Media Contact:Lindsey Calabrese
Send an E-mail
Date: Jun 05, 2007
HUNDREDS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN SECOND ANNUAL LOWER MANHATTAN SLAVERY WALKING TOUR
Unique New York Slavery Curriculum Teaches Youths About the State's Complicity in the Slave Trade Centuries Ago; Tour Brings that Era in History Alive for Students
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY ... Hundreds of middle school and high school students joined their teachers and Hofstra Professor of Curriculum and Teaching Alan Singer on the second annual Lower Manhattan Slavery Walking Tour on Friday, May 25. The group visited sites known to have played a role in America’s slave trade centuries ago.
Stops included a colonial era African American Burial Ground; an 18th century Wall Street “Slave Market;” a bank that financed the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade; a restaurant where slave traders known as “blackbirders” planned their voyages; locations where enslaved Africans fought for freedom in 1712 and 1741; and New York City Hall, where the mayor sided with the South and slavery during the Civil War. Many of these places and events have been erased from history. Other than the African American Burial Ground, none are even marked.
Helping Dr. Singer lead the tour was Michael Pezone and his students from an advanced placement government class at the Law, Government, and Community Service Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, Queens.
Dr. Alan Singer won the 2005 National Council for the Social Studies Program of Excellence Award for a curriculum he authored on New York and slavery, a part of American history typically associated with the South.
Enslaved Africans lived and labored in New York from 1627 until 1827. The Slave Market was at Wall Street in Manhattan. Investments in shipping and Southern plantations enriched New York banks and brokerage houses. Fortunes made from slave profits later helped finance the Long Island Rail Road, the American Sugar Co. and Citibank. New York's economy was so linked with slavery that at the eve of the Civil War on 1861, Mayor Fernando Wood spoke of a "common sympathy" with "our aggrieved brethren of the slave states," and called for the city to secede from the North.