Office of the Manhattan Borough President

City of New York


Whereas: We are proud to acknowledge those individuals and organizations that are committed to improving our city and have enriched the community; and 

Whereas: on July 13, 1643, Catalina and Domingo Anthony became the first two landowners of African descent in the Dutch territories, staking claim to 20 acres in an area of Lower Manhattan that would come to be known as Land of the Blacks as 26 other Black people acquired 110 acres nearby; and

Whereas: exactly 220 years later, white New Yorkers ravaged Black communities during the “Draft Riots,” over the course of four days destroying Black homes and institutions, and while the official death count stands at 11, eyewitnesses reported many more Black people were killed, but not a single rioter was punished for these crimes; and

Whereas: to explore these and other accounts of Black history in New York, Kamau Ware founded Black Gotham Experience in 2010; and

Whereas: since then, Black Gotham Experience has helped reconstruct narratives of the African diaspora and integrate them into collective consciousness through interactive walks, talks, events, and art; and

Whereas: as the wider public comes to confront the city’s racist past, today we commemorate a day of vision, a time to reflect on the events of July 13 in 1643 and 1863 and to imagine what a Black future in New York looks like in the centuries to come; 

Now Therefore, I, Gale A. Brewer, do hereby commend Black Gotham Experience for contributions to the City, and proclaim Tuesday, July 13, 2021, “Black Vision Day” in the Borough of Manhattan.


New York State Senate

Proclamation Declaring July 13 Black Vision Day in the 27th Senate District

Whereas: On July 13, 1643, Catalina and Domingo Anthony became the first two landowners of African descent in the Dutch territories known as New Netherland, which we acknowledge as the unceded lands of the Lenape people; and

Whereas: Catalina’s eight acres and Domingo’s twelve acres were the beginning of what would be known as the Land of the Blacks, which would come to include twenty-six other landowners of African descent in Lower Manhattan; and

Whereas: On July 13, 1863, four days of some of the bloodiest and most destructive rioting in United States history began, that have been misnamed the Draft Riots; and

Whereas: According to the police report. “The riot which commenced on the first day of the draft was ostensibly in opposition to it, but early took the character of an outbreak for the purpose of pillage, and also of outrage upon the colored population”; and

Whereas: In consideration of the depth of Black history that has been missing from our educational institutions, public squares, and collective consciousness, we take this time to cast our vision forward and imagine Black futures for centuries to come; and

Whereas: The Empire State has a tradition of acknowledging significant histories that uplift the cause of freedom; and

Whereas: In observance and commemoration of the historical events of July 13, New Yorkers can remember these histories and use that knowledge to bridge into a brighter future; and

Whereas: It is fitting that all New Yorkers join in the observance of the July 13 holiday to acknowledge and reflect upon and appropriately honor the history, perseverance, and achievements of those first New Yorkers of African descent and the robust communities they created, and affirm New York City’s continuing commitment to realizing the principles of liberty and equality upon which our Nation was founded; and

Whereas: We encourage all New Yorkers to observe this day each year with appropriate ceremonies and activities that celebrate the endurance and determination of Black New Yorkers, broaden public memory of New York City’s African origins, and elevate awareness of the Land of the Blacks, its residents, stories, history, and culture; now therefore, be it

Proclaimed, That I, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, hereby proclaim July 13, 2021, as Black Vision Day in the 27th Senate District.