Black History in Greenwich Village: Session 4 – Evolution of Arts, Culture, Activism and The Fight for Civil Rights 1954 – 2020

In Session 4 of this series, we will travel from the mid-20th century to the present. The program will begin with a summary of the people, places, protests and laws that have shaped and influenced Black History in Greenwich Village between 1954 and 1965 – a key period in the American civil rights movement between the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling and the passage of the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts. From street activism to revolutionary performance spaces, the lives and work of Black Americans in Greenwich Village will be celebrated and shared, giving even greater context to the impact of Black Americans on our communities and society. Examples include Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King’s right hand and the organizer of the watershed 1963 March on Washington, who began his life as an activist after being exposed to the radically integrated and politically charged environment at legendary Village club Cafe Society.

We’ll look at how events and locations in Greenwich Village helped to keep a spotlight on civil rights and the great societal strides made in America thanks to Black Americans who lived, worked, and created art here.

Black History in Greenwich Village Series – Winter 2023

This four session series explores the history of the black presence in the Greenwich Village area of New York City from 1600-2020. Join Village Preservation as we outline the history of African presence in Lower Manhattan. 

The program begins with a conversation 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. The series will discuss the children and descendants of the first Africans in America. These descendents owned property in Manhattan, built churches and schools, and created their own culture. Learn about Black Americans from our neighborhoods who fought in the Civil War, participated in the Underground Railroad, and were members of the abolitionist movement. 

As we move into the 19th century, we’ll share history, arts, culture, and activism of Black communities in New York City and Greenwich Village. Many critical threads of the movement for black civil rights in America over the last 175 years run through or have roots in Greenwich Village. This rich history and deep impact will be explored, and we’ll bring you through the 21st century. Discover the impact of Africans and Black Americans on the art, history, culture, and activism of Greenwich Village from 1600 to today. 

Each of these free sessions will be held via zoom and requires pre-registration. Check out the individual sessions for additional details about the content covered at each webinar. For this special series, we ask that registrants be present to participate. A recording of these sessions WILL NOT be shared with registrants nor the public after the session is held. 

Note: All Village Preservation programs are designed to explore preservation, history and culture in a safe and welcoming environment. We cultivate a community that celebrates diversity, includes all people, and respects the identities of all participants. We expect participants to be respectful and reflect these values in their participation. Anyone who threatens, intimidates, uses hateful language, or participates in harmful behavior may be asked to leave a program and/or not participate in future programming. 

Find additional details and register to for Sessions 1 – 3 visit these links:

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Monday, May 22, 2023
6:00 pm

Black History in Greenwich Village Series – Evolution of Arts, Culture, Activism and The Fight for Civil Rights 1954 – 2020

Session 4: Monday, May 22, 2023

6:00pm ET


Zoom Webinar

Pre-Registration Required