By Judith Wellman
In 1966 a bunch of scholars, Boy Scouts, and native electorate rediscovered all that remained of a then almost unknown group known as Weeksville: 4 body homes on Hunterfly highway. The infrastructures and colourful histories of Weeksville, an African American group that had develop into one of many biggest loose black groups in 19th century usa, have been nearly burnt up as a result of Brooklyn’s exploding inhabitants and increasing city grid.
Weeksville used to be based via African American marketers after slavery resulted in ny kingdom in 1827. positioned in japanese Brooklyn, Weeksville supplied an area of actual protection, financial prosperity, schooling, or even political strength. It had a excessive expense of estate possession, provided a wide selection of occupations, and hosted a comparatively huge percentage of expert employees, enterprise vendors, and execs. population geared up church buildings, a college, orphan asylum, domestic for the elderly, newspapers, and the nationwide African Civilization Society. amazing citizens of Weeksville, reminiscent of journalist and educator Junius P. Morell, participated in each significant nationwide attempt for African American rights, together with the Civil struggle.
In Brooklyn’s Promised Land, Judith Wellman not just tells the real narrative of Weeksville’s development, disappearance, and eventual rediscovery, but in addition highlights the tales of the folk who created this neighborhood. Drawing on maps, newspapers, census documents, pictures, and the cloth tradition of constructions and artifacts, Wellman reconstructs the social heritage and nationwide value of this notable position. throughout the lens of this local people, Brooklyn’s Promised Land highlights topics nonetheless proper to African americans around the country.
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Extra info for Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York
28â•…<<â•…Weeksville’s Origins, from Slavery to Freedom Many of the Dutch families in Kings County remained in their family homesteads until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Suydam family homestead, owned by Lambert Suydam of Revolutionary War cavalry fame and his wife Mary Lefferts Suydam (and later by descendents Moses Suydam, Phebe Suydam, and Ann Suydam), stood into the late nineteenth century on Suydam Place, just south of Atlantic Avenue, on the northeast border of Weeksville.
After all, almost no African Americans still alive had actually been born in Africa. African Americans did not reject their African heritage, but increasingly they identified it as part of their past rather than as part of their future. Their basic identity was as American people of color. They asserted their rights as American citizens, and they intended to see that America carried out its own revolutionary ideals. The American Colonization Society was designed to rid the United States of free African Americans, and most people of color opposed it with their whole soul.
As a separate community, set apart from dense urban areas, Weeksville offered a retreat where African Americans, no matter their place of origin or legal status, could settle in relative safety and where slave catchers could not easily follow. Weeksville quickly became a refuge for people who sought freedom. More than 44 percent of adult Weeksville residents in 1850 were born in the South, over twice the proportion of southernborn African Americans in Brooklyn as a whole. Some may, of course, have been free people of color.
Brooklyn's Promised Land: The Free Black Community of Weeksville, New York by Judith Wellman