Hempstead To Host Virtual Black History Month Celebration

Harriet Tubman, in recognition of her 200th birthday, will be honored at the virtual event. (Photo courtesy Horatio Seymour Squyer via Wikimedia Commons)

Hempstead Town Senior Councilwoman Dorothy L. Goosby will host a virtual celebration of African-American history at 6 p.m. on Feb. 25 that will include the Community Service Award presentations to local residents, recognition of African-American employees who have 25 years of service to the Town of Hempstead and feature dynamic speakers and cultural performances.

The national theme for this year’s African American History Month is “Black Health and Wellness.” The event will also feature a tribute to Harriet Tubman in recognition of her 200th birthday.

“I am proud to once again host this annual town celebration of African American history and culture here in America’s largest township,” Goosby said. “It’s fitting that this year’s theme is ‘Black Health and Wellness,’ as Supervisor Don Clavin and I have worked tirelessly to assist communities of color throughout the Town of Hempstead who were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Town of Hempstead African-American History Month Celebration will also feature musical performances, oral history vignettes and a special recognition of the 200th birthday of Harriet Tubman.

Dr. Brian Harper, the vice president for Equity and Inclusion and chief medical officer for New York Institute of Technology, will deliver the keynote address.

“Senior Councilwoman Dorothy L. Goosby is a civil rights icon and trailblazer here in America’s largest township, and I am proud to join with her to hold this virtual African American history event,” Clavin said. “I would also like to congratulate this year’s Community Service Award recipients, as well as the town employees who have reached 25 years of dedicated service. We encourage all residents to watch this virtual celebration on Feb. 25.”

In October 2021, Town Hall Plaza was renamed Senior Councilwoman Dorothy L. Goosby Plaza in recognition of her more than 20 years of service to the Town of Hempstead. In 1988, Dorothy Goosby—then a private citizen—filed a lawsuit against the Town of Hempstead, stating that its at-large voting system for electing town councilmembers discriminated against African Americans and other minority groups who comprised a smaller percentage of the town’s population.

Taking almost a decade to reach a verdict, in 1997 a federal judge ruled in favor of Goosby and her supporters. Following, in 1999, Goosby ran for office and became the first African American woman ever to serve on the Hempstead Town Council. As a result of Goosby’s lawsuit, six councilmanic districts were established over different geographical areas of the township. This allowed for more equal representation of African Americans and other minority groups in the Town of Hempstead government.

The Town of Hempstead African American History Celebration will be posted on the Town of Hempstead Facebook page on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m.

—Submitted by the Town of Hempstead

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