The mission of the African American Museum of Nassau County is to educate andpromote understanding and appreciation of African American culture, art and tradition through education, interpretation, exhibitions, collections, and programs for the enrichment of the public; with an emphasis on Long Island.The museum’s vision is to become the outstanding regional resource for African American historical information.
In February 1968, Professor Leroy Leonardo Ramsey set up a Black History exhibit at Nassau Community College, in celebration of Black History Month. At February’s end, the exhibit was left in place (due to popular demand) and Professor Ramsey used his personal collection of artifacts to change the exhibit from time to time.
Before long the exhibit outgrew its space and he established the Black History Exhibit Center in a store front at 106-A Main Street, in Hempstead. In 1984, Nassau County purchased the building at 110 North Franklin Street and Professor Ramsey’s Black History Exhibit Center became the African American Museum of Nassau County and moved into 110 North Franklin in 1985.
AAM is one of only two African American museums in the northeast. (The other African American Museum is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.) AAM’s interior, designed and installed by former Director/Curator, David Byer-Tyre, creates an aesthetic ambiance for a cultural, educational museum experience.
The African Atlantic Genealogical Society, Inc. (TAAGS) became affiliated with the museum in 1998; making the African American Museum unique as the first museum to house a genealogical society that provides workshops and consultations for the community. In 2005, the museum was granted American Legacy Magazine's "Heritage Award for Preservation of African American History and Culture". AAM is one of only ten museums to be so honored.
Under management of TAAGS, since February 26, 2012, the museum provides programming that includes art exhibits and art education, genealogical and historical research, themed exhibits that focus on historical figures and events, reading and discussion programs sponsored by the New York State Council on the Humanities, theatrical and musical programs sponsored by the New York State Council on the Arts. Our Saturday Class schedule includes, Hands-On-Art (for children and adults), English as a second language (ESL), and prep classes for naturalization. AAM is a participating institution of two prestigious annual art festivals, ArtHamptons and ArtMrktHamptons. As an affiliate of the Family Research Library we have access to the millions of genealogical records held by the Church of Latter-day Saints, in Utah.
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