Winston makes his grand entrance, his wife beside him and three children not far behind. Attendees immediately rose from their seats, applauding as the new mayor made his way to the stage for photos and to give his speech. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa

Friends, family, and supporters gathered on Friday in Brooklyn Park to celebrate Hollies Winston, who on Jan. 9 became the first Black mayor of the suburban Minneapolis city. The event, which was held at Edinburgh USA public golf course, featured food and drinks, and a diverse entertainment lineup.

Winston makes his grand entrance, his wife beside him and three children not far behind. Attendees immediately rose from their seats, applauding as the new mayor made his way to the stage for photos and to give his speech. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Kenyan American businessmen Alex Ong’ou and Henry Momanyi join other guests in enjoying drinks and socializing as they wait for the program to start. An eclectic mix of African and American music played as people weaved around each other at the bar, exchanged warm embraces, and laughed heartily. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Guests choose from the array of finger foods, which include catering from gourmet Italian café, D’Amico & Sons. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Winston’s family is all smiles on stage as guests snap photos. He spoke about the support his family has given him since his early campaigning days. “Without them I wouldn’t be in this spot that I am now,” Winston said. “Brooklyn Park would not be in this spot right now.” Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Kennadie Hurst kicks off the agenda with a rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The song, originally composed by African American writer and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson in 1871, began resonating with Black families across the nation in the early 1900s. It was pushed by the NAACP as the “Negro National Anthem” in 1917 and officially became so shortly after. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Guests line up at the snack bar. On the joined tables is a variety of hors d’oeuvres platters, including Thai style meatballs, cured deli meats and cheeses, and an assorted selection of breads, crackers, and biscuits. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Solo R&B artist, Rico Nevotion, performs his original song, “I can’t Breathe.” The audience applauded as he sang, “how can you love our culture without the Black woman or man?” from the song about Black exploitation. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Bigg Timee, a Liberian American artist, delivers an electrifying Afropop performance. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
April Graves, who herself made history in November when she was elected the first Black woman mayor of neighboring Brooklyn Center, speaks about what the victories mean for her and Winston. “We’re going to get a lot done together and get to know each other more,” she said. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
: Members of Oromo Youth Group, who are originally from Ethiopia, perform an Eskista, a traditional dance originating in the Amhara region. It features dancers, usually in groups, rolling their shoulders and jilting their chests. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Winston and his wife Latrice smile for photos on stage. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Winston delivers his long-awaited speech. He said that he was humbled to be in his current position, considering that his grandfather was a sharecropper who picked cotton and even saw someone lynched. Winston also emphasized the importance of community support in being able to get work done. “We need you as residents to be involved,” he said. “If we can center the issues that matter and do it together, I am confident we can create the Brooklyn Park ya’ll elected me to create.” Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa
Guests listen as Winston expresses gratitude and shares the importance of family and community to his victory. Mshale Staff Photo by Panashe Matemba-Mutasa

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About Panashe Matemba-Mutasa, Mshale Reporter

Panashe is a general assignments staff reporter at Mshale.

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