FOIP to host screening of ‘Black Panther’ on Aug. 29

IRVINGTON, NJ — The Friends of Irvington Park will host a screening of the hit movie “Black Panther” in the park on Lyons Avenue on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 7:30 p.m.

“We’ll start the movie as soon as it gets dark,” said Omar Bilal Beasley, a Friends of Irvington Park member who is also involved with Garden State Grand Lodge of Freemasons on Sanford Avenue. “All we’re asking is people bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. I’ll be out there setting up at 6. We’re going to try and do this at least once a month or once every two weeks going forward.”

Beasley said both his organizations engage in charitable activities in town, such as the Friends of Irvington Park Father’s Day Cookout, annual holiday toy drives, school-supply giveaways and the annual pre-Thanksgiving Vegetable Giveaway for seniors and caregivers, in conjunction with Essex County. He said he’s glad to be carrying on the legacy of community service spearheaded by his deceased father, D. Bilal Beasley, a former Municipal Council President, Essex County Freeholder and founder of the Team Irvington social and political group.

Beasley said he’s also glad his sister, Irvington Board of Education member Jamillah Beasley-McCleod, has decided to take a more active role in the “family business” of helping the Irvington community by forming her own civic association. He said she’s carrying on their father’s legacy and doing what comes naturally for members of their family, thanks to the example set for them by their father.

“My father’s blood runs thick through her veins and she felt the need to do that and put it together,” Beasley said of his sister Saturday, Aug. 11, at the annual Unity Day celebration where he and other members of their family were also volunteering. “I support her 100 percent.”

Beasley said he waited for Councilwoman Sandy Jones Jones to get back from vacation to announce the date and time for movie night on Wednesday, Aug. 29, but now that she’s back, he said there’s nothing holding them back from moving ahead with plans for Irvington Park and the Friends of Irvington Park.

“Councilwoman Sandy Jones is my partner and I believe that, in order for a community to come together as one, we’ve got to find a common denominator. When it comes to our annual Father’s Day Cookout, the common denominator is food. When it comes to our upcoming Aug. 29 movie night, the common denominator is movies and films like ‘Black Panther’ that people seem to like. We’re going to do everything that we can and whatever we have to do to promote the park and the good programs and activities that we have available. All we want people to do is come out and have a good time with us … it’s free.”

For more information about the Friends of Irvington Park movie night, call 973-641-4990 or 973-951-3520.