Secrets of the Hollow is a 6 part documentary film series about the hidden Black history of Rockland County. A compelling series attempts to bring the history of African Americans into the full stream of American life. This critical series is an absent chapter in American history is about the human condition, dreams, obstacles, and triumphs of blacks in Rockland County. This series establishes Rockland County, New York, as a pivotal place in American history.

A land developer wanted to dig up the Mount Moor Cemetery bodies, a Negro burial ground, to build a shopping center, a mega mall in West Nyack. Alicia M. Crowe was the attorney for the Mount Moor Cemetery association. She negotiated a compromise that would preserve the cemetery and the rich history and enhance the mall.

We were inspired to make a film series that presents the untold story of blacks in Rockland County. 

For the first time, we reveal the hidden history of blacks in Rockland County since the 1600s. We examine through experts the extraordinary and ordinary background, struggles, and contributions of blacks in Rockland. The film’s name is derived from Skunk Hollow. Free blacks lived in Skunk Hollow, founded by a former enslaved African, Jack Earnest. Skunk Hollow is located near the New York, New Jersey state line that existed sixty years before slavery was abolished in New Jersey. Jack was called Earnest because he was so determined to be free.

Identical twin attorneys Alice and Alicia Crowe take viewers on a personal odyssey to uncover blacks’ hidden history in Rockland County. As they piece together remnants of a community that existed before the Civil War, they gradually discover their own legacy.

This compelling series attempts to bring the history of African Americans into the full stream of American life. This critical story is simply an absent chapter in American history is about the human condition, dreams, obstacles, and triumphs of blacks in Rockland County. The story establishes Rockland County, New York, as a pivotal place in American history.

Secrets of the Hollow is the untold story of the extraordinary and ordinary struggles and contributions of blacks in Rockland since the 1600s. The film’s name is from Skunk Hollow, founded by a formerly enslaved man named Jack Earnest. Skunk Hollow is a community near the New York, New Jersey state line that existed sixty years before New Jersey abolished slavery. Over 100 free black families lived in Skunk Hollow until 1905. They sought a life of freedom, independence, and a place of their own.

Today, thanks to Dr. Jacqueline Holland, author, educator, historian, and co-founder of the African American Historical Society of Rockland County, there’s a marker to identify Jack Earnest’s accomplishments and the Closter Mountain Community. One can see remnants of what once might have been. 

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