Paterson, NJ - Afro-Puerto Rican percussionist Nelson Baez and his crew joined together with PCCC’s
student body and staff on Thursday, February 23, 2023 in the Paterson Room at Passaic County Community College. Within minutes, a culturally diverse student body came together to support and celebrate Black History Month.
Baez saluted staff and students alike and began the ceremony by expressing his beliefs on the Black community as whole. He stated that all races, regardless of appearance, originate
from African heritage. For instance, the Hispanic community is often categorized as its own, but that this contributes to separation amongst these two communities. Baez spoke to oppose this division by delivering a heartwarming statement, intended to join together all ethnic backgrounds in appreciation, support, and love for one another. “...They’ve tried to separate us, but we’re all one. Don’t let them tell you otherwise” Baez continued.
With this call to action, the surrounding walls filled with applause as he continued to introduce the rest of his crew before diving into their live performance, with the overall goal of showcasing Caribbean culture through music and bringing people together through dancing. He then welcomed students and staff to join in dancing, reassuring them to feel free to express themselves and their feelings, and that he would aim to match their energies with the music. As the event concluded, Baez thanked Passaic County Community College’s student body and faculty for attending, as well as the Food Service Department catering the event with Southern crowd favorites such as fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, steamed mixed vegetables, and desserts. He also thanked PCCC’s Administration for the opportunity to come together in honor of Black History Month.