Black History Fact Of The Day: The African American Man Who Founded Bushwick, Brooklyn

Red, Black & Green Elsie Law LogoIn 1661, a man who was known as “Francisco the Negro” helped to found what is now Bushwick, Brooklyn. He was one of the 23 founders of that area. In 1661, Bushwick was known as Boswijk.

[Bibliography: Slavery In New York]

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Black History Fact Of The Day: How Enslaved Africans Built Brooklyn

Red, Black & Green Elsie Law LogoI came across a 2012 Huffington Post article written by Alan Singer that explores how enslaved Africans built up Brooklyn. The article also discusses a Brooklyn-located African burial ground.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“At the time of the American Revolution about a third of the population of Kings County were enslaved Africans, but their contributions to clearing the forests, dredging the harbors, and building the infrastructure of Brooklyn has largely been erased from history. The former African cemetery in the Kings County town of New Lots is now a playground between Schenck, New Lots, and Livonia Avenues and Barbey Street under the IRT #3 line “El.” It is next to the New Lots branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Ironically, the park is named for one of the largest slaveholder families in the area…The plaque mentions that the “park was the site of Public School 72, which was abandoned in 1944,” but it does not mention the enslaved Africans who lived there and built the early farms, roads, and homes of Brooklyn.”

Click here for a link to the entire article.

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