Linden Celebrates Haitian Heritage Month

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LINDEN – On May 21, Mayor Richard J. Gerbounka, Jefferson Park ministries of Elizabeth and the Linden-based non-profit organization Alpha Community Services joined one another to rename one of the city’s major streets.

In acknowledgment of Haiti’s Flag celebration, the avenue formally known as North Wood Avenue was renamed Jean-Jacques Dessalines Boulevard after a major street in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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Since the Haitian Flag’s creation on May 18, 1803 in Arcahaie, a town located outside of Port-Au-Prince, it has symbolized freedom to the Haitian people. For 200 plus years following the flag’s birth, May 18th has been observed as Haiti’s Flag Day, representing pride, unity, and individual liberty to Haitians everywhere. In Haiti, Flag Day is a major national holiday celebrated with immense fanfare on the grounds of the National Palace located in the capital as well as in all other cities within the country.

Wherever there is a large Haitian population one could be certain that Flag Day is also celebrated. Haitians living in the United States give homage by carrying around the blue and red flag for a least a week. Not only is Haitian Flag Day recognized in the United States, but Haitian Heritage month is celebrated during the entire month of May.  This recognition of Haitian heritage and culture began in Boston in 1998, and many cities have taken suit since then.

Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka is pictured with representatives of Jefferson Park Ministries and Alpha Community Services.

Linden Mayor Richard Gerbounka ceremonially replaces the street sign re-naming North Wood Avenue as to Jean-Jacques Dessalines Boulevard.


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