New City, NY, – County Executive Ed Day and Human Rights Commissioner Constance Frazier hosted an Unveiling Ceremony for the Rockland County Thurgood Marshall Human Rights Monument with community members and local elected officials at Dutch Garden, 37 South Main Street in New City.
“This Monument has been many years in the making and pays tribute to a man who played a direct role in the course of Rockland County and American history. After founding the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in 1940, Marshall fought tirelessly to end ‘separate but equal’ structures for white and black people across our country,” said County Executive Day.
Long before Thurgood Marshall argued the well-known Brown v. Board of Education case in 1952 and 1953, he worked in Rockland to integrate the Hillburn School system. In 1943, Marshall worked with Hillburn’s black community to file a petition against the local school board and successfully appealed to the New York State Board of Education to end segregation of the Village’s elementary schools.
“Today is a landmark in the history of the County of Rockland, and each of you who are present today, will become part of that legacy. I want to personally thank everyone for making a dream become a reality, that will live on long after we are gone,” said Human Rights Commissioner Constance Frazier.
The following words, attributed to Thurgood Marshall, are etched on the black marble, which is the backdrop of for the Monument, “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”
“Here in Rockland, he will be remembered for bringing an end to one of the last formally segregated schools in New York. His fight in Hillburn is a crucial part of our history, and his legacy is something we must all be reminded of. Justice Marshall is a fitting example for how we must continue to fight for equality across Rockland and around our country,” said County Executive Day.
The entire ceremony was live streamed on the Rockland County Government Facebook page and is available for viewing here: https://fb.watch/8ctxPytzCn/