RFK Jr. adviser will speak at Belleville Black History Month event

Jamel C. Holley, the first Black man to represent the 20th Legislative District in New Jersey, is slated to be the guest speaker as Belleville celebrates Black History Month.

Mayor Michael Melham will also participate in the program that will trace the many contributions Belleville’s Black community has made through history, from the heroic sacrifice of Leonard Willette and his fellow Tuskegee Airmen to the groundbreaking work of Lonnie G. Bunch III, the first Black secretary of the Smithsonian.

Sponsored by the Belleville Township Council, in conjunction with the Belleville Public Library, the free event is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. at the public library, 221 Washington Ave.

“Belleville history and Black history are inextricably entwined,” Melham said. “I’m excited to invite former Assemblyman Jamel Holley to Belleville for this event. He reminds us that Black history is being made every day.”

Holley, who represented the 20thLD from 2015-2022, has blazed other paths. At 21, he was the youngest Chief of Staff for any of the state’s 120 legislators when he was appointed to the late Assemblyman Neil Cohen’s staff. At 32, Holley was elected the youngest mayor of Roselle. He now serves as an adviser to Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

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