City Council member I. Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans) brought City Councilman and Public Advocate candidate Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) to celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center 153-10 in Jamaica as he continues to push the Flatbush lawmaker’s candidacy.
Miller has already declared a public endorsement for Williams as PA, but despite the endorsement, Miller’s office said Williams was not invited for promotional reasons.
“Today we try to build and represent the vision and the words of Doctor King,” said Miller as he thanked all the attending artists for performing on Martin Luther King day for the fifth year in a row.
Williams rendered Martin Luther King Jr’s famous Drum Major Instinct. Without getting into specifics he alluded that the speech was reflective of 2019. The 20 minute performance was very animated.
With his voice dropped an octave lower Williams spoke the words of the Doctor animatedly, “And there is deep down within all of us an instinct. It’s a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life. And so before we condemn them, let us see that we all have the drum major instinct. We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade.”
Other performances ranged from spoken word poetry, musical performances and interpretive dance. Miller applauded Camryn Bruno for her spoken word poetry. Bruno is a a second year student at York College, and resident of South East Queens. She recently was given the NYC Youth Laureate award.
Her piece was about the voice and body of civil rights. “When you look at a body like mine, know that our bodies are a social collection of many souls. And isn’t that just the truth. So look at me in awe and marble at the creation the civil rights movement created.”
After Bruno, there were a string of performances by the Kerri Edge dance school students. The young girls performed a mixture of interpretive and tap dance in four sequences. Their movements matched those of the dancers from the short film, Four Little Girls.
At multiple points throughout the piece young girls sang portions of Martin Luther King’s famous I Have a Dream speech.
The event was held in conjunction with U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, State Senator Leroy Comrie, Assembly members Vivian Cook, Alicia Hyndman and Clyde Vanel and City Council member Adrienne Adams, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and the Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica.
Also in attendance was State Sen. John Liu.