Category Archives: African American History

Racism and Sexism Women’s History Month Exhibition


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Soraida MartinezSoraida Martinez artist of Verdadism paintings and framed giclee fine art prints will exhibit her works at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, during Women’s History Month from March 3 to March 24, 2017.

A reception for the artist will be held Saturday, March 4, 2017, from 2 to 4 pm. All are welcome to meet the artist and have a dialogue on women’s rights, race relations and social justice. Continue reading

New African American Heritage Trail Moves Forward


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robert astorino at the jay heritage centerIn celebration of Black History Month, Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino was joined on February 13th, 2017 by Barbara Edwards, Esq., Chair of the Westchester County African American Advisory Board, at the Jay Heritage Center in Rye, to unveil the new Westchester County Guide to African American History and Heritage and to announce this year’s Trailblazer Award winners. Continue reading

Blacks on US Currency Exhibit at Museum of American Finance


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On Wednesday, February 22, the Museum of American Finance will open “For the Love of Money: Blacks on US Currency,” a traveling exhibit on loan from the Museum of UnCut Funk.

To be featured on currency is among the nation’s highest honors. The Treasury’s latest redesign – which will feature Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill beginning in 2020 – will acknowledge for the first time on paper money the contributions of Black and women’s rights activists in advancing American democracy. There is a longer tradition of honoring such leaders through the creation of commemorative coins, medals and medallions. Continue reading

Exhibit: The African-American Migration Experience


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The Albany Institute of History & Art is partnering with the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, the Capital District Black Chamber of Commerce, and the JAFJR Community Foundation to host a traveling panel exhibition created and curated by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library.

This panel exhibition will be displayed in a public space on the third floor atrium of the Albany Institute of History & Art through March 25, 2017. There is no admission fee to see this exhibition. Continue reading

The Orange Riots of 1870 and 1871


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orange riotIn the 19th century extremely violent conflicts took place between mostly Northern Irish Protestants (Orangemen) and Irish Catholics.  The Orange Riot of 1870 began on July 12 (known as Marching Day in Northern Ireland), when a parade was held in Manhattan by Irish Protestants celebrating the victory at the Battle of the Boyne of William III, the King of England and Prince of Orange, over James II in 1690. Continue reading

The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island


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ben_franklins_worldHow did the smallest colony and smallest state in the union became the largest American participant in the slave trade?

In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Christy Clark-Pujara, an Assistant Professor in the Department of African-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island (NYUPress, 2016), joins us to explore the history of Rhode Island and New England’s involvement with slavery.

You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/118

Continue reading

The New York City Draft Riots of 1863


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A drawing from a British newspaper showing armed rioters clashing with Union soldiers in New York.In September of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation. It would take effect January 1, 1863, and free slaves in areas of the nation still in rebellion against the Union. Despite its limitations, free blacks, slaves, and abolitionists across the country hailed it as one of the most important actions toward full abolition.

To immigrant New Yorkers (principally Irish) the Emancipation Proclamation was confirmation of their worst fears  – that they would be replaced in the labor market by recently emancipated blacks from the South. Continue reading

New Critical Edition of ‘Twelve Years a Slave’


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twelve years a slave bookTwelve Years A Slave (W.W. Norton Critical Edition, 2017) offers the autobiography of Solomon Northup, based on the 1853 first edition. It is accompanied by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Kevin Burke’s introduction and detailed explanatory footnotes.

Solomon Northup was a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, DC, in 1841 and sold into slavery. Northup worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before his release. Continue reading

The 1862 Binghamton Race Riot


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binhampton-ny-1876For a few hours on the night of October 7, 1862 in the village of Binghamton, N.Y., law and order vaporized when a mob of white men attacked black residents, their homes, and their churches. The trigger for this race riot was an interracial fight at the circus in town. According to the Broome Republican, the rioters’ expressed goal was to “clean the negroes out.”

Right after the circus performances ended, “all the colored persons present” were attacked. Many suffered bloody injuries at the hands – and stones and clubs – of 20 to 30 rioters. There was no organized resistance as the victims fled for safety. In addition, there were no arrests, or police presence or response. Continue reading

Buffalo’s Dug’s Dive Riot of 1863


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dugs-dive-buffaloNot much has been written about this civil disturbance that occurred on the afternoon of August 12, 1862 when Irish and German stevedores protested against local dock bosses, demanding increased pay for their work, and preventing others from working however when police responded the rioters overpowered them and Chief Dullard and other members of the force injured.

Ultimately the police regained control of the situation with gunfire wounding two rioters and arresting the ring leaders. Continue reading