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The History of the African Presence in the Lower Hudson River Valley

Sherrill Wilson

The History of the African Presence in the Lower Hudson River Valley

Sherrill D Wilson, PhD, adjunct faculty, Pluralism and Diversity in America

swilson4@sunyrockland.edu, sdw@sherrilldwilsonphd.com, 845-323-4940

Intended Audience: High school and college students, adult lay and professional audiences with an interest in local history

Abstract: Three of the original land owners of the 1686 Tappan Patent in lower Orange County (which later became Rockland County) were men of African descent. During the 18th century, New York City had the second largest enslaved African population in colonial America, comprising 25% of the non-native residents of Manhattan Island. The African presence in the north, both enslaved and free, is a subject long neglected but more recently it is generating strong interest among educators and history buffs. This slide lecture begins in the early colonial Dutch occupation of New Amsterdam and extends through the early America period (1600s - 1830), highlighting the achievements, struggles and contributions of African descendants in the lower Hudson Valley region. Africans enslaved and free were among the people who helped to build early New York City, Rockland and Westchester Counties, and in essence, early America.

About the Speaker: Dr. Sherrill D Wilson, adjunct faculty, Pluralism and Diversity in America, is an Urban Anthropologist. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research in New York.

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