‘He spoke to our hearts’ – Dr. Al Vann’s life celebrated at Boys and Girls High School in Bed-Stuy

People gathered at Boys and Girls High School in Bed-Stuy Friday to celebrate the life of Dr. Al Vann – the former councilman and assemblymember who died in July.
Vann grew up in Brooklyn and had a teaching background before getting involved in politics.
He also served on both City Council and state Assembly and was a co-founder of the African Americans Teachers Association.
His supporters say he made it his life’s mission to give back to his community.
“The real thing about Al Vann is that he was an inspiration,” said Esmeralda Simmons, who founded the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College. “He spoke to our hearts.”
“He needs to be celebrated because he was an inspiration… Internationally he started our own empowerment movement right here in Brooklyn,” she said.
Those in attendance Friday wore white to symbolize the celebration of Vann’s life. Performers took the stage at the school and sang religious hymns.
His family says he was an avid traveler and loved basketball, African art and jazz. Another celebration is happening on Saturday in Vann’s honor.