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 the 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.