Updated 09/16/2012 05:29 PM
African American Day Parade Thrills Harlem Onlookers
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African Americans celebrated their culture Sunday during a parade through Harlem.
Dignitaries, entertainers and about 20 floats took part in the 43rd annual African American Day Parade, which ran along Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard from 111th Street to 136th Street.
Tens of thousands of people watched what organizers say is the largest African-American parade in the country.
This year's grand marshals included former Governor David Paterson, former Mayor David Dinkins and District Council 37 Director Lillian Roberts.
"The one thing about this parade is that the music is just as important as the heritage and the character of the parade. It's really the spiritual glue," said a participant.
"Being proud and African-American means that each and every one of us has the responsibility for the community, not to just sit back and whine, but to put input, active input, in the community," said an onlooker.
Before the parade, Assemblyman Keith Wright hosted a breakfast at the Harlem Tavern where some notable African Americans were honored.
The honorees included Harlem Youth Marines director Gregory Collins, Harlem Hospital Chief of Staff Sylvia White and former New York Knicks player John Starks.
Congressman Charles Rangel attended both the breakfast and the parade.