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Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of by Judith Wellman

By Judith Wellman

In 1966 a bunch of scholars, Boy Scouts, and native electorate rediscovered all that remained of a then almost unknown neighborhood known as Weeksville: 4 body homes on Hunterfly street. The infrastructures and colourful histories of Weeksville, an African American group that had develop into one of many biggest unfastened black groups in 19th century usa, have been nearly burnt up as a result of Brooklyn’s exploding inhabitants and increasing city grid.

Weeksville was once based through African American marketers after slavery resulted in long island nation in 1827. situated in jap Brooklyn, Weeksville supplied an area of actual protection, fiscal prosperity, schooling, or even political strength. It had a excessive fee of estate possession, provided a wide selection of occupations, and hosted a comparatively huge share of expert employees, company proprietors, and execs. population prepared church buildings, a faculty, orphan asylum, domestic for the elderly, newspapers, and the nationwide African Civilization Society. striking citizens of Weeksville, comparable to journalist and educator Junius P. Morell, participated in each significant nationwide attempt for African American rights, together with the Civil struggle.

In Brooklyn’s Promised Land, Judith Wellman not just tells the real narrative of Weeksville’s progress, disappearance, and eventual rediscovery, but additionally highlights the tales of the folk who created this neighborhood. Drawing on maps, newspapers, census documents, photos, and the fabric tradition of constructions and artifacts, Wellman reconstructs the social historical past and nationwide importance of this notable position. in the course of the lens of this area people, Brooklyn’s Promised Land highlights issues nonetheless correct to African americans around the country. 

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Additional info for Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York

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Weeksville’s Origins, from Slavery to Freedom â•…>>â•…47 Weeksville: Family and Work in 1840 By 1840, Weeksville was clearly an established African American community. 9 percent) in Weeksville were African American. Of the three European American families, two were headed by Moses Suydam and Lewis Suydam, Dutch farmers. Three African Americans—two men and one woman—lived in their households. Fredrick R. 80 In 1840, 112 people lived in those twenty-four African American families in the Weeksville cluster.

In 1790, 63 percent of Kings County European American families counted at least one enslaved person in their households. Weeksville’s Origins, from Slavery to Freedom â•…>>â•…37 Of the 1,478 African Americans in Kings County in 1790, only 46 were free. As late as 1820, 879 people still lived in slavery in Kings County. 53 Edgar McManus argued that slavery disappeared in New York State not only because it was morally reprehensible but also because it was increasingly unprofitable for European Americans.

By emphasizing what happened to African Americans instead of what African Americans did for themselves, he painted a picture of passive helplessness instead of active and creative resistance. 54 As soon as slavery ended in New York State in 1827, African Americans organized to promote their own rights. Presbyterian minister Samuel Cornish and Bowdoin College graduate John Russwurm began publication of Freedom’s Journal in New York City, a paper that James Oliver Horton and Lois E. ”55 “We wish to plead our own cause,” said the first editorial.

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