Welcome to the African American Historical Society of Rockland County: Linking/Preserving the Cultures of the African Diaspora (AAHS)
Rockland County is indeed the smallest county in the state of New York, yet its size is magnified by the significant historical history of the people of African descent. The AAHS is the premier organization in the county discovering this little known history, and preserving this information for future generations. The AAHS is dedicated to presenting our findings to the public at–large and making a substantial efforts to bring this history to school children who would more than likely never learn of the contributions of the people of color who once lived within their own communities.
Among the pioneers and founders of Rockland are free and formerly enslaved people of African decent who lived and developed the land under the governance of the Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, later to become New York City. The surrounding mountains and palisades that garnered Rockland its name were also safe havens for fugitive slaves and free blacks seeking refuge from slave masters and the slave owning residents of the county and surrounding areas.
Some residents of African descent were reportedly connected to abolitionists throughout New York and New Jersey, helping to protect and safeguard runaways along the precarious road to freedom. Later, African Americans would develop self-sufficient communities, build religious institutions, own businesses and large tracts of land, and organize to defeat segregation in addition to entering public office.
Learn more about the work of the African American Historical Society and our commitment to link and preserve the cultures of the African Diaspora. Our objective is to uncover this hidden history, preserve and share this knowledge with our local and global communities. Come back to our website often to see what new historical gems that have been unearthed.