Looking for ways to celebrate Black History Month while exploring this great city of ours? A new self-guided walking tour showcasing 11 sites across Manhattan and Brooklyn might be just the thing for you.
The endeavor is presented by the Shed, the art center in Hudson Yards, and focuses on New York's history of racial violence, specifically diving into the story of the 1863 riots.
The audio tour—which can be taken by folks currently in New York or listened-to from anywhere online—is called "Fighting Dark" and it is accompanied by a short film narrated by artist Kamau Ware, founder of local art studio The Back Gotham Experience.
"Collectively our country has focused on the racial violence inflicted on free Black communities in the South after the Civil War, specifically during the Reconstruction Era," said Ware in an official press release announcing the program. "The insurrection that took place in the streets of New York City the week of July 13th, 1863, less than two weeks after the Battle of Gettysburg, was a blueprint for disenfranchising Black people before the Reconstruction Amendments were drafted. This racial violence has been hiding in plain sight with the incorrect label of 'draft riots' for over a century and a half."
Among the highlighted stops are the African Burial Ground National Monument, in downtown Manhattan, and Weeksiville, a historic neighborhood in Crown Heights that was established by free African Americans back in 1838.
You can expect the visual portion of the project to debut in the upcoming weeks. The walking tour, on the other hand, is already available for free streaming right here.
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