Hempstead commemorates Black history

Celebration by town officials recognizes fight against oppression


The Town of Hempstead’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 24 was an evening of performance, recognition, education and inspiration. Deputy Town Supervisor Dorothy Goosby coordinated the program, which followed the theme of “Black Resistance” and highlighted “the struggle of African-Americans in fighting history oppression throughout sit-ins, boycotts, walkouts, strikes and more.”

The program also focused on the country’s ongoing battle against racism and bigotry.

The event’s keynote speaker was Wilma Holmes Tootle of the Long Island Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Community Service awards were given to Linda Boyce, Charles Nanton, Jonathan Provost, Brandy Watson, Lillian Watson and Ronnie Williams for their acts of volunteerism and contributions to their respective neighborhoods.

Jazaira Polley, 13, was presented the Rise Up Youth Award for her entrepreneurial and educational successes.

Amongst the other honorees were Bishop R.W. Harris and Pastor Novella Harris who both received the Rosa Parks Award. Goosby also acknowledged the Montford Point Marines — the first African Americans to join the U.S. Marine Corps.

The hundreds of attendees enjoyed musical entertainment and a tribute to the life and legacy to Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III. Several African American Town of Hempstead employees were congratulated for their 25 years of service, including Sharon Bagley, Sylvester McCarthy, Perry Quann and Michael Wiggins.