Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division Second Judicial DepartmentSupreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division Second Judicial Department
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A Celebration of Black History

On February 17, 2021, a virtual ceremony was held in celebration of the Appellate Division, Second Department's 3rd Annual Hon. William C. Thompson, Sr. Black History Month Program. Sponsored by the Kings County Courts Black History Month Committee, the Judicial Friends Association, The Brooklyn Bar Association, The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the newly-formed Caribbean American Lawyers Association, the special occasion was one of many virtual celebrations across the courts in Brooklyn in honor of Black History Month and this year’s theme of The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. The past year has been one plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, social injustice, and the resulting loss of thousands of lives in the United States, disproportionately those from Black families.

The distinguished award recognizes those who embody the legacy of Hon. William C. Thompson, Sr., who was a New York State Supreme Court Judge, Administrative Judge and the first black Associate Justice appointed to the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. This year’s awardees were Hon. O. Peter Sherwood, Justice of the Supreme Court, New York County Commercial Division and the first black man to serve as Corporation Counsel, during the administration of Mayor David N. Dinkins. In his keynote address, Justice Sherwood recounted the extraordinary service of the late mayor to the people of New York City. Special congratulatory honors were also awarded to Hon. Cheryl E. Chambers and Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, who currently serve as the first two black female justices on the Appellate Division, Second Department’s constitutional bench, comprising the court's seven most senior jurists.

Remarks were made by Acting Presiding Justice William F. Mastro, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, and William C. Thompson, Jr., on behalf of the Thompson family. A video recording of the presentation may be viewed here.