Just in time for the upcoming Black History Month, Village Preservation has developed a new, four-part course on African American history for middle school students as part of our Children’s Education Program.
This remote Zoom course focuses on local, citywide, national, and global themes and movements. It looks at the Dutch origins of slavery in New York, its evolution under English and American rule, and its eventual abolition; how voting rights and other civil rights evolved and were won by and for African Americans in our city; the flowering of African American culture in New York and especially in Greenwich Village, and how it reflected and affected African American lives and communities; and more.
Did you know that the first non-Native American settler of New York was Juan Rodriguez, a man of partial African descent who arrived here in 1613 and served as an interpreter and interlocutor for the Dutch in relations with Native Americans, 11 years before New Amsterdam was founded?
Did you know that over 100 years before Rosa Parks, a 24-year old black school teacher was removed from a streetcar on her way to church in the East Village because of her race, sparking massive protests involving leaders like Frederick Douglass and helping to lead to the desegregation of public transit in New York in the 19th century?
Did you know that the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization was founded in our neighborhoods, and that many of the first national campaigns against lynchings, voter disenfranchisement, employment and housing discrimination, and defamatory media representations were led here in the early 20th century?
Did you know that one of the most expensive paintings ever sold was the work of a Black and Puerto Rican artist who went to school, lived, worked, and painted in our neighborhoods in the 1980s?