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'There is so much strength to celebrate here,' Roxbury hosts 14th annual African American ball

Roxbury hosts 14th annual African American ball
Roxbury hosts 14th annual African American ball 02:23

ROXBURY - Throughout the month of February, Black History Month events have honored local history makers, entrepreneurs, neighbors, and advocates who make a difference in local communities. 

On Saturday night, these vital community members were celebrated at the 14th annual African American Ball hosted by the Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury.

"This is the African American Ball and this is Black History Month," said community leader Ingrid Tucker, with Madison Park Community Development Corporation.

The decades-old club welcomed honored guests, elected officials, and community leaders like Tucker, who says the celebration was an opportunity to showcase Black excellence in Boston in front of those holding office, in hopes of affecting change.

"What they need to know is this is a community that has been here for a long time," Tucker said. "Making sure our kids have access to education at Boston Public Schools that we feel safe in the communities we love. Making sure we are showing up at the poles. Those issues are important to us."

When asked what her administration is committing to the community she celebrated with Saturday night, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu listed several goals she hopes to achieve. 

"We have a lot to do we need to make sure housing is affordable, that our schools are centers of learning we're proud of, that families from all generations have what they need together," Wu said. "There is so much strength to celebrate here."

The African American Ball was created by Michael Blakely to raise scholarship money for young people. A Boston native, Blakely holds generational ties to the Roxbury neighborhood and is dedicated to helping it grow.

"We all must gather together bring together our skills creativity passions our loves," he said. "Where else to start other than the Boys & Girls Club?"

The ball showcased musicians, artists, advocates, and faith leaders. 

Boys & Girls Club executive director Alisa Drayton hopes to inspire young people in the community.

"Young people of Boston, they are our future they are our greatest asset," says Drayton.

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