BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- At last night’s Council meeting, the Mayor and Council recognized a few exceptional residents who’ve given back to the greater-Bloomfield community, in honor of Black History Month. Held in conjunction with the Historical Society of Bloomfield, the honorees were inscribed into the Historical Society, with members on hand.
First, Councilwoman Sarah Cruz read a proclamation in honor of the Boone Family, whose ancestors played a huge role in Bloomfield’s history. Royal Boone started the Black Policeman’s Leagues and his brother Malcolm Boone was Bloomfield’s first African American Police Chief, their brother Elbert Boone was Bloomfield’s First African American Fireman, while their mother Hettie Boone was the backbone of the historic New Light Baptist Church and father Manson Boone was a trade mason who helped build the Original Municipal Building, Bloomfield Town Hall and Demarest School.
Afterward, Councilwoman Dr. Wartyna Davis read a proclamation for Dr. Marcheta Evans, the 17th President of Bloomfield College, who was both the first woman and first African American to serve the college in that position, and Councilman Nick Joanow read a proclamation honoring cyclist, philanthropist and lifetime Bloomfield resident Mac-Adley Hyppolite, Jr.
“Bloomfield is and has always been a diverse and culturally rich place, and we are extremely proud of that,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “Our honorees have made invaluable contributions to our town, and during Black History Month, as well as year-round, it’s important to recognize the contributions of civic minded people we know and learn about others we might not already know.”
“As the first woman, and first African American President of Bloomfield College, Dr. Evans is paving the way for other women and people of color to follow in her footsteps, while supporting her diverse student coalition,” said Councilwoman Sarah Cruz. “Many of us know Mac from his inter-state bicycle trips that have raised thousands of dollars for charity, and he’s a great role model for all residents.”
Dr. Evans spoke of being proud that the private college so effectively helps so many students from poor to lower-middle class backgrounds earn their degrees.
“Education is such a critical tool for people to open opportunities for themselves and their families. Our students don’t always graduate in four years, but they do graduate, and with far less debt than most students in this area,” said Dr. Evans. “I’m so proud of the work the College does, and so proud to be doing it in a community like Bloomfield that really gets why this work is so important.”
“I want to congratulate the honorees, who have given so much to the entire Bloomfield community,” said Councilwoman Jenny Mundell. “I’d also like to thank the Historical Society for partnering with us to make this event even more special, and joining us in recognizing the role that our honorees have played in Bloomfield’s great history.”
“June 10, 2014 was when my life started and I started riding my BMX bike. Since then, my travels have gone even further and my purpose has been even bigger, it’s for the children. I can’t thank you enough for being a part of this amazing life journey, and forwarding this movement, for the children,” said Hyppolite, Jr.
“It’s important to honor and recognize remarkable residents like Mac and Marcheta year-round, but especially so during Black History Month,” said Councilwoman Dr. Wartyna Davis. “The Boone family also shaped Bloomfield into the place we know today through their civic engagement, organizing and skills. I’m glad members of the Boone family were able to attend tonight.”
Black History Month has only been federally celebrated since 1976, although it has been celebrated by civic associations and in certain college campuses since 1970.