Inaugural Black Legacy Awards and Juneteenth Awards Dinner held in Hempstead

Most of the honorees at the inaugural Black Legacy Awards and Juneteenth Awards Dinner at the Joysetta & Julius Pearce African American Museum of Nassau County are from Long Island or grew up on the Island.

Thema Ponton

Jun 19, 2024, 3:09 AM

Updated 31 days ago

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Long Islanders are being celebrated at a Nassau County landmark dedicated to preserving the past and showcasing the future - ahead of Juneteenth on Wednesday.
Most of the honorees at the inaugural Black Legacy Awards and Juneteenth Awards Dinner at the Joysetta & Julius Pearce African American Museum of Nassau County are from Long Island or grew up on the Island.
Nigel Gretton, director of Performing Arts at St. John's University, told News 12 that the support he received from his family and community growing up in Hempstead is a big part of the reason he's successful.
"Having amazing role models, wonderful teachers, especially my music teachers, who saw something special in me," said Gretton.
Former New York Gov. David Paterson, who also grew up in Hempstead, told News 12 that he's proud to be celebrating Juneteenth at the museum dedicated to preserving the contributions of African Americans.
"Years ago, Hempstead was called the hub of Long Island, but now it really is the hub of Long Island's culture....it's really very meaningful not only to history, but to people's lives right here in Hempstead to know that they're a part of that change," he said.
The event was hosted by Black Legacy Partners and the Hempstead Branch of the NAACP.
Kestle Bess, the founder and president of Black Legacy Partners, spoke with News 12 about honoring the accomplishments of Long Islanders in the very community they're leaving a lasting mark.
"They have made impacts because, one, yes, they are from Long Island, two, they changed the community, they brought information to the community, they brought wealth to the community, they brought knowledge to the community," said Bess.
Barbara Powell, president of the Hempstead Branch of the NAACP said, "I think it's important that we honor people around us that have made an impact on our lives and the community."


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