Author Mark Torres Explores LI Migrant Camps & The Center in Bridgehampton Lecture

Mark Torres and his book "Long Island Migrant Labor Camps: Dust for Blood"
Mark Torres and his book “Long Island Migrant Labor Camps: Dust for Blood”
Courtesy BHCCRC

The Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center, aka The Center, is offering a lens into the foundation’s history and how it came to be such a vital resource for, but not limited to, the lower income African-American and growing immigrant populations in Bridgehampton and surrounding communities. On Friday, June 11 at 4 p.m., author and attorney Mark Torres will be speaking at the First Baptist Church in Bridgehampton about his 2021 book, Long Island Migrant Camps: Dust for Blood.

As part of The Center’s 2022 Thinking Forward lecture series, “Equality Matters in the Hamptons,” Torres will discuss his recent work exploring Long Island’s 1950s and 1960s migrant camps in a talk called “The Center’s History Uncovered,” looking at the details of suffering inhabitants, how the camps began and ended, and the efforts to diminish them.

Other upcoming lectures in The Center’s series include “The Politics of it All” and “Well, Well, Well,” addressing political and health issues affecting minority, working-class and poor families, as well as “Straight Talk, Real People” where community members will discuss their professions and lives.

Founded on the quest to create a safe place in the area following a fire in a migrant camp, which killed two children of migrant workers, The Center is continuing to share and study their background. What once started as a reaction to a tragic event, has become a place for educational enrichment as well as a resource for parents seeking childcare.

“We are so grateful to author Mark Torres for helping uncover our history. We now know the names and ages of the children that died in the fire that inspired the community to come together and create a safe place for children in 1950,” The Center’s executive director, Bonnie Michelle Cannon, said in announcement about the event. “We are providing positive and inspirational role models for our children, teens, and adults. These talks help create deep and open conversations around racism, stereotypes, and inequalities. The only way that we are going to come together is to learn more about each other and to spend time with each other.”

This conversation regarding The Center’s past will be moderated by Reverend Tisha Dixon Williams. It is free to attend, but attendees must register online at

For more information about the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center, visit

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