Honored Veteran To Discuss Greenburgh's Black History

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Olivia Hooker, an honored veteran and 60-year Greenburgh resident, will talk about the African American community's cultural history in Greenburgh on Tuesday. Photo Credit: nysenate.gov

GREENBURGH, N.Y. —The Greenburgh Public Library will host honored veteran Olivia Hooker in observance of Black History Month.

Hooker, 98, is a survivor of The Tulsa Race Riot. She will discuss the achievements and history of the town's African American community.

Hooker will join Sarah Bracey White, director of Greenburgh's Arts and Cultural Committee, to discuss nearly a century's worth of African American history.

Hooker has been driven to be educationally and socially involved with the community since she experienced The Tulsa Race Riot — one of the worst racial riots in the country's history — when she was just six years old, White said.

"She has seen these changes happen. She knows so much," said White about the 1921 riots that killed more than 300 people. "And I want to let her talk to the community about the changes she's seen in Greenburgh."

Hooker, who was also the first African-American female officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, has been a Greenburgh resident for 60 years. Beside White, a resident of 30 years, the two will share how they've seen racial and social issues develop throughout the town, along with how the government, library and school systems have changed.

White said she hopes people will come to learn about the town they live in and how issues have evolved to where they are today.

"There is a strong history of how blacks built a community here when they were not welcome in other places," said White about Greenburgh. "It's important to look back in Black History Month to remind ourselves what came before us."

International Adventure Series: African American Women in Greenburgh will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenburgh Public Library.

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