The African American Day Parade in Harlem
Statement by Ruben Natal-San Miguel
The African American Day Parade in Harlem is held every September, typically with participants from at least 12 states.It is one of the largest African American parades. It begins in Harlem at West 111th Street and goes north along Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard (7th Ave.) ending at West 136th Street.
Just like the Gay Pride Parade in NYC, The African American Day Parade was founded during the Civil Rights Movement in 1968. The parade typically has a large viewing audience, and a large contingent of dignitaries, celebrities, bands, community leaders and elected officials attend. Past Grand Marshals have included Denzel Washington, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Mayor David Dinkins, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Johnnie Cochran, Spike Lee, Queen Mother Moore, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Paul Winfield, Melba Moore and many others.The goal of the parade is to showcase Black pride in America.
After photographing and documenting the parade for close to 15 years, my main focus this year, was to highlight the dignified activism done with a great sense of style and fashion of mostly women. The Black Female has been a stronghold of the Black community for decades. Letitia Jones, our newly nominated NY State Attorney candidate and most likely elected will be the first female and African American to hold such position. A great example and a pilar of women’s movement.