Town Honors Remarkable African Americans

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The Town of North Hempstead held its sixth annual celebration of Black History Month on Feb. 4, honoring six outstanding African American residents who have all made a positive difference in their community.

Held at Westbury’s “Yes We Can” Community Center, the event was originally founded by Councilwoman Viviana Russell —herself the first African American woman to serve on the town council—who said that she noticed an immediate need for it as soon as she was first elected to her office.

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Viviana Russell
Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Viviana Russell

“We hadn’t had a Black History Month program in the town, and I felt that it was important that we did,” she said. “We have a very diverse community, so I felt it was important to highlight some of the attributes of the great African American population here.”
Supervisor Judi Bosworth agreed with Russell, noting that the wonderful diversity of North Hempstead is one of its very greatest strengths.

“The African Americans in our town have played such an integral role in its history,” Bosworth said. “Each year, this event takes us back through history and educates us on the great contributions of African Americans on our town and culture.”

The Black History Month celebration’s theme this year was Hallowed Ground: Sites for African American Memories, which delved into several prominent areas within the Town of North Hempstead that hold special historical significance to its African-American residents.

Councilwoman Viviana Russell with Kenneth and Keith Little, sons of the late Mildred Little of Westbury
Councilwoman Viviana Russell with Kenneth and Keith Little, sons of the late Mildred Little of Westbury

The community’s rich African American heritage was also infused into the event through a vast array of musical numbers involving performers from local area schools as well as musicians from the area.

At the end of the eventing, six honorees—chosen by Bosworth and her councilmembers—were presented with citations for their special individual efforts at making their neighborhoods and the lives of the people within them all the more special.

 

 

Russell presented a touching, posthumous citation to Mildred Little of Westbury, someone she said was very near and dear to both her and the Westbury community.

“She passed away at the end of last year, and I thought it only fitting that we honor her today,” she said. “She went to every community meeting, and she felt that for our community to matter, the people had to participate in the process.”

 

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“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” performed by Alyssa Chambers and Josh Hampton
Westbury High School Jazz Ensamble
Westbury High School Jazz Ensamble
Westbury High School Select Choir
Westbury High School Select Choir

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