Brooklyn Borough President Candidate and City Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights), joined with current Borough President Eric Adams, retired Assemblymember Annette Robinson, and various anti-gun violence and outreach groups, yesterday to address gun violence in the neighborhood while providing resources that celebrate the 51st Anniversary of Black Solidarity Day on Monday, November 2.
Black Solidarity Day was first observed on November 3, 1969 and set to be one day before Election Day. The day’s first observance coincided with the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, urging a mobilization against oppression and voter suppression.
“It’s that important, no matter how cold it is, it’s that important that we stand together on Black Solidarity Day to offer these services,” said Cornegy.
The event comes as the neighborhood around Malcolm X Boulevard and Chauncey Street have seen at least two fatal shootings recently, indicative of the statistically high number of shooting incidents and victims due to excessive gun violence this year.
Police said he first incident occurred on Wednesday night, October 21 in front of 761 Herkimer Street, when 28-year-old Kevin Holloman was shot multiple times and killed. Then on Thursday afternoon, October 22, police responded to a 911 call at 120 Chauncey Street, where 22-year-old Shyhiem McLean was shot and killed with multiple gunshot wounds to the leg and torso. There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing in both cases, said police.
Community Affairs Detective Conrad A. Narcisse of the 81st Police Precinct NYPD, said, “We really can’t do anything without each other. We have to learn to cooperate together and make this community a safe community. This is our community.”
Cornegy said that most of the gun violence is retaliatory. “An incident takes place, it escalates, jumps off, and then there’s something terrible that happens, and it’s in that gap our credible messengers operate, so really tamping down on that retaliatory violence,” said Cornegy, speaking about violence interrupter organizations. “That’s why we respect undergird, finance, and love our credible messengers.”
Among the organizations at the event included Bridge Street Development Corporation, Brooklyn Adult Learning Center, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, DIVAS (Digital Interactive Visual Arts Sciences) for Social Justice, Save Our Streets (S.O.S), Moving Mountains, and Big Apple Leadership Academy for the Arts – all of whom set up tables on the frigid sidewalk to greet and handout care packages to passersby.
“The truth of the matter is that we all collectively have the power to stop these things from happening,” said an SOS member.
“This is how we become more proactive and not reactive,” said BP Adams. “We come together to address any type of violence, particularly gun violence. I thank you for taking it to the streets, on the calls with Church Women United. They indicated folks were going to be out here, showing their support, so I wanted to add my voice in support.”
Robinson, who has a long legacy in the civil rights movement and politics, explained that the colors of the Afro-American flag she held were red for the blood Blacks spilled, black is for solidarity among Blacks and green is for the land.
“There is no better thing that we can do than bring services to this corner where there’s been so much chaos and confusion and sadness. I live right around the corner so anything that goes on on this street affects me as well,” said Robinson. “We have to do better in our community. We don’t have to live this way.”