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  • Weeksville Heritage Center (WHC) Weeksville Heritage Center (WHC)

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Mission Statement

To document, preserve and interpret the history of free African American communities in Weeksville, Brooklyn and beyond and to create and inspire innovative, contemporary uses of African American history through education, the arts, and civic engagement.

Description

WHC was a rare intentional community where free African Americans lived from around 1838 through the 1930's. Today, it is a significant historic American site, with a well-documented, rare extant example of an independent African American community organized by African American entrepreneurs and land investors. It is also one of the only African American historic sites in the Northeast on its original property. Weeksville, presently known as Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant, became the second largest known independent African American community in pre-Civil War America. A deeply engaged community, Weeksville residents sustained one of the first African American newspapers, advocated for abolition, and provided safe haven during the violent draft riots of the Civil War era. All but forgotten, in the late 60’s a small group of community activist led by Joan Maynard, rediscovered the dilapidated houses that were rare residential remnants of life in Weeksville. The Historic Hunterfly Road Houses, as they are known today, have been New York City landmarks since 1970 and in 1972 were listed in the National Register of Historic Places with Local and National significance.

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