The African American Museum of Nassau County, NY

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    African American Museum of Nassau County, Hempstead, NY.

    Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
    ••• African American Museum, Hempstead, NY. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    The African American Museum of Nassau County, located in Hempstead, NY on Long Island, was opened in its original location on Main Street in 1970. Since 1985, the museum has been housed in a 6000-square foot space and features paintings, drawings, sculpture, photographs, textiles and more that highlight African American art, history, and culture.

    The African American Museum of Nassau County features a series of changing exhibits and programs and workshops in its facility. The museum also houses the African Atlantic Genealogy Society which holds workshops and instruction in individual research in family genealogy.

    The E-Learning Program helps users to conduct Internet research of particular interest to African Americans.

    The museum also features an auditorium and a tea room with special teas and desserts to enhance the visitor experience.

    In 2005, the African American Museum was the recipient of the Museum Preservation Award by American Legacy Magazine. The museum was one of only 10 such...MORE venues honored for their commitment to preserving African American culture and history.

    Best of all, this exciting museum is FREE, although visitors may give voluntary donations if they wish.

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    Eubie Blake's Piano at the African American Museum of Nassau County

    Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
    ••• Eubie Blake's piano, African American Museum, Hempstead, NY. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    One of the highlights of the museum is a grand piano once owned by acclaimed musician Eubie Blake. The ragtime composer and piano player was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1883, and even as a young boy, he showed an aptitude for music.

    In 1915, he met Noble Sissle and the two collaborated on songs like I'm Just Wild About Harry and Love Will Find A Way, which were later included in the hit Broadway musical Shuffle Along, which opened to widespread acclaim in 1921. The show jump-started the careers of the likes of Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker and others. Blake also worked with others, including Andy Razaf on their Memories of You.

    The exuberant ragtime and early jazz musician performed even into his nineties. Blake passed away in 1983 and is buried in Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY.

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    African American Museum of Nassau County - Wall Hanging

    African American Museum, Hempstead, NY - wall hanging
    ••• African American Museum, Hempstead, NY - wall hanging. Photo G Linda Tagliaferro

    The museum features artwork and textiles, including this colorful wall hanging from Kenya.

    In addition to its changing artistic and cultural exhibits, the museum sponsors community events such as Black History Month celebrations and special educational programs themed around the lives of noted African Americans including Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and others.

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    African Sculpture of a Woman at the African American Museum of Nassau County, NY

    Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
    ••• African sculpture of a woman, African American Museum, Hempstead, NY. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    With changing exhibits of inspiring artwork, the African American Museum of Nassau County features sculptures like this gracefully carved sculpture of a woman's torso. Most of the sculptures featured at the museum were created by the Shona, a group of people populating parts of the African nations of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

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    African Art at the African American Museum of Nassau County, NY

    Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
    ••• African art, African American Museum, Hempstead, NY. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    The museum also features changing exhibits of African artwork, including sculpture and other artistic objects created by the Shona people of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

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    Robert Carter Painting at the African American Museum

    Robert Carter painting at the African American Museum, Hempstead, NY
    ••• Robert Carter painting at the African American Museum, Hempstead, NY. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    In addition to exhibits of traditional African art, the museum also features contemporary paintings including those of Robert Carter. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Robert Carter is currently a professor of art at Nassau Community College, where he teaches drawing, painting and design.

    Bible Study, shown above, was painted by Robert Carter in mixed media and the painting features unique three-dimensional elements that enhance the traditional two-dimensional qualities of most paintings.

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    The Tea Room at the African American Museum, Hempstead, NY.

    Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
    ••• African American Museum, Hempstead, NY - Cafe. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    After viewing the artwork, visitors can relax in the tea room, which features a new specialty tea every day. Past teas-of-the-day have included freshly-brewed White Truffle Tea and Strawberry Passionfruit. Sit back in a cozy setting and enjoy piping hot beverages like these with one of the many decadent desserts, including scones and tasty cookies, on sale in the tea room.

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    Mosaics at the African American Museum's Tea Room

    African American Museum - wall mosaics
    ••• African American Museum - wall mosaics. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro
    The sunlit Tea Room at the African American Museum in Hempstead, NY, features festive mosaics on the walls. Created by museum director David D. Byer-Tyre, the brightly-colored mosaics create an inviting atmosphere for visitors who wish to spend more time at the museum after walking through its 6000-square feet of exhibit space.
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    The Auditorium at the African American Museum

    African American Museum - auditorium
    ••• African American Museum - auditorium. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    The museum features an auditorium where various programs are held.

    The museum also hosts school groups, Kwanzaa celebrations, storytelling, performances, Women's History Month programs and much more.

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    Getting to the African American Museum of Nassau County

    The African American Museum, Hempstead, NY
    ••• The African American Museum, Hempstead, NY. Photo © Linda Tagliaferro

    The African American Museum of Nassau County is located at 110 North Franklin Street in Hempstead, New York. Their website is at aamoflongisland.org/home.htm and their phone number is (516) 572-0730.

    Admission to the museum is FREE, but you are welcome to give a donation if you wish. (There is a charge for groups of 30 or more.)

    Museum Hours: The African American Museum of Nassau County is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Contact info: You can contact museum director David D. Byer-Tyre at dbyertyre@nassaucountyny.gov.