Grant Helps Preserve History


Town seeking residents to share their Civil Rights-era stories

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the town board recently received a grant from the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and highlight sites and stories related to the African-American struggle for equality in the 20th Century during the Civil Rights Movement. While many North Hempstead residents, past and present, have been key participants in most major turning points of American History, the Long Island region remains overlooked as a battleground of the Civil Rights Movement.

“Many of our North Hempstead residents have powerful stories of courage, confrontation, triumph, and sorrow throughout the Civil Rights Movement that remain largely untold and entirely unpreserved for future generations,” said Bosworth. “This grant will be a wonderful opportunity for us to preserve those stories for future generations to come.”

The town will receive $50,000 in NPS African American Civil Rights Grant Program funding to film and record the oral histories of the Civil Rights Movement in North Hempstead and surrounding regions to create a digitally accessible library. North Hempstead was one of 39 awards that were made nationwide.

“I am very pleased that we are seeking this grant as it will allow so many of our residents with rich histories to tell their stories and for our residents to explore their ancestor’s roles in the Civil Rights movement which is such an important era that helped to shape the present day community,” said Councilwoman Viviana Russell.

The town will seek to partner with local academic institutions, libraries, historians, and community groups to launch an initiative to record, share, and preserve the oral histories of African-Americans and their allies throughout the Civil Rights Movement. Current residents and former residents who engaged in the Civil Rights Movement will be invited to participate in an oral history interview, which will be recorded and transcribed for a digital collection to be accessible by the town’s website.

The town is asking anyone with a story to tell, to join in the efforts with the town to help preserve and disseminate the stories of their experiences, journeys, and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Call 311 for more information.

—Submitted by the Town of North Hempstead

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