August 1, 2018

Joint Effort Kicks Off 2018 Celebration

By Donald Gilpin

As it prepares to launch its ten-day summer program on Thursday, 2018 Joint Effort Safe Streets (JE) has announced the names of honorees who will be recognized during this year’s celebration, “The Black Community in Princeton: Our Stories Lived But Seldom Heard.”

During the August 2-12 festivities, the JE program will present the Jim Floyd Memorial Lifetime Achievement Awards to Jimmy and Audrey Mack and Johnnie and Micheal Hill. The Princeton Public Library (PPL), the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP), and Moriah Akrong will also be honored, receiving Mildred Trotman Community Service Awards.

“All of this year’s award recipients have made significant contributions to the Witherspoon-Jackson and the Princeton community and are more than worthy of this recognition,” said Princeton Councilman Lance Liverman. “The contributions of community institutions like Princeton Public Library and the Arts Council are huge. Jimmy and Audrey Mack have been contributing to our community for years. The recognition of Johnnie and Micheal Hill, two of the most versatile and talented women ever to come from this town, is long, long overdue as well as is the acknowledgement of Moriah Akrong, a future leader among our young adults. Good selections.”

Liverman was recognized by JE at a special event in his honor in March, after announcing that he will retire from Council at the end of this year.

In addition to the awards, there will also be JE book scholarships presented to Denise Spivey (Stockton University) and Zahrion Blue (Lincoln University) and a special Youth Recognition Award to recent Princeton High School graduate Amira Jackson.

JE gets underway Thursday at 6 p.m. with a concert by Amazin’ Grace and the Grace Little Band, sponsored by the ACP, in the courtyard of the Princeton Shopping Center. The host committee will hold a community gathering at the Elks Lodge on Birch Avenue Thursday evening following the concert.

On Friday at 10 a.m. a youth basketball clinic will take place on the Community Park (CP) basketball courts. At 5:30 p.m. Friday there will be a JE Kick-off Reception at Studio Hillier with music, food, networking, and historical updates.

Featured events on Saturday, August 4 will include a tour of Witherspoon-Jackson (W-J) historic sites led by W-J Historical and Cultural Society Director Shirley Satterfield starting at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church. A Community Cabaret Dinner-Dance will take place Saturday night at the Princeton Country Club at 8 p.m., with free complimentary dinner served at 7:30 for the first 100 people.

At 5 p.m. the following day, Sunday, August 5, area choirs and soloists, including the First Baptist Church Choir, will perform in a Gospel Music Fest.

“I Remember When”

The second week of JE will feature an historical discussion on service to community, “I Remember When,” a look at the lives of Paul Robeson, Jim Floyd, Albert Hinds, Doris Burell, Jossie Broadway, Pete Young, Ruth Parker, Barbara Hill, and more, telling family stories at the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 7.

On Wednesday, August 8, the JE award recipients will be honored at the ACP at 6:30 p.m., reception starting at 5:30 p.m., along with a panel discussion, “Courageous Conversation on Race—Is America or Princeton Possible?: What Are We Saying to Each Other and About Each Other,” with panelists Joan Hill, Leighton Newlin, and Satterfield. and an accompanying art exhibit by Aaron Fisher and Community Collage presentation by Romus Broadway.

Floyd Memorial Lecture

A highlight of the JE celebrations, the Jim Floyd Memorial Lecture will include two parts, starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 11 at the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. The first hour will be an open community discussion on the school referendum with concerned citizens, elected officials, and community leaders participating; and the second part will be a conversation with futurist Chet Sisk on “Blacks and the Future and Current World Paradigm Shifts.”

On Sunday, August 12 the Pete Young Sr. Memorial Basketball Games will start at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day at CP.

Additional events will include a Not In Our Town film presentation on August 6 at the PPL at 6:30 p.m., Olivia’s Workouts at Community Park on Saturdays August 4 and 11 at 9 a.m., and Frances and Chip’s community yard gathering on Saturdays August 4 and 11 at 9 a.m. on Maclean Street.

“Since last year’s event we have lost a giant of our community,” said JE lead organizer John Bailey, who praised Floyd as a personal mentor and guide. “No one has given more in community service in my lifetime than Jim Floyd and Lance Liverman. There are echoes of our ancestors in our ears, and we have to stand up and be counted.”

Satterfield, also a lead organizer, added, “With this summer’s program focus of ‘service to community,’ what better community servant to honor than Jim Floyd. This community will miss this giant of a man, who has the status of Paul Robeson and Albert Hinds.”

Bailey went on to emphasize the JE focus on “hindsight, insight, and foresight.” Noting the success of last year’s event, he mentioned the goal of again “engaging the community in a positive manner, giving them a sense of who they are and where they are,” in order “to lay a foundation for those who follow.”

He concluded, “We have a responsibility to this historic place called Princeton. We want to engage the Witherspoon-Jackson community and the Princeton community to look at its past and present, what it has done, and what it is doing currently.”