabs in a barrel mentality, has to stop! We can’t expect our young brothers and sisters have peace among themselves until we as adults and leaders have peace among themselves!”
The block party itself is also designed to set an example to young people about alternatives to violence said Funk Fest creator Marnetta Malcolm. “Today our kids are caught up in ‘chaos by design’ ” she lamented. “We want to show them how we used to do it ( party and have fun) without shooting or killing or maiming one another… and we’re still here because of it. So you can be mad and hate on someone or show some love! And we know that love conquers all!”
See you on Jefferson and see you in the park! (Marnetta Malcolm would like to thank all her special sponsors this year: Mayor Byron Brown, Council President Darius Pridgen, Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller Williams, Councilmember Ulysees Wingo, Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt,, Carmen Sims, Leroi Johnson Esq., United Healthcare, Camellia Foods, CASNY, John Elmore Esq., Geneva Auto, Gilbane, Senator Tim Kennedy, African American Cultural Center and Ron Walker MVP.)