The fifth anniversary of the Staten Island Black Heritage Family Day, which showcases, honors and celebrates the rich and diverse cultures of people of African descent who live on Staten Island, was held Saturday, Sept. 19. This year’s theme was “Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Honorees included grand marshals City Council Member Debi Rose, Public Advocate Letitia James, John McBeth of Occupy the Block and Tatiana Swindell, the first Black Miss Staten Island, who was crowned in 2015 .

The Peoples Parade proceeded down Vanderbilt Avenue to Bay Street, with the roar of motorcycles, floats, music, high-stepping marching bands and the Federation of Black Cowboys on their magnificent horses.

More than 60 vendors and 2,500 Staten Islanders were in attendance at this year’s event. The Staten Island Black Heritage Day is the largest event on the island, organized, sponsored and attended by the Staten Island’s communities of color. It continues to grow in attendance every year.

For more information and to view pictures from previous Staten Island Black Heritage Day events, go to or