Sunday, March 29, 2009

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

The City Concealed: Weeksville from on Vimeo.
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