Southampton African American Museum

CCE is celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth by highlighting some of the great work the Black community has done throughout Suffolk County all month long.

Today, we’re doing something a little different and focusing on a Black-owned nonprofit in Suffolk County. The Southampton African American Museum (SAAM) was created in 2005 as a way to preserve “The Barbershop,” a local meeting place for the Black community during the 1940s. Southampton residents Gloria and Bonnie Cannon and Brenda Simmons came together to speak with Town Supervisor Linda Kabot about creating a museum to showcase African American culture both on Long Island and throughout the country. Once approved, it was given the name of African American Museum of the East End and Center for Excellence (AAMEE). In 2008, it was granted nonprofit status, and they changed their name to today’s name of SAAM in 2014.

Over the years, SAAM has hosted several exhibits showcasing the accomplishments and history of the Black community. They have had displays about Black inventors, Black-owned beauty parlors and barbershops, and artwork created by Black artists. They’ve also established the Annual Black Film Festival and Spoken Word Live Jazz events, showcasing Black artists and their work for the community to experience.

SAAM continues to do great work in educating and celebrating Black culture not only in Southampton but across the country as well. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and learn more about the great contributions the Black community has made in our society.

For more information about SAAM, visit

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Last updated February 8, 2022