Black History in Greenwich Village: Session 1 – The Geography and History of Early Manhattan 1600 – 1860

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

The Venue

Date: February 27th at 6pm
Location: Virtual

Join Village Preservation for the kick-off of their new Black History in Greenwich Village Series. This content was first developed as a part of their renowned, first-of-its-kind children’s education programs. It was so popular with children, teachers, and parents that they have now developed an adult version of this program to share with our entire community.

The first session will focus on the early history of Manhattan. Beginning with the Native American Lenape presence in New York City, you will explore the lives and impact of the first non-native visitors, residents, and businesses in Lower Manhattan. African American communities in Greenwich Village, such as Little Africa, will be covered as well as the leaders of this community. You’ll learn about the formation of the first free black community in North America, located in our neighborhoods, starting around 1643, whose residents included Manuel Groot, or Big Manuel, Simon Congo, and Manuel de Gerrit de Rues. They’ll discuss the role of the New Amsterdam Director General in affecting the lives of black people in the colony, including free Black men and women in the area of the Village known as the “Land of the Blacks.” 

You will learn about the lives and experiences of people of African descent who were trafficked to New York City through the transatlantic slave trade from the 1620s to 1808. They will look at how slavery was enacted and enforced under Dutch, English, and then American control of New York City. Voting rights under these different controlling interests will also be explored. This session will begin to delve into the history and impact of the rebellion of enslaved people, the manumission process, and the abolition movement.

Learn more here.

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