West 166th Street and Broadway in Washington Heights is co-named after Black Nationalist Carlos Cooks. Amid global racial and social protests, the International Olympic Committee states that athletes participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will not be allowed to wear Black Lives Matter apparel, or any apparel with political messages, while taking part in official Olympic activities. R&B singer Lloyd Price dies at age 88. Pfizer/BioNTech seeks full approval from the FDA for their COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA authorizes the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. for adolescents aged 12 to 15. Moderna announces that their COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective in teens ages 12 to 17. The city’s Department of Education announces there will be no more snow days and students will be expected to participate in remote learning in the event of a weather emergency. The decision is a result of COVID-19 stay home orders when public school students switched to remote learning after schools closed in 2020 to prevent the spread of the virus. Trailblazing television journalist Bill McCreary dies at age 87. McCreary was one of New York City’s first Black TV reporters. After being closed since March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announce that Broadway shows will be allowed to reopen in September. A volcano erupts near Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, forcing thousands to flee to neighboring Rwanda. Former longtime Bronx Assemblymember and Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene dies at age 86.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs legislation restoring voting rights to over 35,000 formerly incarcerated individuals convicted of a felony. The newly signed law changes the election law requiring automatic restoration of voting rights upon a New Yorker’s release from prison. Black comedian Paul Mooney dies from a heart attack at age 79. Black, 19-year-old Buffalo State College student and Bronx native Saniyya Dennis goes missing near Niagara Falls after leaving her college campus.
Police say she died by suicide based on text messages they claim to have; however, her family believes she is alive and organize their own search for her. The CDC announces that people who are fully vaccinated from COVID-19 are no longer required to wear a mask in most situations. Everyone is still required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status at doctor’s offices, on buses, trains and all forms of public transportation. Protests erupt across the country to commemorate one year since the 2020 police murder of George Floyd. In New York City, several demonstrators are arrested after blocking the Holland Tunnel. The CDC announces that 50% of the American adult population is fully vaccinated. A study released by the University of Florida reveals that programs for high achievers may not be adequately serving Black and low-income students. Rapper Drake is awarded the Billboard Artist of the Decade award.