Uncovering NYC: New York City’s First Free Black Communities

Dive into the history and legacy of New York City’s first free Black communities.  Uncovering NYC is a three-part web series produced in tandem with Secrets of the Dead’s The Woman in the Iron Coffin, which premiered October 3 on PBS. Stream the full episode.

Watch all three Uncovering NYC episodes below.


New York City’s First Free Black Communities: Newtown

What was Queens like before the Civil War? Historians shed some light on Newtown’s history and a church at the center of Queens’ abolitionist movement.

New York City’s First Free Black Communities: Weeksville

Go on a tour of the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses and learn more about one of Brooklyn’s oldest African American communities.

New York City’s First Free Black Communities: Seneca Village

Before there was Central Park, Seneca Village stood as a thriving community for African American and immigrant families.


Special Thanks To:
Weeksville Heritage Center
The Central Park Conservancy
The New York Preservation Archive Project
The Seneca Village Project
Saint Mark AME Church
Corona-East Elmhurst Historic Preservation Society (CEEHPS)
Elmhurst History and Cemeteries Preservation Society, INC.

Rob Fields
Alphonse Fabien
Stephanye Watts
Dr. Prithi Kanakamedala
Cynthia Copeland
Marie Warsh
Simone Silverbush
Reverend Kimberly Detherage
Linda Jacob
Marialena Giampino