Seitu’s World: A Celebration Of David Banks And Birthday Of Kathy Sharpton

May 23, 2023

Photographs by Seitu Oronde

On an unforgettable evening in the heart of Harlem, the spirit of celebration radiated through the halls of NAN (National Action Network) on Sunday, May 21st, 2023.

Accomplished photojournalist Seitu Oronde bore witness to a remarkable gathering, capturing the essence of joy and camaraderie that permeated the air.

As the rhythm took hold, the venerable Rev. Al Sharpton, an emblematic figure in the civil rights movement, gracefully danced alongside the indomitable Camille, a luminary of the original Soul Train dancers. Their movements spoke volumes, embodying the resilience and spirit of a community that has always found solace and strength in the power of expression.

The ethereal voices of vocalist reverberated through the room, captivating all who were present. With soulful melodies, imbued with passion and purpose, resonated with the collective consciousness of the crowd, evoking a sense of unity and shared experiences.


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The esteemed presence of David Banks, the New York City Chancellor of the Department of Education, further underscored the significance of this gathering. Together, they embraced the ideals of education, empowerment, and the relentless pursuit of progress, reaffirming Harlem’s rich legacy as a crucible of intellectual and cultural transformation.

Amidst the jubilation, the festivities took a poignant turn as Kathy Sharpton, the beloved wife of Rev. Al Sharpton, embraced the spotlight on her birthday. The Reverend himself, ever the embodiment of leadership and advocacy, joined in the celebration, lending his unwavering support to the cause that has defined his life’s work.

In the heart of Harlem, where history reverberates through every street corner, this gathering epitomized the essence of community, resilience, and the power of unity. It was a night that will forever be etched in the collective memory of those fortunate enough to witness it—a testament to the unwavering spirit of Harlem and the enduring legacy of those who continue to shape its vibrant tapestry.

Photographs by Seitu Oronde captured the magic of the evening, immortalizing the joy, determination, and boundless energy that pulsed through the room. In these snapshots, a vivid snapshot of a community’s triumphs and aspirations emerges, symbolizing the indomitable spirit of Harlem and its unwavering commitment to progress.

As the night drew to a close, Harlem stood tall, fortified by the bonds forged through dance, melody, and the shared pursuit of justice. Rev. Sharpton and his esteemed companions carried the spirit of this celebration into the world, continuing to inspire and uplift those who dare to dream of a brighter future.

In the realm of Harlem’s transformative history, this night will forever hold a cherished place—a testament to the enduring power of unity and the indelible mark left by the luminaries who grace its hallowed streets.

Click here to find more of Seitu Oronde’s photo essays at Seitu’s World.

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