Tag Archives: African American History

Women’s Rights National Park Marking Juneteenth


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Wesleyan ChapelThe Women’s Rights National Historical Park is set to commemorate Juneteenth on Friday, June 15th and Saturday, June 16th.

In the midst of The Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared all enslaved persons in most Southern States freed effective January 1, 1863 with The Emancipation Proclamation. Planters and other enslavers migrated to Texas to escape the fighting, subsequently greatly increasing the enslaved population there prior to the end of the Civil War. The enslaved people of Texas, most of whom were geographically isolated, were read the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865. The celebration that ensued has been known thereafter as Juneteenth. Continue reading

African Americans in Times of War, Utica Feb 3rd


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John Hilton Recieves Soldiers MetalThe Oneida County History Center has announced “African Americans in Times of War,” a program celebrating Black History Month, is set for Saturday, February 3rd from 1 to 3 pm.

The Oneida County History Center will join the Utica/Oneida County Branch NAACP to celebrate and honor African American Veterans. Guest Speakers will include Ms. Pauline Bright, Mr. John Harrison, and Mr. Edward Jackson all of Utica, and Mr. Herbert Thorpe of Rome. These individuals will present a brief summary of their experiences in the military and its relationship to the theme “African Americans in Times of War. In addition, there will be a tribute to African American Veterans, performances, and light refreshments. Continue reading

Harlem Preservation Conference April 29th


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harlemOn Saturday, April 29, twelve community-based organizations will host a day-long forum titled “Harlem and the Future: Preserving Culture and Sustaining History in a Changing Environment” (“Harlem and the Future”) that will discuss the changes, the best practices, and the imminent challenges that are affecting Harlem’s social fabric, built environment, and cultural heritage. Harlem’s first historic preservation conference comes at a time of change to this iconic neighborhood.

The conference will begin at 9 am at the City College of New York Spitzer School of Architecture (141 Convent Avenue at 135th Street) and will last until 5 pm with a series of events staged throughout the day. Continue reading

Crossing Broadway, Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City


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Crossing BroadwayIn Crossing Broadway Washington: Heights and the Promise of New York City (Cornell University Press, 2014), Robert W. Snyder explores New York City in the 1970s.

When the South Bronx burned and the promise of New Deal New York and postwar America gave way to despair, the people of Washington Heights at the northern tip of Manhattan were increasingly vulnerable.

The Heights had long been a neighborhood where generations of newcomers — Irish, Jewish, Greek, African American, Cuban, and Puerto Rican — carved out better lives in their adopted city. But as New York City shifted from an industrial base to a service economy, new immigrants from the Dominican Republic struggled to gain a foothold. This was followed by the crack epidemic of the 1980s,  and the drug wars. Continue reading

Events Will Mark 1964 Civil Rights Act 50th Anniversary


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800px-Lyndon_Johnson_signing_Civil_Rights_Act,_July_2,_1964Women’s Rights National Historical Park will offer a special program and kick-off event “1964 Civil Rights Act Revisited” with park ranger Jamie Wolfe and volunteer Harlene Gilbert on June 22 at 11:00 AM in the Wesleyan Chapel.

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Women’s Rights National Historical Park will sponsor a year-long series of programs titled “Keep the Dream Alive” Events. The kick-off program will correspond with the introduction of the most prominent civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. Continue reading

Westchester: The Prophet Matthias and Elijah the Tishbite


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MatthiasLong before the fictional and shocking “Peyton Place” of TV and film fame came along in the late 1950s, and early 1960s there was an actual suburban community where its residents were roiled by rampant scandal, moral and religious hypocrisy and a sensational a murder in their midst.

The year was 1834 and the place was the normally tranquil and bucolic Village of Sing Sing, now called Ossining. Actually, the extremely bad behavior took place just outside of the Village, on nearby farmland where a high-end condominium called “Beechwood” now stands in the Village of Briarcliff Manor, on the southwest intersection of Route 9 and Scarborough Station Road. Nonetheless, due to its proximity, it was the Village of Sing Sing that got the headlines in the “penny press,” and crowds of curious and outraged Villagers flocked to the “New York Road” in front of the farm hoping for a glimpse of the sequestered souls residing in the house. Continue reading

New Yorkers Rejected Black Voting Rights


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 by Alfred R. WaudIn 1846, New York voters rejected equal voting rights for black males by a wide margin — 71% to 29%.

This rejection helped persuade Gerrit Smith to start his Timbuctoo colony in the Adirondacks.  His idea was to get free blacks land enough to meet the $250 property requirement.   (All property requirements were abolished for white males.)

Meanwhile, voters in some parts of New York did support equal voting rights, and voted to end the property requirement that kept more than 90% of free black men from voting.

The North Country showed the strongest support. Continue reading

UGRR Conference: Milestones on the Road to Freedom


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Israel-AME-Church-AlbanyThe 2013 Underground Railroad Public History Conference in the Capital District this year is marking three major milestones: the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago, the death of Harriet Tubman 100 years ago, and the civil rights March on Washington 50 years ago.

The annual conference is the major Underground Railroad gathering each year in New York State.   It will hold sessions in Albany and Troy, starting Friday, April 12, and finishing on Sunday, April 14. Continue reading