The 44th annual Bronx Week recently passed and it did not disappoint. As a native of the Bronx; this embarrassingly was my first Bronx Parade. Upon my arrival to the transformed Mosholu Parkway, I was met by a stream of flags from all over the world. I was most surprised by the turn out; you saw the old with the young and the locals from the neighborhood with the politician marching together. It was an overwhelming sense of comradery in the crowd. It was quite surreal to me because the Bronx is very sectioned off. Bronx residents tend to isolate themselves within their respective community. On this day everyone was one.
The ten day celebration was filled with a series of events celebrating the borough’s rich and diverse culture. This year’s Bronx week was stocked with celebrity guest appearances including Stacy Dash and Malik Yoba. There were also a number of inspirational events that exhibited the diversity of Bronx residents and honored exceptional Bronxites. The week came to a close with the Bronx Parade that summed up the entire weeks events and exemplified the premise of Bronx week.
There were street vendors, many of them selling food. You could see carts with foods representing countries from all over the world. There were also vendors selling handmade, original pieces of jewelry, clothing and art. There was a vendor who sold flags to the crowd. Though he was Dominican, his stock included flags from Jamaica, Senegal, India, and the UK. I asked him “Where is the Nigerian flag?” and he said “The factories sell out.” He did mention he loved people from Africa because he is African too.
The African communities were also out in the numbers during the parade. The members of the Bronx Borough African Advisory Council came out to march in the parade alongside elected officials. I got the chance to talk to a family who hailed from West Africa. He was at the parade because he said it was important to celebrate with his family the borough that he lives in. That sentiment was shared with everyone in the crowd.
This year’s Bronx week proved, again, that the Bronx is more than what meets the eye. We are a borough that is rich in culture and truly knows how to “turn up.” If you missed this year’s Bronx Week, no worries. For more information on upcoming Bronx events, visit www.ilovethebronx.com