Weeksville: An African-American Community Established in the 1800s

The Hunterfly Road Houses of Weeksville are the discovered remnants of a free African-American enclave of urban trasdespeople and property owners.  The community provided safety for fugitive slaves and those later fleeing the Civil War draft riots of lower Manhattan.  By the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, Weeksville was a thriving area with its own doctors, teachers, publishers, and social services.

The Houses help fill a  historical gap between slavery and the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  The Weeksville staff clearly promote the idea of a successful African-American project that can be remembered with pride.

The discussion of Weeksville’s place within an always changing, mostly African-American neighborhood might  forget the fact that it is, for everyone, a fascinating piece of American history with an equally amazing story of that history’s rediscovery.

–bijan rezvani, producer

This episode wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Danielle Officer at Weeksville, Pamela Green, Kadrena Cunningham, Marcia Goldman, the David Rumsey Map Collection, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and Christian Virant and Zhang Jian of The Buddha Machine.