The Conservancy is continuing to work with several African American institutions seeking to raise their collective profile and promote the breadth of African American history and contributions in the City.
The third “convening” of this group was on January 9th at the new Louis Armstrong Center in Corona, Queens. Sixteen organizations attended, ranging from Frederick Douglass Memorial Park in Staten Island and the Flatbush African Burial Ground Coalition in Brooklyn to Harlem’s New Amsterdam Musical Association.
Meredith S. Horsford, Executive Director of the New York City Historic House Trust, was the guest speaker. She described how she expanded the story of the Dyckman Farmhouse in Upper Manhattan to include the work of enslaved persons when she was director at that site. She also described the Northern Slavery Collective…a group of Northeast historic sites that acknowledge the role of enslaved persons at those locations.
Participants also toured the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the nearby Dizzy Gillespie House.
The convenings began last March when Weeksville Heritage Center President Raymond Codrington asked the Conservancy to bring together representatives from the various African American sites we’ve worked with. We have worked with Weeksville, one of the largest free Black communities in pre-Civil War America, for decades. After an initial meeting there, the group met again in September at the Lefferts House in Prospect Park. Lefferts House, along with the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Upper Manhattan, are other Historic House Trust sites that now include the work of enslaved and indentured persons in their exhibitions.
The next meeting is being scheduled in May at the Schomburg Center in Harlem.