We miss you NY!!
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the greatest city in the world. Happy Thanksgiving from the to your fam!
The first of its kind American - African - Dutch Heritage Tour explores the 'hidden history' of Dutch New York (formerly New Netherland).
Operating as usual
We miss you NY!!
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from the greatest city in the world. Happy Thanksgiving from the to your fam!
Is it really ‘Independence Day’? Let’s contemplate the message given by Abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1852, read by James Earl Jones. Sadly, Douglass’ scathing indictment is still relevant 168 years later!
Black Heritage Tours - New York State's cover photo
June 19 is a significant yet often overlooked holiday celebrating African American ‘freedom’..
“Words For You” is a Juneteenth Slam Poem by, Ben Aragbaye: “I was inspired to write the poem when I realized I.. was unaware of Juneteenth for (a long time). I somehow feel like I didn't know the full importance. So it was words for me and words for everyone like me. The ones who feel like everything is all good but it's those finite details of (black) history that are left out and erased..”
Unfinished Freedom: June 19, 1865, now known as “Juneteenth” recognizes the moment when approx 250,000 enslaved Blacks in Galveston, Texas were told On June 19, 1865, by Union General Gordon Granger, who led thousands of federal troops to Galveston to announce that the Civil War had ended, and the enslaved had been freed. They had no idea that their freedom had been secured by the government, more importantly that they found our two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by president Lincoln 1 Jan 1863. However, only in some states. It wasn’t until 6 Dec 1865 the 13th Amendment officially freed all enslaved.
The Proclamation declared that "all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "shall be free." But, less known is Lincoln’s primary objective was not to ameliorate the lives of those in bo***ge; rather, his intent was preserving the Union. ‘Freedom’ was an empty promise, since there were no rights nor opportunities. And, by the 1880s and 1890s racial terror became the order of the day as Black bodies were hung from trees. So what was freedom when lynching and Jim Crow were everyday realities? When the day is celebrated by many African Americans it‘s a time to take stock to measure achievements. In recent years more companies and cities are recognizing the importance of the holiday with a “paid day off.” At this moment in America’s history one might recall Frederick Douglass’s famous speech from 1852, “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?” Today we ask the same question: what does a paid day off mean when freedom for Black people remains ‘unfinished business’? from
Black Heritage Amsterdam Tours
Join 6 of the Black-owned History/Heritage Tour cos to infuse a historical context of what’s going on today!
Thurs, 4 June | 5:00pm-6:30pm (USA, EST) / 11:00pm (Netherlands time/CET)
URGENT UPDATE: The live event is free, but Registration is required to join
Hosted by: Kamau Ware:
Black Prints is a conversation between six Black storytellers working in different countries who give walking tours about the powerful stories of the African Diaspora. We initially planned this conversation weeks ago to discuss how the coronavirus is impacting Black people around the world and how we have had to adjust to being indoors. Our discussion has even more relevance as the movement to respect and protect Black lives has reached a pivotal moment on a global scale. Join us for this virtual event of solidarity that looks into the history behind the systems our societies have ignored for far too long that perpetuates police brutality.
Jennifer Tosch Black Heritage Amsterdam Tours (Amsterdam & NYS)
Kamau Ware Black Gotham Experience (NYC)
Kevi Donat (Paris)
Malik Bartholomew Know NOLA Tours (New Orleans)
Naky Gaglo African Lisbon Tour (Lisbon)
Tony Warner Black History Walks
Spread the word! Have a 'watch party'! 🙏🏾 🖤
Greetings all.. Thank you to the thousands of people who joined and participated in the Solidarity protest on Mon, 1 June. It was absolutely epic!! We took over and filled the Dam Square (city center). City trams and traffic was halted for the duration! The police estimated over 10,000 people were present!!
I am honored to have been invited to participate and so proud I was asked to be the first speaker! I felt a tremendous responsibility to bring us together in those opening moments to center our intentions for gathering, and ignite the fire within us all. I called upon and felt the presence of God and the spirit of our ancestors, who I know were present as we visualized them ‘seated at our ancestral table’! I pray they were pleased! Thanks to all the heartfelt responses that I’ve received, I believe that I succeeded.
I’m searching for the words to fully describe how I feel and my experience being on the stage. As I process my emotions, the energy is still vibrating through me. The images and videos tell the part of the story and hopefully you can feel the energy also, but if you were there, closer to the stage and epicenter of the crowd you know what I mean. Walking through the audience reading the myriad of signs I was moved by the show of global solidarity! Co-hosted by, Kunta Rincho and Mitchell Esajas; they kept the momentum going. With each speaker passionately expressing their messages of ‘global solidarity’ and support to chanting and rousing cheers, the wave of energy continued to build. It was also extremely gratifying to hear the intersectional solidarity including crimes against the LGTQ communities, particularly of POC, refugees and asylum seekers..
People were standing everywhere: on light poles, the national monument and even on top of buildings! And, while we tried to keep the 1.5m distance, which was also facilitated by workers who had marked off the spaces on the ground, it became impossible to maintain. But, many people had on masks and was so caught up in the excitement of being there that no one moved away. I have been a part of many protest and solidarity rallies in Amsterdam, but this eclipses them all!
As I said in my opening message, we have so much work still to do! We cannot rest on this one day. We have been taken up the charge and challenge to continue to move forward. If after everything that was said and all the effort to bring us together is not continued with more direct actions that confronts police brutality, violence (in all its manifestations), social, political, educational inequality and injustice; and, especially the end of blackfacing (Black Pete), we indeed will descend into a bottomless pit that will be even harder to rise out of. The changes we aspire to see cannot be done by a few organizations or individuals. ‘Many hands make light work’! it takes a ‘global village’, each person doing whatever ‘fits their hands’, whether that is on the ‘front line’ of protests, debates, activism; or, at home, with friends/family, in schools, via social media, the arts.. whatever it is you do, be vigilant and steadfast!
Congratulations to Mitchell Esajas/ and everyone involved in bringing this important event to life, and in 1 day of planning!!!! Even though this singular event took 1 day to organize, let’s be clear that the anti-Black racism & Black empowerment movement has been strategizing, organizing and planning for years!! It shows us what the power of social media can do to galvanize a movement!
A special shoutout to our Mayor Femke Halsema, and the Municipality for giving the green light amid the concerns of ensuring social distance. I also acknowledge the Amsterdam police who gave us space and even ensured no one disrupted the event. They stood among us and on the periphery; allowing themselves to be photographed, giving us hi signs to carry on!! It was much appreciated, especially as much of our attention was on ‘police brutality’, here in the NL and around the world.
I wish you all peace!! Take a ‘deep breath’.. exhale! Let’s celebrate today, for tomorrow the work continues! Take care of yourselves and each other. Remember, ‘self-care is a form of activism’! 🖤
Below is a reprint of what the event was in support of:
‘Solidarity protest organized against anti-Black violence in the US and EU’ (Note: while the title doesn’t say it, we ensure our awareness and framing recognizes that all over the world Black and brown people are fighting for justice)
On 25 May 2020, George Floyd was killed with brutal violence inflicted by 1 police officer, who forcefully blocked his windpipe by kneeling on his neck, while 2 other officers held Mr. Floyd down, for over 8 minutes, while the forth officer stood there and watched. “I can’t breathe” were Floyd’s last words. Words that remind us of the Eric Garner's police murder in New York in 2014. On March 12, nurse Breonna Taylor was shot dead at her home by police when they were "looking for a suspect." On February 23, was murdered by a former cop and his son while out jogging. On May 27, Tony McDade, a Black Trans man, was murdered by police in Florida. These Black Americans are only the most recent in a long list of victims of systematic institutional racism in the US. All across the country, people are rising up against racist violence. On 1 June 2020, a protest event was organized in Amsterdam in solidarity with the movement in the US and against anti-Black violence in the Netherlands (and around the world).
Institutional Anti-Black Racism..Institutional racist violence against Black people is...not only an American issue, it is also a recurring problem in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. On 28 June 2020, it will be exactly 5 years since was murdered by police brutality in the Hague. The same police force refused to fire a police officer who attacked a Moroccan-Dutch man and gave himself the nickname ‘Morrocan purger’, instead the whistleblower was removed from her position. For years, The Dutch Tax office targeted people for fraud inspection based on their nationality. Numerous studies have shown proof of structural racism on the job market, in education, in the police force and other institutions.
The past years institutional racism against Black people has been particularly expressed in the response to peaceful protests organized by ‘Kick Out Zwarte Piet’. The last words spoken by “I can’t breathe” are reminiscent of the excessive police aggression used during the arrest of Jerry Afriyie during the parade in Gouda in 2014. The mass arrests in Rotterdam in 2016 made a lasting impression due to violence police used against Black protesters. In the years after, there were repeated transgressions against of anti-black-pete protesters, both by the police and pro-Pete defenders. The attack against the national manifestation by was a low point in Dutch democracy and the pretense of equal rights for Black people. Although only a few suspects were arrested, no charges have been made.
The failure to enforce the constitutional laws against racism within government and society is a recurring theme. The chief of the national police issued an employment guarantee for officers that engaged in excessive violence on the job. Amber alerts for missing black children are issued too late. Black children are more quickly framed as dangerous, are confronted with police violence at an earlier age and their rights to psycho-social safety and equal treatment are systematically violated. In the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom, Black people are treated as second-class citizens.
Anti-blackness in Europe
At the borders of 'Fortress Europe' thousands of people – predominantly Black people (and POC) – have lost their lives because of the lethal immigration policies supported by the Dutch state. An immigration policy that moreover makes ‘illegalized’ people prey to exploitation by working in European construction, farming and service industries. Black illegalized people are systematically (and disproportionately) charged and incarcerated with no regard for human rights, and illegally deported to unsafe countries. We can no longer look away from the (lethal) consequences of institutional anti-Black racism in the Netherlands and in Europe. in the Netherlands, in Europe and everywhere!!.
Keti Koti Month: racism is the heritage of colonialism and slavery
Both in the USA and the Netherlands, anti-black racism is rooted in a long history of colonialism, slavery and imperialism. On June 1 2020, the yearly Keti Koti month is opened in Amsterdam with a manifestation on Dam Square. After all, the city of Amsterdam was co-owner of the colony of Suriname and the head office of the Society of Surinam was located on Dam Square. Because of the Corona crisis, this opening of the Keti Koti month had been cancelled. Due to the current uprising of worldwide anti-black racism we decided to protest action on this important day. We call all people to show solidarity with the protesters in the USA and to take a stand against institutional racism!
When?: 1 June 2020
Where?: Dam, Amsterdam
*** Safety precautions 1.5 meter protest: we are aware that the Covid-19 crisis is not over yet. Although the number of infections has dropped, we called for all participants to wear a mask or face protection and maintain 1.5 meter distance at all times. If you have any symptoms, stay home! People who are in a potential risk group can follow the protest manifestation through our livestream.
*** We aim for a peaceful protest. We are not inciting violent activities, riots, or other forms of protest that can lead to undesirable provocation and aggression. Be mindful of the safety of the other people protesting, and their loved ones who are counting on their safe return. We, however, do not distance ourselves from the other forms of dissent being expressed in the USA. As Martin Luther King Jr. said: ‘A riot is the language of the unheard’
Congratulations and thank you to our upstate NY friends and tour partners for preserving our history(ic) houses. So many reflect the early Dutch architecture, history and families. We visit several of these sites during our Black Heritage NYS tour. Stay tuned for upcoming dates!
Upstate NY's history is, in many ways, the history of the United States.
This week in US History..
The US National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opened Thursday, Apr 26 on a six-acre site overlooking the Alabama State Capitol, is dedicated to the victims of American white supremacy. It demands a reckoning with one of the nation’s least recognized atrocities: the lynching of thousands of black people in a decades-long campaign of racist terror.
At the center is a grim cloister, a walkway with 800 weathered steel columns, all hanging from a roof. Etched on each column is the name of an American county and the people who were lynched there, most listed by name, many simply as “unknown.” The columns meet you first at eye level, like the headstones that lynching victims were rarely given. But as you walk, the floor steadily descends; by the end, the columns are all dangling above..
The magnitude of the killing is harrowing, all the more so when paired with the circumstances of individual lynchings, some described in brief summaries along the walk: Parks Banks, lynched in Mississippi in 1922 for carrying a photograph of a white woman; Caleb Gadly, hanged in Kentucky in 1894 for “walking behind the wife of his white employer”..
“Just seeing the names of all these people,” said Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, the nonprofit organization behind the memorial. Many of them, he said, “have never been named in public.”
Will you go visit? 🤔
Read full NY Times article:
: Parks Banks, Caleb Gadly, Mary Turner..
Attn: Black radical in NY, hope to see you there!
This two-day conference in New York City will bring together scholars and activists dealing with the history and the legacy of Black Radicalism in the US from multiple perspectives.
Greetings NY, for all you educators, friends, I will be the keynote speaker at the Museum of the City of New York’ last in its Future City Lab series! It says ‘sold out’, but if interested please email me: [email protected] Hope to see you there!
Learn, act, and engage in the company of innovative artists, scientists, historians, and educators. Each day’s lab will feature cutting edge thinking via immersive experiences.
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Albany Institute of History & Art125 Washington Ave
African American Cultural Center of the Capit135 S Pearl St
Irish American Heritage Museum21 Quackenbush Sq
Discover Albany Visitors Center25 Quackenbush Sq
Underground Railroad Education Center194 Livingston Avenue
Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site32 Catherine St