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Civil Rights


the civil rights movement in north hempstead

Click below to view the trailer to the documentary ‘Defining Moments: The Civil Rights Movement in North Hempstead’.


upcoming screeningS:


THURSDAY, November 7TH

11:00 AM





Saturday, November 9th

2:00 PM

Soundview Cinemas

7 Soundview Market Pl,

Port Washington, NY 11050

Oral Histories

Explore the oral histories of the people, below, who were witnesses to the Civil Right Rights Movement.

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth introduces us to a collection of oral histories of the Civil Rights Movement in the Town of North Hempstead.

Dr. Hazel N. Dukes is President of the NAACP New York State Conference and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors, a member of the NAACP Executive Committee as well as an active member of various NAACP board sub-committees. Dukes, who previously lived in Roslyn, made history when she became the first black woman to rent an apartment in Roslyn Gardens. She tells her story in her oral history.

Hazel Dukes and Lee Seeman are two activist friends who reconnected and talked about their work in the Civil Rights Movement in North Hempstead.

Bernice Sims, originally of Meridian, Mississippi, was a young civil rights activist during the Summer of Freedom. She relocated to New York in the early 60’s where she continued the fight for equal rights. She is the author of the book Detour Before Midnight: Freedom Summer workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman made an unscheduled stop. She tells her story in her oral history.

During the civil rights movement, Marge Rogatz served as Special Assistant to James Farmer, National Director of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and has been a strong and tireless advocate on issues addressing homelessness, the need for affordable and equitable housing, and the struggle to end structural and institutional racism. She tells her story in her oral history.

Reverend Edward Corley has been pastor at the Mt. Olive Baptist Church for more than 45 years. He and his congregation worked together with Rabbi Jerome Davidson and Temple Beth El to form the Black-Jewish Dialogue. He vividly remembers integrating Plandome Road School in Manhasset for the first time. He tells his story in his oral history.

Rabbi Jerome Davidson, Senior Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth-El, has been a leader in matters of social and communal concern, and has been called a “suburban activist.” He created the Black-Jewish Dialogue program between Temple Beth-El and the Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Manhasset. He tells his story in his oral history.

Lee Seeman currently serves as a council member of the North Hempstead Town Board, representing the 5th District. Council Member Seeman, who worked alongside Hazel Dukes and other civil rights leaders of the day, has a long history of fighting for civil rights, fair housing and equality for all. She is an honorary and lifetime member of the N.A.A.C.P. She tells her story in her oral history.

Bernice Roberts lived in Montgomery, Alabama and moved north when she was just 18 years old. She was employed as a nanny and housekeeper for a family in Westbury. She was very much involved in civil rights issues and she participated in the March on Washington. She tells her story in her oral history.

Alan Reff, a resident of East Williston, describes the racial tension and “Jim Crow” laws of the south that he witnessed as a young enlisted soldier stationed in the South during the Korean War. He tells his story in his oral history.

As a young student at Yale University in the early 1960’s, Peter Kornblum was recruited into the voter registration movement going on in the South. He worked with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and was arrested by local police who objected to the presence of students from the North who attempted to register black voters. He tells his story in his oral history.

As a young man Saul Weinstein learned many lessons from his father about how to treat everyone as an equal. He discusses the history of trying to desegregate Levittown and other areas that were predominantly white. He is currently a member of the local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.