As I learned from reading Bob Furman’s Brooklyn Heights: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of America’s First Suburb, in 1790 one third of Brooklyn’s population, which was then 4,500, was slaves. Tomorrow (Thursday, February 4) evening, starting at 6:30, the Brooklyn Historical Society will present a panel discussion, “Why New York? Slavery on Long Island”, featuring Prithi Kanakamedala, curator of BHS’s exhibition “Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom”, in conjunction with which this event is presented, along with several other experts on the subject. Admission is $5, or free for BHS or Green-Wood members; purchase or reserve tickets here.
This Friday evening, February 5, from 5:00 to 9:00 BHS will present a “Free First Friday”: admission to the Society’s galleries is free, Brooklyn Brewery beers and ales will be available, and there will be live music. There’s more information here. Subsequent FFF events will happen on March 4, April 1 (no fooling!), and May 6.
Looking ahead to next Wednesday, February 10, at 6:30 p.m. Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust, who is Lincoln Professor of History at Harvard College and an authority on the Civil War and the American South, will be at BHS. She will speak about the Civil War, in conversation with documentary filmmaker Ric Burns. The event is presented in conjuction with BHS’s exhibition “Personal Correspondence: Photography and Letter Writing in Civil War Brooklyn.” Admission is $15, or $10 for BHS or Green-Wood members; purchase tickets here.