Long Island 250 Commission seeks to include Native Americans, African Americans in celebration of American history

The commission will be made up of local historians and representatives from the five Indian Nations and the African American history community.

Jun 14, 2023, 10:08 PM

Updated 304 days ago

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The Nassau and Suffolk county executives signed an executive order Wednesday to plan an inclusive commemoration of the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution.
They are calling it the "Long Island 250 Commission," and it will be made up of local historians and representatives from the five Indian Nations and the African American history community.
Brenda Simmons, of the Southampton African American Museum, says the contributions of African Americans in the American Revolution are missing from the story.
"There were Black people who fought in the Revolutionary War, but totally overlooked," Simmons says.
Sandi Brewster-Walker, of the Montaukett Native American Nation, says when looking at the Long Island history books, Native Americans are "left out or erased from the history."
The Long Island 250 Commission seeks to change that as the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence approaches in 2026.
Brewster-Walker hopes to highlight the contributions and sacrifices made by Native Americans during the American Revolution.
Simmons says she plans to share stories of about 5,000 Black soldiers in the Continental Army who fought in every major battle of the war.
"I personally love learning other people's culture and I love sharing my culture, so it's a great opportunity," Simmons says.
The Long Island 250 Commission is holding a contest for the logo design for the upcoming commemoration.


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