EXPLORING BLACK HISTORY IN NEW YORK CITY
Born in Brooklyn, Chisholm studied and worked in early childhood education, becoming involved in local Democratic party politics in the 1950s. After 7 terms as Senator, she became the first Black candidate for a major-party nomination for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s nomination.
From 1825 – 1855, Seneca Village was home to over 250 African Americans, Irish, and German immigrants. Its economic stability enabled the growth of multiple churches and schools. However, the villagers lost their homes when New York State legislature acquired the land through eminent domain, making way for Central Park.
AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND NATIONAL MONUMENT
In 1991, intact human skeletal remains were found on lower Broadway between Duane St. and Reade St. during excavations for a new federal office tower. Archeological research determined this was the location of the “Negro Burial Ground,” from the mid-1630s to 1795. The African Burial Ground National Monument is only a ten-minute walk from One World Observatory.
One of the wealthiest men of his time, Downing was the king of oysters during the 19th century, building an upscale oyster cellar in Lower Manhattan. However, his impact didn’t stop there. He used his wealth and influence to fight for abolition and equal right for free Black men – founding two anti-slavery organizations and being one of the most important stops on the Underground Railroad.
LOUIS "SATCHMO" ARMSTRONG
The Founding Father of Jazz, Louis Armstrong gained popularity as a beloved singer and performer in radio, television, and film over 5 decades. He was one of the first Black entertainers to gain widespread popularity among international audiences. In 1943, his family put down permanent roots in a middle-class neighborhood in Queens, where he is buried in the nearby Flushing Cemetery.
BOOGIE DOWN BRONX
The most popular genre in the United States, hip hop blends African American, Puerto Rican, and Caribbean influences, which were reflective of Bronx neighborhoods during its creation. This style of music and expression was born when Clive Campbell (a.k.a. DJ Kool Hurc) debuted his technique of isolating and extending instrumental “breaks” from funk songs to create high energy, danceable music.
Harlem became the center of Black culture during the Great Migration. New arrivals spawned a creative energy that made Harlem an intellectual, artistic capital and popular entertainment district. It produced writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neal Hurston; inspired visual artists like Jacob Lawrence and Augusta Savage; and nurtured musicians like Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday.