When I entered the Labor Day Party I was struck by two questions:
"Do we ask ourselves what is the true meaning of this day?"
"Do we know the Black History behind Labor Day?"
Maybe we should ask Pullman Porters, the black men hired to work as porters on the railroad sleeping cars, attending mostly white passengers, shining shoes, carrying bags, and doing janitorial services.
Until 1894 (the year Labor Day was established as a federal public holiday), this professional area, the porters, was the largest employer of black people in the country. But this working class was not allowed to take strike actions and was also denied access to the Labor Union.
So if you are a worker and you are denied access to something that is your basic right, what can you do?
Well, you create an organization, like A. Philip Randolph, the first president of the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters did, and fight for equality for Black workers in the workforce.
So Monday's event – put together by #everydaypplnyc & #okayafrica – was not just a moment to listen to the sound of our historic music and to hear today's voices in harmony.
It was also the celebration of a mark in our history! It was the sound of joined forces paying homage to those who fought for our working rights, as well as a moment of free enjoyment with our brothers and sisters.
"A picture is worth a thousand words."
So enjoy the moments I captured behind my lens and allow them to speak.
I am sure you will find that they have a lot to say.