Deputy Supervisor Dorothy Goosby invites residents to attend the Town of Hempstead Black History Month Celebration on Friday, February 24, 2023 at Hempstead Town Hall. Deputy Supervisor Goosby, the first African-American woman to serve on the Hempstead Town Board, has put together an incredible program that will celebrate, educate and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds.
The 2023 theme of Black History Month is “Black Resistance,” highlighting the struggle of African-Americans in fighting historic oppression throughout sit-ins, boycotts, walk-outs, strikes and more. The event will also focus on America’s ongoing battle against racism and bigotry throughout the nation.
“The Town of Hempstead Black History Month Celebration will pay homage to the struggle, activism and heroism of African Americans throughout history,” said Deputy Supervisor Goosby. “I invite all residents, especially families with young children, to attend our event on February 24th to hear incredible stories of our ancestors, culture and way of life.”
The town’s Black History Month Celebration will also include the presentation of Community Service Awards and the Rosa Parks Award, musical entertainment and a tribute the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III. Deputy Supervisor Goosby will also recognize the Montford Point Marines, the first African-Americans to join the U.S. Marine Corps. The event’s keynote speaker is Wilma Holmes Tootle of the Long Island Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Lastly, Deputy Supervisor Goosby will congratulate several African-American Town of Hempstead employees who have reached 25 years of service.
Deputy Supervisor Goosby is not only the longest-serving member of the Hempstead Town Board, she is a civil rights icon in America’s largest township! As a private citizen in 1988, she filed a lawsuit against the Town of Hempstead, stating that its at-large voting system for electing town council members 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. 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 Town of Hempstead government. She has served the residents of Councilmanic District One – encompassing Hempstead, Lakeview, and Roosevelt as well as portions of Baldwin, Freeport, Lynbrook, Rockville Centre, Uniondale, and West Hempstead – since the founding of the district.
In October 2021, Supervisor Don Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board renamed Town Hall Plaza as Senior Councilwoman Dorothy L. Goosby Plaza (Senior Councilwoman was her title at the time), in recognition of her dedication to civil rights and to the residents of America’s largest township.
“The Town of Hempstead is one of the most diverse townships in America, and that is directly attributable to the civil rights activism of Deputy Supervisor Dorothy Goosby,” said Supervisor Clavin. “Because of her efforts, our township continues to be home to a growing population of people from different nations, cultures and backgrounds .. all of whom make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family.”
The Town of Hempstead African American History Celebration will begin at 5 PM on February 24th. You can also watch on the Town of Hempstead Facebook page.