Hempstead school rich in civil rights history pays homage to founder

For 50 years, Alverta Banks Gray Schultz fought for equal opportunities in education.

News 12 Staff

Feb 24, 2020, 1:57 PM

Updated 1,549 days ago

Share:

A school in Hempstead bears a long name and is rich in civil rights history.
For 50 years, Alverta Banks Gray Schultz fought for equal opportunities in education.
It was 1933 when Schultz moved from her native Virginia to Hempstead and became one of the founders of the Nassau NAACP.
She made her living as the owner of a beauty shop and cosmetology school, but changing the makeup of Hempstead's Prospect School became her passion project.
Back then, Prospect School on Peninsula Boulevard was attended by all black students, while other schools in the district were all white.
Schultz also saw an injustice in the district's hiring policy.
The desegregation of Hempstead schools also began in the late 1950s, thanks in part to Schultz's activism.
In 1984, the district named the school "Alverta B. Gray Schultz" in recognition of her fight for equal rights.
Schultz also became one of Nassau County's first African-American officials when she was appointed to the Hempstead Housing Authority.
She passed away in 1990 at the age of 86.
Picture is of Alverta Banks Gray Schultz. Credit: Newsday
Nassau County's Senior Citizen of the Year in 1980, Alverta Gray Schultz, 76, chats with Hempstead Supervisor Francis T. Purcell. Schultz was honored for her 50 years of community service, including being a founding member of the NAACP, establishing an employment agency for older persons, and testifying at public hearings as an advocate of the elderly.


More from News 12