Meetings and Events

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Colonial Crossroads – A Concert!
When: 11AM - 3PM, Saturday, June 15, 2024
Where: Fort Montgomery State Historic Site, 690 Route 9W, Fort Montgomery, NY 10922
Discover the vibrant intersection of African and European music in Colonial New York! This interactive musical performance will feature instruments of African origin played in Early America. This fun and family-friendly musical presentation will also illustrate the storytelling prowess of the griot, a key figure in African culture who masterfully recounted village tales accompanied by musical instruments.

Exhibits

When: August 8, 2024 - September 19, 2025
Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor
The Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor Commission is the gateway to resident and visitor experiences about Buffalo’s rich African American history. The Commission illuminates its vibrant neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, people, and institutions, as well as its significant impact on local, national, and international history that brings attention to the resilience of Black communities across our nation. From the Buffalo Anti-Slavery Movement and the Niagara Movement to the Civil Rights Movement and the Jazz Age— leaders in the Corridor understood the importance of democracy and the need for African Americans and women to have the power to vote.
The Voices and Votes exhibition will be presented at The Michigan Street Baptist Church located at 511 Michigan Ave, Buffalo, NY 14203, the oldest church built by African Americans in Buffalo from August 8 to September 19, 2025. For more information about event visit https://nysmuseums.org/Michigan-Street-African-American-Heritage-Corridor.

When: November 28, 2025 to January 9, 2026
Underground Railroad Education Center
Inspired by the reclamation of the voices of the Underground Railroad activists written out of American history, the Underground Railroad Education Center (UREC) seeks to empower multi-age, diverse audiences through education, dialogue, and program experiences to learn about the work of historic justice activists and explore their relationship with us today. Located in the history Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, a headquarters for Underground Railroad activity in the Caption Region in the mid-1850s, UREC places the work of the Black abolitionists in their national and international context and relates their work to today's justice efforts.
The Voices and Votes exhibition will be presented in the newly built Interpretive Center of Underground Railroad Education Center located at 194 Livingston Ave., Albany from November 28, 2025 to January 9, 2026. For more information visit: https://nysmuseums.org/Underground-Railroad-Education-Center


Juneteenth

Juneteenth

Juneteenth
When: 10AM - 12PM, June 19, 2024
Where: Wellesley Island State Park, Minna Anthony Common Nature Center, 44927 Cross Island Road, Fineview, NY 13640
Join us for a look at the history of Juneteenth and the NY State parks and historic sites that had significance in the abolition of slavery. We'll explore some of the interesting music, songs, and artwork that came from the period of slavery. Did you know quilts played a role in the Underground Railroad? We'll create a colorful quilt to take home.
More information.

Juneteenth
When: 10AM - 12PM, June 19, 2024
Where: Wellesley Island State Park, 44927 Cross Island Road, Fineview, NY 13640
Join us for a look at the history of Juneteenth and the NY State parks and historic sites that had significance in the abolition of slavery. We'll explore some of the interesting music, songs, and artwork that came from the period of slavery. Did you know quilts played a role in the Underground Railroad? We'll create a colorful quilt to take home.
More information.

Juneteenth Celebration and Barbecue: John Brown Farm Historic Site
When: 11AM - 4PM, Saturday, June 22, 2024
Where: John Brown Historic Site, 115 John Brown Road, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Barbecue by Papa Duke’s Famous North Country BBQ, free admission to grounds, barbecue $8 per person, fun for families. Amy Godine, author of The Black Woods: Pursuing Racial Justice on The Adirondack Frontier will be a featured speaker.
More information.

Unveiling of “Beacon of Hope” Statue of Harriet Tubman
When: 2PM - 4PM, Friday, July 5, 2024
Where: John Brown Farm Historic Site, 115 John Brown Road, Lake Placid, NY 12946
The Celebration organized by Friends Group John Brown Lives!, and Lake Placid Public Library, with John Brown Farm, will include a presentation by children’s book author and illustrator team Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome! Their book “Before She Was Harriet” will be installed as a STORYWALK® by Lake Placid Public Library, and there will be activities geared for young visitors.
More information.


Past Events

Past Events

Online Lecture: Opening the Way — New Research and Other Items in New York's Black Colonial History
Over the last few years there have been significant advancements in the research and sharing of information on the early years of the establishment of slavery in New York. Along with that work, there has also been a growing wave of information long held within archaeology that is now finding its way into the larger narrative, bringing the presence of African cultural traditions forward as never before. Join NYS Parks Interpreter of African American History Lavada Nahon for a highlights tour of this work as we move towards 2027 and the commemorating of both the legal end of slavery and the arrival of the first men enslaved in New Netherland/New York.

Black Military Service and Contributions throughout New York's History

The Commission hosted a free webinar on April 29, 2024 featuring Nikki Brown Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky, and author of “Private Politics and Public Voices: Black Women’s Activism from World War I to the New Deal” and Anthony F. Gero Historian, author, and co-author of six military history books and over 150 articles on military history, primarily concentrating on the NYS Militia, National Guard and African American soldiers.

Black Religion and African Spiritual Traditions Webinar

The Commission hosted a free webinar on April 5, 2024 focusing on the Contributions of Black Religion and African Spiritual Traditions throughout New York's History. The webinar featured the Rev. Malcolm Byrd, senior pastor at Mother AME Zion Church in Harlem, NY and University of Detroit Mercy Professor Katherine Merriam, who is a scholar of religious studies with a focus on contemporary Islam, race and religion and the anthropology of religion.


Upcoming Meetings

Upcoming Meetings

Check back later for the next scheduled meeting.


Past Meetings

Past Meetings

Established by Governor Kathy Hochul’s Executive Order, the New York State Commission on African American History will bring New Yorkers together through events, scholarly research, and other activities to promote a greater understanding of the experiences and achievements of African Americans and people of African descent to New York State.

November 16, 2022

The inaugural meeting of the New York State Commission on African American History was held on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black History located in historic Harlem, New York. A recording of the public meeting is available on YouTube.

February 9, 2023

The second meeting of the New York State Commission on African American History was held on February 9, 2023 at Philips Hall Manor in Yonkers, New York. Philips Hall Manor provides a unique window into early Colonial era life in New York. However, the building, past exhibits, and lectures did not include the story of all the individuals that lived and worked here. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, a $20 million grant was provided to rehabilitate the site and to include new exhibits that document the story of the indigenous people and enslaved Africans, whose work and trade allowed the Philipse family to prosper during the pre-Revolutionary era. With these exhibits, a fuller picture and history is shared. In addition, on the waterfront near Philipse Hall Manor, an urban heritage garden includes six lifted bronze statues representing the six enslaved Africans living at the manor, who in 1787, were among the first to be freed in the United States — 76 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. A recording of the public meeting is available on YouTube .

March 28, 2023

The third meeting of the New York State Commission on African American History was held March 28, 2023 at University at Albany, Campus Center Ballroom in Albany. The forum highlighted "Black Women Engagement in Our Democracy and Society." A recording of the public meeting is available on YouTube.

June 12, 2023

The fourth meeting of the New York State Commission on African American History was held on June 12, 2023 at Buffalo & Erie County Library. The meeting theme was Looking Back While Moving Forward: Recognizing the long-standing presence, rich contributions, and pride of African Americans in Western New York. A recording of the public meeting is available on YouTube.


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