8 THE QUEENS COURIER • OCTOBER 8, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Floyd Flake honored with St. Albans street renaming
BY TODD MAISEL
Th e name of Merrick Boulevard
in Queens was taken from the word
“Meroke” mean oyster bed. So a portion
of it in St. Albans was appropriately
renamed Saturday for what admirers say
is the “pearl of the community,” in honor
of the Rev. Dr. Floyd H. Flake.
Nearly a thousand residents and city
elected offi cials jammed the streets near
his beloved church, the Greater Allen
African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.)
Cathedral, on Oct. 3 for the dedication.
Elected offi cials and the community
fully supported the renaming of the street
“Floyd H. Flake Boulevard,” passed by the
City Council and signed by Mayor Bill de
Blasio to honor the former Congressman
and civil rights activist. Saturday’s huge
ceremony was full of speeches by top leaders
and fi lled with the pomp of powerful
gospel music and dancing that is the hallmark
of his 23,000-member church.
A marching band led a long white limousine
with his family to the open fi eld
where he was accompanied by his wife
Margaret Elaine McCollins and his four
children — his two sons Robert Rasheed,
Harold Hasan and his two daughters Aliya
and Nailah Flake-Brown — who held his
arm right up to his seat.
Nearby was nearly every elected offi cial
led by US Senator Charles Schumer, Mayor
Bill de Blasio, State Attorney General
Letitia James, Queens DA Melinda Katz,
borough presidents, state senators and
Council members. Chairing the event was
Councilman Daneek Miller, a longtime
Senator Schumer is greeted by Congressman Gregory Meeks.
congregant and admirer of Flake.
Reverend Flake, the son of a janitor,
continues to be the senior pastor of Th e
Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral, one of
the nation’s largest Christian churches in
the United States. Flake not only brought
the community together with the church,
but also helped expand the Christian
School; created a pre-school; amassed
commercial and residential developments
for the church; and founded numerous
social enterprises with the largest
outreach ministries in New York City
through its Soup Kitchen and Feeding
Program, which distributes over 105,000
meals and pantry bags weekly.
Photos by Todd Maisel
Th e Soup Kitchen distributes more than
10,000 meals during Th anksgiving alone.
But his son Robert Rasheed said he was
more humble than that and would “walk
down the street in a suit, picking up trash
in the street.” He said his father would
stop his car and intercede in disputes and
abuse on the streets – “he would not hesitate
to help anyone.”
His work for the community went even
further than the church when he ran
and won the congressional seat in 1987
that held for 10 years. Senator Schumer
applauded his accomplishments in the
House, where Schumer was also previously
Schumer pointed to his career in
Congress, where he said Flake “eff ectively
used his committee assignments to help
steer federal money toward urban renewal
projects in his district.” Flake would willingly
reach across the aisle to Republicans
and their traditional corporate constituents
oft en helped him to meet his goals.
Th e Senate minority leader lauded Flake
for his legislation that redirected community
redevelopment funds from community
development banks to large lending
institutions, that would provide incentives
for big banks to lend to poor communities.
Th is became part of the famed
Community Development Banking and
Financial Institutions Act, which was
signed into law in 1994.
Councilman Miller had a more personal
view of Flake, recalling that Flake married
him and his wife Simone, and baptized
“I also bring you greetings from the
Congressional Black Caucus – when I told
them what was taking place, all of them
came to me and said, ‘Please, let everybody
know that the Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake,
when he left Washington, he didn’t leave
it the same; he changed it,’” Miller said.
“One of the honors of my life in following
him in Washington, D.C., was I watch and
I learned here at home what I saw refl ected
in the halls of Congress were things
that you know right now are not so pretty.
But no matter who I spoke with whether
it was a leader of a country, a member
of the Senate, Congress, a president of the
United States, or just the janitor in the
building, the man that shined my shoes
– all asked, ‘How is Rev. Floyd Flake?’
because he was such a humble man who
stepped up and spoke to everyone and
treated everyone with respect.”
State Attorney General James spoke
about the impact Flake had on her career
as the fi rst Black attorney general.
“Before the mantra of Black lives matter,
is was Rev. Flake that gave meaning
to Black lives mater,” she said. “As I traveled
here, I read the street signs that had
no meaning, no historical reference – so I
came here today because I wanted to see
the unveiling of a great man. He opened
doors for me – if you were asked if you
were supported by Floyd Flake and you
said yes, the doors would open. From the
ashes, he built homes. From chaos, he
brought order. He saved lives, and with
vision, he built this cathedral and from
waste lands he built schools, he built services.
All that we want is for our children
to have the freedom to thrive and to reach
every goal they want, and that’s what Rev.
Flake decided to do when he built this
entire cathedral – with a messages of resilience,
hope, resurrection, justice, mercy
and given the turbulent events of 2020
and what we as a people had to endure,
suff ering and darkness, Rev. Flake continues
to preach to us to fi nd the light.”
Mayor de Blasio said this was “a moment
that unites us, and this is that moment.”
Someone arose in this city to something
great for this nation and for the ages, Pastor
Flake, I say thank you for all of us,” de Blasio
said. “Because he is an extraordinary talent,
someone we rarely see, who can do so much
– you choose it, whether its in faith, education,
aff ordable housing or serving our
seniors, fi ghting in the halls of congress –
where ever he went, he did it well.”
Aft er hearing from numerous religious
leaders and from the Episcopal Bishop
Gregory Ingram, the band led the Flake
family to the front of the A.M.E. Church
where the street sign was unveiled to the
Residents and supporters join in the dance and gospel for Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake. cheers of a huge crowd.
With the purchase of glasses,
contact lens e l.
2 Boxes of Lenses Frames & Lenses
PLUS FREE 2ND PAIR
* $200 minimum purchase on first pair of designer
frames. Second pair frame from select group with
Must present prior to purchase. Offer valid at this
location only. Not valid with any other offers, sales,
vision plans or packages.
Offer ends 10/31/20
offers, sales, vision plans or packages. Must present
prior to purchase. Offer valid at this location only.
Offer ends: 10/31/20
brand clear sphericalLenses/*Contact
lens fitting additional. Not valid for Toric lenses. Not valid with
any other offers, sales, vision plans or packages. Must
present prior to purchase. Offer valid at this location only.
Some restrictions apply, see store for details.
Offer ends: 10/31/20
Select frames with clear plastic, single vision lensas
vision plans or packages. Must present prior to purchase.
Offer valid at this location only. Some restrictions apply,
see store for details
Offer ends: 10/31/20
8 8 8 BACK TO SCHOOL
2 PAIR OF
16 years or younger