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Black Gotham Experience walking tours bring you into a reconstructed New Netherland and British New York. Participants witness the impact of the African Diaspora on the making of New York City and the birth of the United States of America through real people whose images have been erased. Insight and empathy allow emotional connections to these character-based stories that stay with you after the tour ends.  In addition to private tours, we also offer speaking engagements for organizations.

What people are saying

Droga5 Team

Droga5 Team

/ Droga5

As we stood on the waterfront, and Kamau eloquently relayed the tales of ships coming into the port and brought to life the topography of NYC at the time, I was truly transported. He didn't just give a tour, he provided a historical experience. The tour was quite an eye opener. I have lived in NYC all my life but the school system failed to mention the historic details pertaining to how NYC was settled and the role it played in the slave trade.

Sabine Bernards

There is a way that Kamau teaches history that is, in itself, an act of rebellion - history as stories of individuals whose lives we learned about, stepped into, and empathized with during the tour. I came away from the tour thinking critically about race, class, and revolution - who leads it, who works together for it, and what forces work together to stop it. Black Gotham Experience changed how I see the streets where I walk everyday on my way to work and makes me wonder, "Why didn't I know this history until now?"

Fall 2016 Tour Goer

I've never seen something like that on a walking tour. It really made the story come alive, which makes sense because it involved people who really, you know, lived.

Summer 2016 Tour Goer

The way we "discovered" the WHYs together made a real difference too. It was cool to learn about this hidden history!

The Tours

Other Side of Wall Street (1609-1680)

Meets 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, and the focus of the first story in our graphic novel series.

Sarah’s Fire (1680 – 1712)

Formerly known as “Caesar’s Rebellion Part I”

Length: 1.5 hrs | Thursdays at 7:30pm | Meet up at the BGX Studio on 192 Front Street in Manhattan

Sarah’s Fire is set in the 18th century of British New York and shares a tale set on the southern tip of the island Manhattan 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 a culture of rebellion. Central to this story is an enslaved woman named Sarah, likely pregnant, who risked her life to fight for freedom.  The fire that she weaponizes will reflect other rebellions taking place on West Indian sugar plantations and will culminate with the first armed Black rebellion in 1712.

Caesar’s Rebellion (1712 – 1762)

Formerly known as “Caesar’s Rebellion Part II”

Length: 1.5 hrs | Fridays at 7:30pm | Meet up on the stairs at the Museum of the American Indian

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.

Pricing

 

Adults
$30per person
  • For groups of 14 or fewer
  • $360 or 12 person minimum
Adults
$$25per person
  • For groups of 15 or more
College Students
$$25per student
  • For groups of 14 or fewer
  • $300 minimum
College Students
$20per student
  • For groups of 15 or more
K-12 Students
$20per student
  • For groups of 14 or fewer
  • 1 adult per 10 children required
  • $225 minimum rate
K-12 Students
$15per student
  • For groups of 15 or more
  • 1 adult per 10 children required

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Have more questions?  Email us at blackgotham (at) kamaustudios.com