New York’s Hidden History of Slavery

By on September 11, 2017

New York has been for the most of in its history the largest, most diverse and economically ambitious city in America.
Anchored by Wall Street, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the hub of the global financial center. The city is home to the world’s two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange andNASDAQ.
But for more than 2 centuries New York was also a hub for America’s slave trade. Enslaved and free Africans were largely responsible for the construction of the early city, first by clearing land, then by building a fort, mills, bridges, houses, and even the first city hall.
The very name Wall Street is born of slavery, as they built a wall in 1653 to protect Dutch settlers from Indian raids.

Join us on this edition of Inside Out for a tour of Lower Manhattan to explore the often overlooked history of enslaved and free Africans in early New York. We’ll make stops at historic sites most tour guides and buses will never show you.

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