Support for the change of name to our scholarship fund by The East Hampton Star is in this week’s edition. The Trustees wish to thank David Rattray and the editorial staff for giving a nod to an important and timely issue. Many thanks to David and Donnamarie Barnes of @plainsightproject.org, Dr. Georgette Grier-Key of Eastville Community Society in Sag Harbor, and Assemblyman Fred J. Thiele.
The East Hampton Town Trustees are to be congratulated for changing the name of their annual scholarship. After being alerted by the Plain Sight Project, which studies slavery and its legacies on the East End, that William J. Rysam, the scholarship’s namesake, had himself been an enslaver, the trustees spent about a year thinking it over. After weighing the scope of Rysam’s involvement with the slave trade — and the named enslaved individuals he left to family members in his will — they made the only decision possible.