Black History Month exhibit documents slavery on Long Island

01/29/2011 9:11 AM |

Black History Month will be marked by a special exhibit and lecture presented by Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead.

The small exhibit, “Who Are Our Brethren: Documents of Slavery From the Archives of the Suffolk County Historical Society,” is on view through Feb. 28. It includes archival material documenting slaves’ births, ownership and freedom from the early 1700s to the 1800s. Guests can see a model replica of slave quarters, period slave dolls and a circa 1830 portrait (pictured) of “Tamer,” a free female slave who lived in St. James at the estate of her former owner. The artist was Sheppard Alonzo Mount.

According to “Slavery on Long Island” from the Hofstra University Library, in 1626 11 Africans were purchased in New Amsterdam, and by Revolutionary War times, there were more than 20,000 slaves in New York, including Long Island.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Dr. Sherrill Wilson will give a talk, “Celebrating Freedom,” at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5. The emancipation of African slaves in New York City began officially on July 4, 1827. The slide lecture focuses on the those who were freed, their culture and celebrations of emancipation that went on for more than 50 years, through the end of the Civil War.

Dr. Wilson, an urban anthropologist and ethnohistorian, is the author of “New York City’s African Slave Owners: A Social and Material Culture History. She teaches at Rockland Community College and Long Island University’s Collaborative Learning Center.

Lecture admission is free; registration is requested. Call 727-2881 or e-mail [email protected].



One Comment

  • Keep telling that history:

    Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, where Buffalo Bill Cody meets a Buffalo Soldier, the greatest fictionalized ‘historical novel’ ever written. A great story of Black Military History, the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers. The website is; This is the greatest story of Black Military History…5 stars Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Youtube commercials are: and

    Rescue at Pine Ridge is the story of the rescue of the famed 7th Cavalry by the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers. The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn’t for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of occurred, a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry. This story is about, brutality, compassion, reprisal, bravery, heroism and gallantry.

    I know you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote the story that embodied the Native Americans, Outlaws and African-American/Black Soldiers, from the south to the north, in the days of the Native American Wars with the approaching United States of America.

    The novel was taken from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn’t like telling our stories…its been “his-story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman, James Whitmore Jr. and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with.

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for the United States Postal System in Montana, in the 1890’s, “spread the word”.