An Evening of Reflections
Friday, August 12
The Life & Legacy of The Honorable Albert Vann, hosted by the Hon. Letitia James, at Boys & Girls High School, opened with a drumming procession by the Richard Green Group and a grand processional entrance by matriarch Mildred Vann and her family members. Rev. Herbert D. Daughtry, Sr., pastor of The House of the Lord Church, delivered the Invocation and officiated the Libation.
During the evening, community leaders offered stirring, eloquent reflections on Dr. Vann, including Ms. Najah I. Vann and the Vann Grandchildren on their Patriarch. Other reflections presented during the evening included thoughts on The Man (Hon. Annette M. Robinson); the Educator (Hon. Lester W. Young, Jr.); The Mentor, His Plan, and his impact in the field of Law and Politics ( Hon. Roger L. Green, Dr. John Flateau, Dr. Esmeralda Simmons, Esq; Hon. Paul Wooten and Mr. Michael Nairne); The Policymaker (Hon. Leonard Dunston, Hon. Rosaline Preudhomme and Ms. Audrey Bynoe); the Institutions (Colvin Grannum, Job Mashariki; Debra Fraser-Howze; Dr. LaRay Brown; and Mr. Lyndon Archer); His Leadership (Mayor Eric Adams, Cong. Hakeem Jeffries; Cong. Yvette D. Clarke, NYS Assemblyman Carl Heastie; City Councilperson Adrienne Adams; and NYS Assemblywoman Stefani Zinerman).
Special Tributes were presented by Mrs. Marilyn Reid and Mrs. Renee Gregory of the Brownstoners of Bedford Stuyvesant, Inc., one of the many community organizations and Institutions that contributed to organizing the evening; the Brotherhood, (Bro. Paul Webster and the distinguished men of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity); and Mr. Mandela Jones, Chief of Staff, Communications, NYC Council, delivering a poignant speech on a primary concern and inspirational impetus of Dr. Vann, during his lifetime, “The Next Generation.”
Special Music performances were presented by: Mr. Darwin Hobbs of the Christian Cultural Center in a solo of Lift Every Voice and Sing; The Noel Pointer String Players from the Noel Pointer Foundation; and the CCC choir.
Riveting dance performances, including tap, ballet, and modern, by The Creative Outlet Dance Company, introduced by dance pioneer Jamel Gaines, moved the audience to their collective feet.
Video presentations were highlighted by a tribute from Dr. Adelaide Sanford and a presentation of “In His Own Words,” produced by Dr. Vann’s filmmaker grandson, Naim I. Vann;
Dr. Vann’s appreciation and love for family, ancestral and current, as an all-pervasive theme throughout the evening, culminating in “A Call to Action” by Ms. Binta Vann, Mr. and Mrs. Vann’s daughter, at the program’s conclusion. Closing Remarks & acknowledgments, excerpts of which can be found on this page, were presented by Dr. Vann’s esteemed “Lieutenant,” Mr. Richard Jones, Dean Emeritus, Medgar Evers College.
Letters of praise from President Barack Obama and President Joseph Biden were read, and a letter from a family member of Nelson Mandela was acknowledged.
The event opened with Mr. Richard Green’s Drum Group, who walked from Dr. Vann’s residence on McDonough Street to the Boys & Girls Memorial H.S. he co-founded and nurtured through his advocacy at the intersection of Harriet Tubman Avenue & Stuyvesant Avenue. The memorial closed with the benediction by Rev. Robert Waterman of Antioch Baptist Church, followed by the Vann family recessional walk.
A “Celebration of Life” reception followed, with the Eric Frazier Trio and DJ Lem.