Events

Dorrance Brooks Square Park Event

image7

Dorrance Brooks Property Owners & Residents Association

thanks everyone who participated in our observance of the Armistice ending World War I at

DORRANCE BROOKS SQUARE PARK

on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

    (Edgecombe & St. Nicholas Avenues - 136th-137th Streets)


The Armistice of 11 November 1918 ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War I between the Allies and their opponent, Germany. The segregated 369th United States Infantry, also known as the “Harlem Hellfighters,” assigned to fight in the French Army’s 161st Division, served 191 days in front line trenches in France, more than any other American unit, and also suffered the most losses of any American regiment with approximately 1,500 casualties, even as the soldiers fought on two fronts, domestically and internationally, to show both their bravery and patriotism to defend America as well as their efforts to have the respect and rights as full citizens free from racial discrimination. This square honors Harlem Hellfighter Private First Class Dorrance Brooks, an African-American soldier, native of Harlem and the son of a Civil War veteran, who fought and died valiantly in France in 1918, a few days before the Armistice was signed. In the words of Mayor Hylan’s June 14, 1925 dedication speech,


“ This hour is dedicated to the memory of Dorrance Brooks. He died for us, with faith in his heart and hope on his lips. This square … will speak to the present and future generations of the idealism, heroism and patriotic duty of the colored man when danger threatened our country… let us see in his sacrifice… the obligation to strive…

 for the victories of peace…”


The New York Times reported at the time that Dorrance Brooks Square was the first public square to be named after an African-American soldier. Many local organizations participated in this observance, including but not limited to local block associations, the 369th Historical Society, the 369th Veterans Association, the French Consulate, the Boy Scouts of America, Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, the VFW Dorrance Brooks Post 528, and various other military organizations. We thank those who attended and otherwise supported this commemorative event to honor the sacrifices and achievements of Harlem’s own 369th Harlem Hellfighters.