Four Astoria students won the annual African-American History Month essay contest: Andy Hernandez, Rubaiah Hussain, Fahad Khan and Crystal Lozada.
Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, who hosts the essay contest, also honored 21 eighth-grade students at IS 10 for participating in the annual competition.
They all received Assembly Certificates of Merit, while the winners received gold-embossed Assembly Citations.
“The contributions of African Americans are a vital part of our history and it is especially important to illuminate the hidden figures who made groundbreaking achievements and can inspire us all,” Simotas said. “Your essays were remarkable because of your insights and writing ability.”
Some essays were focused on well-known African American figures, such as Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman.
Others were about unsung heroes, such as Eunice Hunton Carter, the first black woman to receive a law degree from Fordham University. Carter worked as a prosecutor in the Manhattan DA’s office, and helped bring down mafia boss Lucky Luciano.