Jamaica street co-named for civil rights activist Jefferson Diggs

| mhayes@queenscourier.com |

Photo courtesy of the Office of Councilmember Leroy Comrie
Photo courtesy of the Office of Councilmember Leroy Comrie

Councilmember Leroy Comrie hosted a street co-naming ceremony for the late Jefferson Diggs at the corner of 88th Avenue and 178th Street.

The late Jefferson Diggs was “someone who I, and many other elected officials in southeast Queens, could rely on to help us represent the community,” said Councilmember Leroy Comrie.

On Saturday, Comrie, surrounded by family and friends, hosted a street co-naming ceremony in which he unveiled “Jefferson Diggs Way” at 88th Avenue and 178th Street, the corner where Diggs and his wife, Sonia Geder, lived for over 40 years.

Diggs was most notably a strong voice in the civil rights movement, where he organized and participated in sit-ins at the local Woolworths and Kress department stores. He was one of the first black reporters for the New York Daily News and served in the office of then-Manhattan District

Attorney Robert Morgenthau, and later as an administrator at the Human Resources Administration.

“He was an intellectual who used his background as a journalist to bring an unique perspective to the issues being discussed and explain what could be complicated matters in ways someone hearing about them for the first time could understand,” Comrie said.

Diggs later became an aide to then-Councilmember Archie Spigner and Comrie, and was well-known in the southeast Queens community as “enthusiastic and highly respected.”

“He helped to improve the quality of life for many residents and I am pleased to have been able to honor him with this street co-naming,” Comrie said.

Diggs is additionally a founding member of the Elmer Blackburne Democratic Club and a member of the Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club, as well as Community Board 12, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Black American Heritage Board and the Jamaica Branch of the NAACP.



  • http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/ Joe Moretti

    How about cleaning up the streets in Jamaica FIRST before naming them Mr. Comrie.
    And look who is in attendance, none other than the big crook and corrupt Senator Malcolm Smith. What a load of crap.

  • http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/ Joe Moretti

    While Comrie and crew were doing their street naming ceremony photo-op at 178th Street and 88th Ave, two blocks away I was doing my photo-op of a garbage strewn street/sidewalk that you can see at http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/councilman-comrie-host-street-naming-ceremony-for-civil-rights-activist-how-about-cleaning-up-the-streets-first/

    Street cleaning first, Street naming after.

  • http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/ cleanupjamaicaqueens

    One of blog readers pointed out that of my readers pointed out standing right next to Mr. Comrie, Judge Laura Blackburne.
    Another Jamaica questionable figure, Judge Laura Blackburne

    I knew nothing about this individual, so I did some research.

    It seems that the former Supreme Court Justice was kicked out of her office for her “rash and reckless decision” to help a robbery suspect evade arrest in 2004. In a 5-to-2 ruling, the Court of Appeals in Albany said Blackburne had “placed herself above the law she was sworn to administer, thereby bringing the judiciary into disrepute and undermining public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of her court. Her dangerous actions exceeded all measure of acceptable judicial conduct.

    But as usual in Jamaica, many residents in St. Albans, where she had been active politically with her husband, Elmer Blackburne, were bitterly disappointed. “She is a superb human being, a compassionate human being and this is absolutely absurd,” said Hazel Dukes, a state NAACP spokeswoman. “Our community is shocked. It’s a sad day.”

    What is sad is that Jamaica residents need a rock to fall on them to believe something and even then they will still cry out “this is absurd”.

    And superb, you mean superb like Shirley Huntley, Malcolm Smith, Gregory Meeks, Ruben Wills and Rev. Floyd Flake to name a few, that kind of superb.

    Another example of a questionable leader being supported by Jamaica residents and pretty much wanting to turn it into some racial thing instead of what it exactly is, the apple is rotten. And we wonder why Jamaica is a mess.

    My my Mr. Comrie, you certainly like to be in the company of corrupt and questionable figures, don’t you.