The African American Museum of Nassau County was renamed in honor of long-time Museum Director Joysetta Pearse.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was joined by dignitaries and leaders from the Hempstead community for a ceremony officially renaming the African American Museum of Nassau County in honor of long-time Museum Director Joysetta Pearse, and her husband Julius Pearse, both icons of Black history on Long Island. Joysetta and Julius are founders of the African Atlantic Genealogical Society, which provides rich resources to aide in the research, study and exploration of African American history and genealogy. Joysetta and Julius, who was the first African American Police Officer ever in the Village of Freeport, have both long served Nassau County as leaders in various roles of importance to the community.
A centerpiece of African American history and culture on Long Island since 1970, the African American Museum of Nassau County offers a rotating series of exhibits showcasing local and national African-American artists. The museum is Long Island's only public museum dedicated to the art, history and traditions of the African-American community and was recently granted the Museum Preservation Award by American Legacy magazine, one of only 10 museums to be honored for work done to preserve African-American history and culture.
“Julius and Joysetta Pearse are trailblazing icons of Black history on Long Island, and Nassau is proud to honor their service to our County. We’re grateful to be able to help carry on their legacy by continuing to foster greater understanding and appreciation of African American culture and tradition,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
“I’m so honored to be a part of this auspicious occasion. Thank you to Mr. And Mrs. Pearce for providing the community with education, literature, music and art that has galvanized the people to their pursuit of cultural pride,” said Barbara Powell, President of Hempstead NAACP.
“Joysetta and Julius Pearse are the quintessential keepers of African American history, culture and ancestry in our community. I am overjoyed that the African American Museum will bare their name. Now, our children will understand the impact of their contributions and better appreciate their legacy,” said Town of Hempstead Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.
“The Village of Hempstead is so pleased to celebrate with Julius and Joysetta Pierce as Nassau County changed the name of the African American Musem to honor their long-time work and dedication. In the words of Harriet Tubman, they are “precious cargo” to our community. For many years Julius and Joysetta have dedicated themselves to telling the unknown story of African American History. They have been the keepers of our legacy and today we collectively came together to say “thank you”! What an honor!,” said Village of Hempstead Mayor Waylyn Hobbs Jr.