February 07 2024

Celebrate Black History Month!

The City of Ferndale is proud to recognize and celebrate Black History Month. This month recognizes the historic triumphs and achievements of the Black community. We encourage you to follow along this month with us and Downtown Ferndale as we recognize black leaders—historical figures, community members, business owners, and City staff. We're also extra thrilled, proud, and moved to honor Ferndale's first black Mayor, Raylon Leaks-May. Please join us in this celebration all month long! ❤️💛💚

Mayor Raylon Leaks-May has lived in the City of Ferndale for thirty years and raised her children here. She dedicated many years to the Ferndale School Board before beginning her first term on City Council in 2016—notably the first African American person elected, before her election as the City’s first African American Mayor. Raylon felt her decision to run for Mayor wasn’t only to be the first in her role, but to continue to serve the City government, Ferndale Schools, and the community in a further capacity. "My children get to see this,” said Leaks-May on her recent election. “What I believe is that me being elected shows that Ferndale is open to change. It’s something that has never happened before, and I’m really proud.”

The Pan-African Flag that waves in February is something Raylon brought to Ferndale. The Pan-African flag was created in 1920 to represent the people of the African Diaspora and the black liberation of the United States. The tri-color flag consists of three bands of red, black, and green—red, symbolizing the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry and was shed for liberation; black, symbolizing black people whose existence as a nation (though not a nation-state) is affirmed by the existence of the flag; and green, symbolizing the abundant natural wealth of Africa.

Mayor Leaks-May also comes from a line of historic public servents. Her mother, Sgt. Carole Kimbrough was the first African American Female Sergeant for the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department in 1974.

We're so proud of our Mayor and can't wait to see her amazing legacy live on! We look forward to all that she'll bring to the City in the next few years.