October 20th is now recognized as Lupita Nyong’0 day in Harlem, New York. Congressman Charles Rangel and Voza Rivers, Chairman of the Harlem Arts Alliance made the announcement on Tuesday, October 20.
The honor was announced as a surprise during an open discussion between the Academy Award winner and image activist Michaela Angela Davis at Mist Harlem a restaurant located in the popular and predominantly black neighborhood.
Immediately after the event, Nyong’o took to her Instagram page to share her excitement and appreciation immediately after the event. She posted a video writing,
“October 20th declared Lupita Nyiong’o Day in Harlem? My heart is swollen with the love and welcome I just received from the Harlem Community “
“Harlem essentially said: ‘Welcome home, Lupita, here you are so loved, here you are so supported.’ It said to her, ‘this is home, too.'” Angela Davis told The Huffington Post.
Voza Rivers told HuffPost he chose to honor Nyong’o in Harlem because the area is known for its fusion of a diverse array of cultures from Africa and America. He said her connection and success on both continents — and her influence on black communities everywhere — made her the perfect candidate.
“It was something very inviting about her that I said that if I was going to make a recommendation on someone it would be her,” Rivers said.
“Lupita was really great,” Michael Oloyede,an aspiring actor who attended the event, told The Huffington Post.
“She shared some really great insight on how she gives herself up to honor every role and tell the stories of people who can’t do so themselves.” he added.
Both Davis and Oloyede said the significance of Nyong’o’s success so far is certainly a call for celebration — and worth witnessing as her influence in Hollywood continues to grow. They also noted how important her latest recognition is, especially considering Harlem’s rich black history and the amazing roster of black artists it has bred.
“Harlem is a place where many black artists who speak to the world through their art came from,” he said. “I couldn’t think of a better place where ‘Lupita Nyong’o Day’ in New York City was proclaimed.”