Long Island in the Black Atlantic World

Why did Long Island have one of the largest enslaved populations in the North during the 17th and 18th centuries?

This roundtable will address Jupiter Hammon’s Long Island as a hub of the Atlantic slave trade and a key player in a global economy dependent upon black enslavement. Panelists will also explore identity, agency, and connection among the region’s free and enslaved communities; and how we collectively remember and engage this difficult past.

Moderated panel discussions will be followed by a series of break-out sessions, allowing participants to reflect on and respond to the conversation. Lunch will be provided.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Registration is required. 


Weeksville Heritage Center
158 Buffalo Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11213

8:30 AM–3:30 PM

Facebook Event

This program is hosted by Weekesville Heritage Center and Preservation Long Island. Weeksville is a multidisciplinary museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th-century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn–one of America’s many free black communities. All participants will have the opportunity to tour the historic Hunterfly Road Houses.

Program Moderator

Cordell Reaves serves as the Historic Preservation and Interpretation Analyst with the NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, developing educational programming and events that enable sites to tell complete and inclusive stories. His research interests cover a broad swath of New York State history, including colonial slavery, the Underground Railroad, the anti-slavery movement, and the Great Migration.

Expert Panelists

Jennifer Anderson, PhD, Associate Professor of History, Stony Brook University. She is the author of Mahogany: The Costs of Luxury in Early America (2012). Her current research focuses on Long Island’s complex history—from the 17th to the 19th century—as a venue of engagements among Native peoples, European settlers, and enslaved Africans that involved generations of conflict, adaptation, and innovation.
Ana Lucia Araujo, PhD, Professor of History, Director of Graduate Study, Howard University. Her work explores the history and memory of slavery. She is the author of Slavery in the Age of Memory: Engaging the Past (2020) and Shadows of the Slave Past: Memory, Heritage and Slavery (2014).
Craig Wilder, PhD, Barton L. Weller Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a historian of American institutions and ideas and is the author of Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (2014) and In the Company Of Black Men: The African Influence on African American Culture in New York City (2005).

Watch the event live or come back to watch the recorded event.

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