The Trailblazers Advisory Board of Westchester County honored five African Americans for their professional and civic accomplishments at the annual Black History Month and Trailblazers Award ceremony Thursday. The event was held at the historic Jay Property, located at 210 Boston Post Road, Rye. Trailblazers is sponsored by the Office of County Executive Robert P. Astorino, the county Board of Legislators and the county’s African American Advisory Board.
“It is a pleasure once again to sponsor Trailblazers as a way to pay tribute to five of Westchester’s extraordinary African Americans, who have accomplished so much,” said Astorino. “I am especially happy that we are celebrating this year at the Jay Property, such a beautiful and historically significant location. I thank the county’s African American Advisory Board for organizing this great annual event.”The Jay Property, the boyhood home of New York’s only native Founding Father and the nation’s first Chief Justice, John Jay, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1993 as part of the Boston Post Road Historic District. It was also named to the Westchester County African American Heritage Trail in 2004. Jay was a founder and past president of the Manumission Society of New York, which advocated abolition and established schools to educate free African Americans. As governor of New York, Jay signed the Gradual Emancipation Act into law in 1799. The Rye farm was a place of refuge for Jay throughout his career.Barbara L. Edwards, chair of the advisory board, said the Jay Property is an ideal location for the Trailblazers Awards ceremony, which serves to spotlight yesterday’s visionaries and today’s leaders.”Trailblazers embody the same kind of tenacity and commitment to continuing the legacy of our ancestors, while making an indelible impact for future generations,” she said.