Momentous Occasion - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1791724

Momentous Occasion

The Southampton African American Museum grand opening on Juneteenth was indeed a kairos moment — to reach the 70 percent goal, allowing all COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted, and President Biden signing the Juneteenth bill, creating a new federal holiday commemorating end of slavery in the United States.

Siamak Samii, the phenomenal architect of this magnificent building, brought to light that through all the long 16 years of struggles and setbacks, this was the “divine appointment time.”

List of thank yous:

SAAM board members: Nancy Stevens-Smith, Stephanie Hill, James Banks, Brenda Stuart-Luke and Stephen Luke.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, Town of Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Village of Southampton Mayor Jesse Warren. Special thanks to Governor Cuomo and representatives. Very special thanks to Peter Marino and staff.

Professor Jennifer Anderson, Professor Mark Chambers (Stony Brook University), Professor Quincy Mills, philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, the Southampton Association, Seafield Center, Tom Edmonds and all the volunteers (you know who you are). All the village people (and you know who you are). You were there for me at every turn. Above and beyond.

Fowler’s Garden Center, Araiys Design, Perry Guillot, Staples, Duck Walk Vineyards. Special thanks to Mary Godfrey and staff. Heart and Soul, Certain Moves, Dwayne Kerr. And also very special thanks to Hope Dorsey Crystal and Gail Seymore (grandchildren of Emanuel Seymore) for all your precious personal donations of “Poppy’s” radio and official documents.

My sister Janie Williams, my daughter Tiana and granddaughter Nylejah, and my dear friend Deborah Ballard for taking care of me. And to everyone who came to celebrate this momentous and historical occasion.

“One Love.”

Brenda Simmons

Co-Founder/Executive Director

Southampton African American Museum

Southampton Village