Jamaica school named for former mayor Dinkins 1

PS 48 in Jamaica was named for former mayor David Dinkins on Thursday.

Borough and citywide officials joined students and faculty from PS 48 in Jamaica on Thursday to name the building after the city’s first Black mayor, David Dinkins. 

The school, located at 108-29 155 St., will now be known as the David N. Dinkins School for Community Service. 

Mayor Adams spoke about the importance of naming structures and streetways in preserving Black history in the city. 

“Having that name, ‘David Dinkins,’ on top of this school is going to start the process of people asking the question, those who don’t know, ‘Who is David Dinkins?” he said. “That is why the push of naming streets, and buildings, and statues around our city is important because if you don’t make sure you are codified in history, you will be written out of history.”

Many of the officials on hand told of the direct impact Dinkins had on them. PS 48 prinicpal Joan Duvernay said she played, and beat, Dinkins in a tennis match when she was 12.

Borough President Donovan Richards said he was still in elementary school himself when Dinkins was in office, but that it meant something to see a Black man in such a position of power. 

“David Dinkins paved the way for one of you sitting in this audience to be the mayor of the city of New York as well,” he said to the students assembled in the auditorium.

City Schools Chancellor David Banks stressed the importance of reminding students about the legacy of the person for whom the building they learn in was named. 

“I would say to the leadership of the school: It is going to be critically important that you ensure that every young person that comes to this school deeply understands who David Dinkins was,” he said. “It’s not enough to just have his name on the building.

“If the school is going to be named after someone, every year there should be lessons that are taught, not just about that name but about what that life represented,” he added.

Former PS 48 principal Patricia Mitchell, who retired in June, wanted to start on the process of educating the students about the life of the building’s namesake, but when she tried to find children’s books about him, no results returned. So, she took it upon herself to write her own, set to be published in December. 

“Our scholars need to know whose name they’re walking past twice a day, going to and from school,” she said.