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Marshall honors black leaders at heritage awards

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Marshall also honored a handful of business leaders and community activists from around the borough at the event on the 50th floor of Citibank's headquarters.The night began with two spoken word performances, which were followed by brief remarks by Marshall. The borough president mentioned some of the famous blacks who have called Queens home over the years, including Jackie Robinson, Louis Armstrong, Louis Latimer and Malcolm X.Malcolm X lived in East Elmhurst for part of his life and his home was firebombed in 1965. Marshall, also of East Elmhurst, said she knew Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz well."I loved talking to Malcolm, he was a magnificent person," Marshall said. "Queens has a history."Marshall also pointed out that Queens is the most ethnically diverse county in the United States. "If you want to see the world," Marshall said, "save your money and move around Queens with me.""We live amongst each and we live in a great deal of peace," Marshall said.A telling moment in the program came when Kevin Lewis, who received a business award for running a successful Subway sandwich shop in Jamaica, recalled meeting a young teenager at his shop a few weeks ago on Malcolm Luther King Day. The teenager asked Lewis for a job and the two got to talking."It turned out he didn't know who Dr. King was," Lewis said, as the crowd gasped.Marshall, when she returned to the podium, said "know your history, it's very important."In all, Marshall honored nine Queens High School seniors at the event. She said each student had to write essays describing their most noteworthy personal and academic achievements. She noted that $1,000 is not a lot of money for college in this day and age, but said the students should take heart that their academic prowess has been recognized."When you give a scholarship, you are putting your money on a winner," Marshall said.The students honored were: Awa Lamine Coulibaly, Beach Channel High School; Vevica Gooden, Long Island City High School; Teresa Johnson, Beach Channel High School; Nicole Kelly, Information Technology High School; Akindele Labake, Beach Channel High School; Oceana Porter, Newtown High School; Jessica Quizhpi, Newtown High School; Samuel Reid, Grover Cleveland High School; Kelvin Smartt, Queens Vocational High School.Reach reporter Craig Giammona by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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