FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Release #051-00
Tuesday, February 15, 2000
|Contact:||Sunny Mindel / Michael Anton (212) 788-2958|
Recognizes Hotel Industry Leader George Ntim
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today celebrated African American History Month in New York City at a ceremony and reception at the Surrogate's Courthouse in Lower Manhattan. During the ceremony the Mayor recognized George Ntim, Senior Manager On Duty at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.
"It's wonderful to join together today to celebrate this month-long tribute to the history of African Americans and to recognize their many contributions and achievements," said Mayor Giuliani. "Every February, all New Yorkers reflect on and celebrate the rich legacy of New Yorkers of African descent. New York City is the Capital Of The World because New York is the most diverse City in the world, and African American History Month gives us all a chance to learn more about our proud common heritage of diversity.
"Every year, this month also offers us a chance to honor individuals whose personal courage and good character stand as inspirations for our youth," the Mayor continued. "And it is in this spirit that today we honor George Ntim, a leader of one of our City's most vital industries. Mr. Ntim's courage is evidenced by, among other things, his heroic action to evacuate guests after the World Trade Center bombing from the Vista International Hotel, where he then worked. His character is attested by his numerous volunteer and charitable activities, and the hours he dedicates to teaching his profession to young New Yorkers."
Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week in 1926 to recognize the legacy of African Americans. It was Dr. Woodson's wish that all Americans would be reminded of their ethnic roots and that people of diverse backgrounds would develop a mutual respect. The month of February was chosen because it was the month in which Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were born.
In 1976, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History changed the name to Black History Month and expanded the weeklong celebration to an entire month.
The Mayor was joined by Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington; New York City Sheriff Teresa Mason; and the Reverend Hardy Smallwood of the Holy Tabernacle Church of God and Christ.