Naturi Naughton has been recognized by New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio for her philanthropic work amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Mayor officially proclaimed June 18 as Naturi Naughton Day, citing her efforts to feed over 10,000 families in the New York and New Jersey area throughout the past year through her charity, the Naturi Dreamer’s Foundation.
The Power star was honored during last week’s New York City’s Juneteenth Celebration in Harlem.
“Now, we also take the occasion of Juneteenth to thank those who are doing the right thing. And one thing I always appreciate when someone is an artist, or an actor, or performer, and they become famous, they have a choice – they could go off into that life of fame and fortune and celebrity and the elite, or they could stay connected to the people,” Mayor de Blasio remarked.
He continued, “I want you — if you would hold up that proclamation for the world to see. It says lots of things about you, all deserved, but I’m just going to read the famous last line. Of course, the last line, which I particularly like, because it’s about you – it says, now, I, Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Friday, June 18th, 2021, in the City of New York, as Naturi Naughton Day.”
As she took to the podium and accepted the honor, Naughton shared an inspirational speech.
“This is such a huge honor,” she began. “I thought about what am I going to say? I laid in bed last night and I thought, this is such a huge honor, how do I even measure up to this moment. I thought about Juneteenth and having this honor be on such an amazing day, I kept thinking about the power of the choice.
“Sometimes, I pinch myself and I think, how did I get here? I’m just a young Black girl from Jersey who grew up in the inner city and I think how did I get here? Juneteenth is that reminder for me and it is that reminder for all of us. America should be asking how did we get here? My ancestors are whispering in the background, saying ‘on our backs.’ Let’s not forget how this country got here.”
View the full ceremony below: