Photos: Southampton African American Museum VIP Reception

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The new Southampton African American Museum (SAAM) held a VIP reception and ribbon cutting to celebrate its historic opening. The grand opening of the museum saw philanthropists, politicians, and artists come together for this historic occasion.

The reception was attended by Co-founder and Executive Director of SAAM Brenda Simmons, Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, Randy Conquest, Board President Nancy Stevens-Smith, Treasurer Stephanie Hill, James Banks, Brenda Stuart-Luke, Stephen Luke, Suffolk County Legislator Brigette Fleming, Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jason Richberg, Theresa Santoro, Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, Jay Herschenson, Martin Shafiroff, Susan Taylor, Khephra Burns, Artist Siamak Samii, Dede Gotthelf of the Southampton Inn, and Peter Marino.

The ceremony began with a brief history of the museum and the space it occupies. The presentation started with Brenda Simmons, followed by many public officials expressing their support and the importance of the museum. Afterwards, Jean Shafiroff — philanthropist, donor and volunteer fundraiser for the museum, who donated $10,000 and raised another $20,000 — spoke and asked those in attendance to help with the fundraising efforts. Professor and author of the book, “Cutting Along the Color Line Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America,” Quincy Mills, was the keynote speaker for the evening. Flutist Dwayne Kerr supplied the music.

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