Friday, February 11, 2011

Weeksville: An African American Historic Place That Should be Better Known

Back in 2005, I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the renovated historic houses along Brooklyn's Hunterfly Road at the Weeksville Heritage Center.  I had no idea, when I arrived at this fascinating historic site that I would meet the likes of (then) Sen. Hilary Clinton, and Representatives Major Owens and Anthony Weiner, as well as many local residents who came out to support the historic site, but it was great to know that Weeksville was so important to so many.
James Weeks purchased the land that became the free black community of Weeksville in 1838.  It served as a place of refuge for African Americans escaping the madness of the New York Draft Riots in 1863.  As Brooklyn grew around Weeksville, the community fell into disrepair, and it wasn't until 1968 when the last remaining homes were discovered.  It was through the vision and efforts of the Weeksville Society's first Executive Director, the late Joan Maynard, that we know Weeksville today.  And today, the current Executive Director, Pamela Green, has expanded on Maynard's vision with great success.

Weeksville really is an incredible historic site with a fascinating history.  It should be included in your list of places to visit when you are in Brooklyn, NY.

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