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.
A limited quantity of Other Side of Wall Street Preview Edition copies are now available for order.
The Black Gotham Salon Series
The Black Gotham Salon Series are gatherings held to raise funds, gain friends, and discuss the ideas behind the Black Gotham Experience in an intimate setting. Each salon is hosted by a champion of the Black Gotham Experience and features a behind the scenes view into the project by the founder and lead creative, Kamau Ware. The host selects a theme or topic and an aspect of the project they wish to highlight.
Salons are held at our Work/Space residency in the Seaport District.
192 Front Street | New York, New York 10038
Seaport District between Fulton Street and John Street; right next to the Broadway Tickets store. Train Access: A, C, 2, 3, 4, 5, J, or Z to Fulton Street.
Our firs salon event will be on Tuesday May 23rd 7pm-9pm and hosted by Advisory Board Member, Paula Greif. Tickets can be purchased below.
More on Salons
Salons started in Italy in the 16th century and began to flourish in the 17th and 18th century, particularly in France. The basis of a salon is an intimate place of equality where everyone can develop their intellect among participants gathered in a large room of the host, known as the salon. Most salon hosts have been hosted by prominent women who channeled these gatherings as an informal university and a space to share literary works in male dominated societies.
Mission: the Black Gotham Experience celebrates the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City.
Gotham was a fictive name given to New York City in 1807 by writer Washington Irving based on an old English proverb meaning “Goat’s Town”. Irving created a fantasy origin story of New York that has become part of the soul of the City. Over a century later, DC comics adopted the title Gotham as the fictional name for the home of Bruce Wayne (Bat Man) making the name even more synonymous with New York City. Gotham a real yet imagined place that exists simultaneously in the same space and time as New York City. Black Gotham is the collective story of Black people that begins with being stolen off Portuguese slaves ships and brought to the shores of Manahatta by Dutch pirates in the 1620s and have impacted and shaped this archipelago metropolis ever since. The Black Gotham Experience is the greatest New York City story never told.
The Experience is a public and expansive journey that includes walking tours through New York’s Financial District and a developing series of graphic novels. This multi-dimensional experience is organized into three stories that revisit Manhattan in 1624 and traverse through the next three centuries: Other Side of Wall Street (1609-1699), Caesar’s Rebellion (1700 – 1781) and Citizen Hope (1782-1883). The experience is an intersection of innovative and established forms of visual storytelling that recover the African Diaspora’s impact on New York City that has been suppressed and forgotten for centuries.
An innocent question started this journey that is an exploration in four dimensions. We are a community of creatives connecting the past and the present for the future. We celebrate the legacy of a forgotten people whose lives inspire us to appreciate all the kinetic elements of history. This experience is available for anyone who is curious about the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City. You can join a walking tour. Gain insight through our essays. Watch the creative process. Embrace our journey. Join our journey. We are living the Black Gotham Experience.
[Pictured above Left to Right: Epperson, Trae Harris, Franck Juste, Sawdayah Brownlee, Kamau Ware, Lesley Ware, Tann Parker, and Charles Johnson] Photo Credit: Erika Kapin © 2016
On June 25th 2015, we launched our kickstarter campaign to fund the production of our first graphic novel in the Black Gotham Trilogy – Other Side of Wall Street. Your support means a great deal to us and the people who need these stories. Please spend 4 minutes to check out our pitch.
26 days later and….THANK YOU!
Black Gotham Experience is growing in directions not thought about in the past 6 years and it’s taking root in places we didn’t know was fertile. Our kickstarter campaign put us in contact with a growing group of people who connect with this vision and magical things are starting to happen. Thanks to our kickstarter backers, this vision is becoming a reality and a dream at the same time. Major thanks to the 176 backers of the Other Side of Wall Street and the many more who are pushing this movement forward.
– Kamau Ware
Saturday February 4th, MAKE HISTORY with the Black Gotham Experience (BGX) at the Brooklyn Museum in the Beaux-Arts Court from 6-9pm for #TargetFirstSaturdays.
The design team for the forthcoming Black Gotham Experience graphic novel, Other Side of Wall Street, including Kamau Ware, Adrian Franks, Clifford Washington and William Ellis will convert event attendees into graphical art and displaying them in the museum LIVE! The designers will create an interactive design performance that weaves an engaging visual narrative.
DJs Jah Medicine and GoodWill of Pure Magic will curate the soundscape and audible art, spinning an upbeat soundtrack appropriate for the occasion.
feature photograph © Kay Hickman 2017
The Black Gotham Experience Teen Tours are visual and kinesthetic moments designed to give youth a broader and deeper understanding of New York City’s history and how it connects to their lives. This experience offers a dynamic way to explore themes covered on Regents Exams and Common Core Standards. Participating teens will be invited to share their learning with their peers and learn from different perspectives.
Black Gotham Experience is now a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Black Gotham Experience must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Your investment will help strengthen our Teen Tour program. We are thrilled to have another way to support the stories that celebrate the impact of the African Diaspora on New York City. Please consider being one of our supporters by donating through Fractured Atlas using the link above or below.
Responses from Teens
Thank you for your Black Gotham tour. I had a great time and grasped knowledge on black history that I wasn’t aware of. I really learned a lot, as I lacked knowledge and wasn’t taught at school. The walk was really educational and intriguing. I hope you continue with photography and Black Gotham.
I just wanted to say thank you so much for hosting the Opportunity Network on your walking tour. It was an incredibly enlightening and eye-opening experience. We all were captivated and learned so much about African history in New York. It was a significant experience. I hope all goes well with your graphic novel. Again, thank you so much for the experience.
Thank you for giving us a wonderful tour. It really changed the way we view New York City and its untold black history. It also showed us that there is history behind the simplest things in our environment. Thank you again and good luck completing your graphic novel.