Suffolk County Legislator William R. Spencer was selected by the Town of Huntington to be the Keynote Speaker at their very popular African-American History Month Celebration last week. Previous Keynote Speakers have included: noted authors, religious figures, academics, community advocates and Supreme Court Judges. The event, typically standing-room only, was filled with great music, singing, and special presentations. The festivities culminated in the keynote address and then participants shared a special meal together in a true spirit of community at the Jack Abrams Intermediate School in Huntington Station.
“I am deeply moved by the honor bestowed upon me by the Town of Huntington,” stated Legislator Spencer. “Supervisor Petrone and the Town Council have historically chosen exceptional individuals to honor at this event and I was truly humbled that they chose to include me in that small group of esteemed speakers. It was an amazing night spent with the most warm and wonderful people.”
Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone and members of the Town Board, in conjunction with the Town’s Division of Minority Affairs have hosted this event that typically draws hundreds of residents in celebration of Black History Month for over 26 years. This year they made the decision to invite Spencer, a local resident who is a husband, father, educator, pilot, reverend, physician and Suffolk County Legislator to provide the public his perspective about what the event means locally in the shadow of a national discussion about race, equality and improving the quality of life for all Americans. Legislator Spencer did not disappoint.
Starting his speech with words of humble gratitude, Spencer sang the praises of our community, its leaders and residents. He reminded us all that we live in one of the greatest places on earth. If we work hard and in a peaceful, compassionate way, we can bring about great change. He spoke about the legacy that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. left behind and challenged people to continue that legacy. “Our work is not done,” Spencer stated. “We still have much to do to bring about the equality Dr. King spoke about. We must continue to work for freedom and justice in economics, jobs, housing, health care, and education.” Spencer also seized the opportunity to call upon all elected officials, community leaders and residents from all walks of life to join him in elevating the level of discourse and continuing the conversation about how we, as a community, can work our way toward becoming colorblind in our lives and policies. With faith, Spencer believes, we can transform our world, big and small, into what Dr. King called a “beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”