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.
Caesar’s Rebellion Part I (1680 – 1712)
Length: 1.5 hrs | Thursdays at 7:30pm | Meet up at the BGX Studio on 192 Front Street in Manhattan
The second story in the trilogy starts in 1680 when the port city of New York is serving as the epicenter to the British Transatlantic Slave Trade. Part One of this story is set on an island that is home to the wealthy master class, merchants, pirates, sailors, indentures, prostitutes, free Black people, and enslaved Africans. This walking tour explains how the enslaved and free people of African descent worked together to subvert the system of slavery and define rebellion. Central to this story are several enslaved men by the name of Caesar being brought to the port city of New York from the sugar plantations of the West Indies culminating with the first armed Black rebellion in 1712.
Caesar’s Rebellion Part II (1712 – 1762)
Length: 1.5 hrs | Fridays at 7:30pm | Meet up on the stairs at the Museum of the American Indian
Part Two of Caesar’s Rebellion picks up after the rebellion of 1712 when the political leaders of New York pass more laws to restrict Black movement. The port city of New York has shifting political and class divisions that shape the environment of the enslaved. Although stricter laws have been passed to limit Black life, the population of enslaved Africans continues to increase as does poor European indentures creating a large and loosely organized underclass. The result is another rebellion in 1741 known as “the Great Negro Plot”. Unlike most rebellions in the colonies or West Indies, the conspirators were tried in the New York Supreme Court which was documented in an extensive journal by one of the justices creating an insightful look into slavery, colonial law, class, and politics.