Press Release: City of East Providence celebrates Black History Month

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City celebrates Black History Month with proclamation and employee/official recognition

EAST PROVIDENCE, RI – The City of East Providence is celebrating Black History Month, a month that first began as Negro History Week and over time has been celebrated by many as a time to discuss all African- American ethnic groups and their impact on history in this nation.

“The City of East Providence continues to honor the history made by the Black Americans in our community and promises to continue the good and necessary work to achieve racial justice and equity within the City,” Mayor Bob DaSilva said.

There is a long list of influential African Americans who made their mark on society either as dreamers, brave achievers or innovators.

Like Maya Angelou, who despite her trauma as a young girl, found solace in writing. She rose above her own difficult journey and was determined to overcome oppression. She did that through written word, but more importantly, through her action as a civil rights activist.

There was Thurgood Marshall, the first African American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court; Jack Johnson, the first African American man to hold the World Heavyweight boxing title and of course, Freddy Adu, who at the age of 14 became the youngest African American to sign a major league professional contract.

We not only celebrate the long list of influential black men and women, but we remember their sacrifices, their determination and resilience in the face of adversity. This month, the City is also recognizing our Black American staff and elected officials who wanted to participate in the celebration of Black History including:

  • Council President Robert Britto
  • East Providence Capt. Floyd Gardner
  • East Providence Firefighter David DaFonseca
  • East Providence Firefighter Damon Solomon
  • East Providence Firefighter Edson Evor
  • Municipal Integrity/Affirmative Action/EEO Officer Elmer Pina
  • Director of Administration Napoleon Gonsalves
  • Assistant Fleet Manager Michelle Lopes
  • Info Systems Tech Felix Fontes
  • Info Systems Tech Jerry Sullivan
  • DPW Leadworker Chris Sweeden
  • Recreation Administrative Assistant Shontell Gomes
  • City Clerk Typist Lita Garrett
  • Assistant Superintendent of Facilities Steven Laughlin
  • Custodian Napoleon DeBarros