Municipal officials renamed the Vreeland Triangle, a small greenspace on Vreeland Avenue and East 37th Street, to Amistad Park in recognition of African American residents’ contributions to Paterson, on Tuesday night.
“The struggle was real. And the struggle is still real for a lot of us,” said councilman Ruby Cotton, who is the niece of a sharecropper.
Cotton said young children will remember the struggles and sacrifices of their ancestors when they visit the renamed park.
Amistad was the name of a slave ship that was carrying 53 Africans captured from Sierra Leone and enslaved in 1839. The Africans revolted, killing most of the ship’s crew, in an effort to regain their freedom.
“My grandmother was a sharecropper. My mother turned tobacco, and she picked cotton,” said councilwoman Lilisa Mimms. “Our community has played far too many vital roles. It’s an educational opportunity for every ethnicity.”
Mimms and Cotton sponsored, and Alex Mendez co-sponsored the renaming measure. Mimms said the renaming was requested by some community organizations and leaders.
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