2019 - 20

Preserving Westchester’s African-American Heritage

On Saturday, September 28, 2019, JHC joined with fellow members of the African American History in Westchester 400th Commemoration Committee to host a tour and photo exhibit about our County’s vibrant Black history.

Dave Thomas, Founder of  the Friends of the African-American Cemetery in Rye  shared updates about remarkable restoration efforts and new research at the unique National Historic Register burial ground on North Street where many Black families from Mamaroneck, Rye and Port Chester have been interred since 1860.

The tour was followed by an opening reception at the Jay Heritage Center and an exhibit of breathtaking historic late 19th and early 20th century photos. Descendants of the families memorialized at the cemetery welcomed questions about their own journeys and genealogical research .  Both the Rye African-American Cemetery and the Jay Estate have been member sites of Westchester County’s African-American Heritage Trail since 2004. The day was a culmination of many years of partnership between the two non-profits. Read more about the exhibit here.

Photos courtesy of Carol Ubosi nee Smith and the Robinson and Lockley families. Thank you to Con Edison for supporting this program.

Learn more in this Video by Historian Dr. Larry Spruill