Road to Freedom

Surviving Slavery on Long Island

Long Island Museum reopens with important new exhibition
William Moore Davis, Sharpening the Scythe, 1867. 
In recognition of Black History Month in February, the Long Island Museum will reopen after a brief winter break with Long Road to Freedom: Surviving Slavery on Long Island, a new exhibition running from February 15 through May 27, 2019 in the Art Museum.
Amid the current political division in this country, the Long Island Museum brings to light a time in history when the country was divided in its opinion of buying and selling human beings and keeping them in bondage. From February 15 through 17, the museum will offer free admission for the opening weekend of this important, historical exhibition.
In 1626 Dutch Merchants brought the first group of enslaved Africans to New Amsterdam. When the English took control of the colony in 1664, they made New York a hub of the slave trade.   Over centuries the institution of slavery impacted every community on Long Island. Imported as laborers by European colonists, these enslaved Africans and their descendants performed domestic, industrial and agricultural work, while fighting to maintain a complex cultural heritage.
New York State formally abolished slavery in 1827 after significant opposition from enslaved and free African Americans and their white abolitionist allies. In the wake of the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, legacies of slavery endure on Long Island in how we think about race and relate to one another on institutional and individual levels even today.
Long Road to Freedom will be on display in the Long Island Museum’s Art Museum through May 27, 2019 and will be accompanied by a full-day symposium on March 9.   For more information visit
Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults and children with an understanding of Long Island’s rich history and diverse cultures. Regular museum hours are Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for students 6 -17 and college students with I.D. Children under six are admitted for free. For more information visit
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