In a unanimous vote, the New York City Council on Friday passed a bill co-naming streets after three fallen African-American heroes in Clinton Hill, Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy: Carey Gabay, Dean Derrick Griffith and Reverend Clarence Norman, Sr.
In the last year, residents in these adjacent communities were shaken by the loss of the three men, all of whom played a positive, significant role as family men and community leaders.
Derrick Griffith, a well loved dean of student affairs at City University of New York Medgar Evers College dean, was one of 8 passengers killed in the May 12 Amtrak derailment outside of Philly. Griffith completed a Ph.D. in Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center and was scheduled to graduate on May 27, 2015.
Crown Heights pastor Rev. Norman, Sr., who passed away on July 8, was a beloved middle-school teacher and mentor in Bed-Stuy who also founded the Local Development Corporation of Crown Heights, which helped develop more than 800 units of housing for senior citizens and low-income families.
Harvard Law School graduate and Clinton Hill resident Carey Gabay was a high-ranking lawyer within Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. Gabay died on September 8, after he was caught in the crossfire of a gang-related dispute during the West Indian Day Parade. Cuomo hailed Gabay as an example of the “American dream” who opted for public service instead of a hefty paycheck from a Wall Street law firm.
“Through the practice of law, education and ministry, three New Yorkers made an undeniable impact within the 35th Council District, which I proudly represent. I am proud that we can pay tribute to the legacies of Carey Gabay, Dean Derrick Griffith, and Reverend Clarence Norman, Sr. by placing street signs in their honor within the very communities they served in their lifetime,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
The street co-namings will be: Carey Gabay Way (Clinton Avenue between Willoughby Avenue and Myrtle Avenue), Dr. Derrick E. Griffith Way (Montgomery Street between Bedford Avenue and Franklin Avenue), and Rev. Clarence Norman Sr. Way (Rogers Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Union Street).
“These men of honor and high distinction each earned their position in the history of Brooklyn by demonstrating a profound commitment to other individuals and the success of our entire civil society,”said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us find inspiration in their invaluable contributions in our shared effort to unite as One Brooklyn,”
The three street co-namings were amongst 42 thoroughfares and public places approved for co-naming by the City Council on Friday.