The graphic novel series are works of historical fiction that visually thread a continuous line from the west coast of Africa in the early 17th century to the dawn of the archipelago metropolis of New York City at the end of the 19th century. They connect three centuries of African Diasporic history before Harlem becomes the epicenter of Black American culture.
Our creative process offers a response to the gaps in the Black Diaspora’s visual and spoken history. We cast people of today to become forgotten people of the past. We select designers to create fashion inspired by their time. We have photo shoots with the cast in costumes and add illustrations to remake a past world. Lead creative Kamau Ware works with our Design Team, Fashion Team, and Cast to build a new visual language that showcases the African Diaspora’s impact on New York City.
The first story in the series, Other Side of Wall Street, is being released as chapters. This important story lays the foundation for the graphic novel series, looking deeply into the world of Black people who survived and escaped slavery, then built a town of farmers stretching from today’s east and west village. You can order the preview edition (limited quantities) today, along with art from the graphic novel. Join an Other Side of Wall Street walking tour on Saturdays at 7:30pm.
Other Side of Wall Street (1609-1680)
Length: 1.5 hrs | Saturdays at 7:30pm | Meet up at Washington Square Park under the Arch at 5th Avenue
The first story in the trilogy starts in 1643 with the beginning of a small town known as Land of the Blacks right outside the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. By 1655, the Land of the Blacks was over twice the size of SoHo today and it continued to exist after the British took the island from the Dutch, making it the first free Black community in New York. This walking tour explains how this community started, how it functioned, and how it continued to exist into the 18th century. The creation of this overlooked Black town is the foundation to the Black Gotham Experience.