Black History Month 2019 - Series Information

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February is Black History Month. Each week, News 12 highlights a Long Island resident or group that made a difference in black history.

Feb. 4 - Integration of Long Island's Volunteer Fire Service
On Long Island, there is a long history of volunteer fire service. The integration of these storied institutions was difficult and faced much opposition. Aspiring black firemen were kept from serving by all-white departments. White firemen who advocated for the admission of blacks into departments were forced out and activists picketed departments. News 12 speaks with firefighters who broke the color barrier in their departments and made history.

Feb. 11 - History of Spinney Hill
Spinney Hill was an African-American enclave on the North Shore in what is now Great Neck and Manhasset. The Lakeville AME Zion Church was founded in the 1820s by freed slaves. After an urban renewal project in the 1980s, many of the area's black-owned businesses and residents were pushed out. News 12 speaks with former residents about the area's significance.

Feb. 18 - Soul Food Restaurant Closes Its Doors
Southern-style restaurant, LL Dent, in Carle Place will close its doors after 13 years. Leisa Dent, who owns LL Dent with her mother, Lillian, said their restaurant would close at the end of February. Their lease was up and rising food and labor costs are a few reasons cited. Leisa runs the kitchen, and Lillian is the hostess with the mostess. Their southern-cooking has been a Long Island staple.

Feb. 25 - Dolls of Color
Freeport's April Marius has amassed more than 350 rare African-American dolls. The majority of Marius' dolls are from the 1800s to the 1920s. She owns about 150 Daddy Long Leg dolls, which were introduced in 1989 and retired in the early 2000s. She says there's no tags on the dolls, so you have to research to see where they come from. Marius' purchases are not guided by aesthetics or popularity. She's sold strictly on inspiration. Marius has not restored any of the dolls in her collection. She says it destroys the value of the item.


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