Please contact the Amistad Commission
with questions or comments.
In 2005, New York’s Legislature created an Amistad Commission to review state curriculum regarding the slave trade. All people should know of and remember the human carnage and dehumanizing atrocities committed during the period of the African slave trade and slavery in America and consider the vestiges of slavery in this country. It is vital to educate our citizens on these events, the legacy of slavery, the sad history of racism in this country, and on the principles of human rights and dignity in a civilized society.
NEW YORK STATE AMISTAD COMMISSION REPORT March 22, 2016
Pursuant to the New York Arts & Cultural Affairs Law, Article 57B, New York State’s Amistad Commission is charged with researching and surveying the extent to which the African slave trade, American slavery and its aftermath and legacy are included in the curricula of New York State schools. The Commission makes recommendations to the Governor and Legislature regarding the implementation of education and awareness programs to educate students enrolled in the schools of the state of New York about the history of African Americans in the United State and their significant contributions to our county.
To further enrich the learning opportunities regarding the African American experience, we are asking for volunteers who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise across New York State as it relates to the African American experience.
If you or your organization is interested in being listed on the Commission’s Volunteer Roster of Experts and willing to have your information published on the Commission’s website, please complete and submit a Professional Profile at the following VOLUNTEER ROSTER OF EXPERTS FORM.
All volunteers will be subject to a screening process for inclusion in the Roster.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this webpage is intended to facilitate educational opportunities for K-12 students across New York State pursuant to New York Arts & Cultural Affairs Law, Article 57B. The Amistad Commission does not endorse the volunteers identified on the Roster of Expert Volunteers and bears no responsibility for the activities and actions of the volunteers. Additionally, the Amistad Commission does not assume any liability of the accuracy, completeness and adequacy of the information. The information presented is with the sole aim of encouraging individuals and organizations that support the work of the Amistad Commission to volunteer; the Amistad Commission does not warrant the actions taken by volunteers and cannot accept liability for any resulting injury or damage based on this information.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to supporting the work of the Amistad Commission.
A Sacred Space in Manhattan: From about the 1690s until 1794, both free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6-acre burial ground in Lower Manhattan, outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam, later known as New York. Lost to history due to landfill and development, the grounds were rediscovered in 1991 as a consequence of the planned construction of a Federal office building.
"Harriet Tubman was an iconic New Yorker who helped change the course of this nation, and she is well deserving of this distinction. She showed bravery and resilience in the face of injustice, putting her life and liberty at risk countless times for the freedom of others. Just as her home in Auburn, Cayuga County, stands as a landmark to her incredible history, this distinction will ensure that Harriet Tubman's legacy endures for generations yet to come."
The Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture. It is a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society.
New York was a national center for abolitionism, where the NAACP was created and the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. Sites across the state bring this heritage to life for lovers of justice and history. The homes of nationally famous abolitionists, from John Brown to Gerrit Smith, are ready to be toured, as is the home of the Underground Railroad's most famous "conductor," Harriet Tubman. Museums explore the life of Frederick Douglas , and the National Abolition Hall of Fame remains of those who fought for equality.
Seneca Village may possibly have been Manhattan's first stable community of African American property owners. Located from 81st to 89th Streets between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in what is now a section of Central Park, the village is important part of the history of New York City.
CUNY-TV’s “Independent Sources” recently took a look at Seneca Village in “Lost and Found New York”
On Saturday, May 24, 2010, Wings of Eagles Discovery Center was proud to host the Return of the Red Tails event that featured a legendary group of African Americans, the Tuskegee Airmen. Nine members of the Airmen were able to attend including Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, a Tuskegee Airman and Red Tail Squadron commander, who was the gala's keynote speaker.
A special exhibit showcasing the history of the Tuskegee Airmen was on display for the event
The Tuskegee Airmen arrive at Wings of Eagles Discovery Center
A P-51 Mustang restored to look like one the Tuskegee Airmen would have flown (including the red tail!) did a fly-over during the event.
For more photos, go to: http://www.wingsofeagles.com/?p=3272
For Young Readers:
A Free Woman On God's Earth: The True Story of Elizabeth Mumbet Freeman, The Slave Who Won Her Freedom
By Jana Laiz and Ann-Elizabeth Barnes
A Free Woman On God's Earth is a juvenile biography for ages 8 and up containing over 40 illustrations. It is the story of Elizabeth Mumbet Freeman, the enslaved African woman who had the courage and conviction to speak what was in her heart, suing for her freedom in a Massachusetts court of law. In gaining her own freedom, she set the stage for the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts in 1783. An engaging history that fulfils the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for third, fourth and fifth grades in the categories of Local Biography, Local History, Revolutionary War Heroes.
Abolitionist Brooklyn -
Pursuit of Freedom at the Brooklyn Historical Society
Civil War Soldier. J. Oldershaw, photographer, 1864.
Photograph print on carte-de-visite. Beinecke Library, Yale University.
For Young Readers:
As featured in the motion picture film of the same name.
The original adult version of same title was written by
Solomon Northup, a free African American and native of
Saratoga, New York.
The Tuskegee Airmen, one of the exhibits
honoring the African-American impact
in World War II at the Wings of Eagles
|Sanford Robinson Gifford on National Guard Duty for the Union||A poster announcing a speech by Civil Rights Leader and Founder of the National Council of Negro Women Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune|
|Brady Harper’s Ferry||Unidentified African-American from the Civil War|
|Liberty Street Presbyterian Church / Rev. Henry Highland Garnet|
Rev. Henry Highland Garnet was an important figure in the abolitionist movement. Henry Highland Garnet was born into slavery in Maryland in 1815. When his master dies in 1824, his family escaped from slavery and ends up in New York City in 1826. In 1840, Garnet travels to Troy to become a teacher in a school for African-American children. In 1842, Garnet was ordained by the Troy Presbytery and he becomes the first minister of the Liberty Street Presbyterian Church, an African-American congregation.
After this, Rev. Garnet becomes active in the anti-slavery movement. He was involved with the American Anti-Slavery society. He published and distributed a small paper The Clarion, whose objective was "to aid the Negro in all aspects of his emancipation." With William G. Allen, also of Troy, he produced the periodical The National Watchman. Unfortunately, no copies of The Clarion exist.
|A.M.E. Zion Church Board & Trustees / Draft Riot Proclamation / A.M.E. Zion Church|
RCHS has a letter from Mr. Charles Gidney, in the group photograph, to the Mayor describing the horrors of the draft riots that occurred in Troy.
Courtesy of the Buffalo State University
The Mid-Hudson Antislavery History Project (MHAHP) is a non-profit group created in 2006 to bring together researchers, educators, community leaders, and members of the public to:
Read more at: www.mhantislaveryhistoryproject.org
Underground Railroad History Project researches and preserves the local and national history of the anti-slavery and Underground Railroad movements, their international connections, and their legacies to later struggles; it engages in public education and dialogue about these movements and their relevance to modern society. Find out more at: www.UndergroundRailroadHistory.org