Brooklyn Abolitionist Heritage Walk

On Tuesday morning, NY1’s Roger Clark was back in the neighborhood, broadcasting from Brooklyn Bridge Park with Kamau Ware, founder of Black Gotham Experience.

According to the BGX website, Ware was working as an educator at the Tenement Museum, talking about German Jewish and Italian immigrants, when a Black middle school student asked him, “Where were the Black people?”

Soon after, Ware created the first Black Gotham walking tour, and now our neighborhood is featured in one, called  “More Than A Brook: Brooklyn Abolitionist Heritage Walk,” a three-part audio experience commissioned by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The full walk takes about three hours, and it comprises four local neighborhoods–Brooklyn Heights, Fulton Ferry, Downtown Brooklyn, and Fort Greene–and 25 spots, beginning at Fulton Ferry Landing and ending at Fort Greene Park.

“Largely due to the waterfront location and large free Black community in the 19th century, Brooklyn’s connected neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Fulton Ferry, Downtown Brooklyn, and Fort Greene contain an incredibly rich and walkable concentration of important designated sites associated with abolitionist history and the Underground Railroad.”  (“More Than A Brook” Introduction)

One of the stops is at the corner of Remsen and Clinton Streets, the site of the Hamilton Club that was later renamed Remsen House by the woman who owned it, a wealthy Black businesswoman and abolitionist named Elizabeth Gloucester.

“‘Her story was too important to not include, because she is a wealthy Black woman at the end of the 1800s who is able to be connected to people like Frederick Douglass and John Brown, and doing it at a time when she didn’t even have suffrage,’ said Ware.”

 

You can listen to each stop in order at the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Spotify playlist and watch the NY1 clip here.

 

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