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Brooklyn History Neighborhoods Podcasts

The Story of Flatbush: Brooklyn Old and New

Over 350 years ago today’s Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush was an old Dutch village, the dirt path that would one day become Flatbush Avenue lined with wheat fields and farms. Contrast that with today’s Flatbush, a bustling urban destination diverse in both housing styles and commercial retail shops. It’s also an anchor of Brooklyn’s Caribbean… Read More

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Bowery Boys Movie Club Brooklyn History

Do The Right Thing: Spike Lee’s Brooklyn movie classic gets better with age

We’re sliding into summer AT LAST — ready for great music, hot dancing and breaking into fire hydrants — and so we’ve just released an epic summertime episode of Bowery Boys Movie Club to the general Bowery Boys podcast audience, exploring the 1989 Spike Lee masterpiece Do The Right Thing. And sticking to the theme of summertime New… Read More

Categories
Podcasts Politics and Protest

Listening to the Silent Parade of 1917: The Forgotten Civil Rights March

Listen to our podcast on the history of the Silent Parade of 1917 here: “To the beat of muffled drums 8,000 negro men, women and children marched down Fifth Avenue yesterday in a parade of ‘silent protest against acts of discrimination and oppression’ inflicted upon them in this country, and in other parts of the… Read More

Categories
Black History Podcasts

Seneca Village and Other Stories of New York’s Forgotten Black Communities

PODCAST The history of African-American settlements and neighborhoods which once existed in New York City Today we sometimes define New York City’s African-American identity by the places where thriving black culture developed – Harlem, of course, and also Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, neighborhoods that developed for groups of black residents in the 20th century. But… Read More

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New York Islands Podcasts

The history of Hart Island, a place of strangeness and sorrow

Few people are allowed to go onto Hart Island, the quiet, narrow island in the Long Island Sound, a lonely place in sight of the bustling community of City Island. For over 150 years, Hart Island has been New York’s potter’s field, the burial site for over one million people — unclaimed bodies, stillborn babies,… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘Separate’: The origins of a catastrophic and disgraceful Supreme Court decision

The 1896 landmark Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson embedded and legitimized the practice of “separate but equal” into American life in the 20th century. The decision built racism into the fiber of everyday activities — schooling, housing, medical care, public transportation — and elevated personal prejudices into the realm of legality. It raised white and… Read More

Categories
Podcasts Politics and Protest

New York City and the Underground Railroad: Escaping to freedom through a hostile city

PODCAST For thousands of people escaping the bonds of slavery in the South, the journey to freedom wound its way through New York City via the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a loose, clandestine network of homes, businesses and churches, operated by freed black people and white abolitionists who put it upon themselves —… Read More

Categories
The First

The Plant Doctor: The Extraordinary Life Story of George Washington Carver

THE FIRST PODCAST How much do you know about George Washington Carver, the man born into slavery who became America’s most famous botanist in the first half of the 20th century? He didn’t discover the peanut, a legume commonplace in the human diet for thousands of years, nor did he invent peanut butter. What Carver… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Down The Up Staircase: A Century of Black Lives In A Crumbling Old House

The extraordinary house at the heart of Down the Up Staircase is currently for sale.  “411 Convent Avenue is a House located in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood in Manhattan, NY,” the blog Street Easy dryly notes.  “411 Convent Avenue was built in 1901 and has 3 stories and 1 unit.” Bruce D. Haynes, a professor… Read More

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Landmarks

African Burial Ground: New York’s unforgettable monument (NPS 100)

This month America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the organization which protects the great natural and historical treasures of the United States. There are a number of NPS locations in the five borough areas. Throughout the next few weeks, we will focus on a few of our favorites.   For more information,… Read More

Categories
Friday Night Fever Podcasts

The tale of the Cotton Club: “The Aristocrat of Harlem”

PODCAST The musical story of the Cotton Club, the most famous (and infamous) nightclub of the Jazz Age. The Cotton Club, Harlem’s most prominent nightclub during the Prohibiton era, delivered some of the greatest music legends of the Jazz Age — Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson, Ethel Waters, the Nicolas Brothers.  Some of the most iconic songs in the American… Read More

Categories
Friday Night Fever

The tale of the Cotton Club: “The Aristocrat of Harlem”

PODCAST The musical story of the Cotton Club, the most famous (and infamous) nightclub of the Jazz Age.   The Cotton Club, Harlem’s most prominent nightclub during the Prohibiton era, delivered some of the greatest music legends of the Jazz Age — Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson, Ethel Waters, the Nicolas Brothers. Some of… Read More

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Modern Family: Black and Latino Alliances in New York City

The political landscape of modern New York City is a stew of neighborhood, borough, financial and ethnic interests built upon over two centuries of experience and tradition.  The most interesting story of the past fifty years — both locally and nationally — is the ascension of minority voices into the public sphere, reflecting population changes but… Read More

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf

‘Spectacle’: The Story of Ota Benga

In 1906, visitors to the Bronx Zoo observed a rather bizarre sight in the Monkey House — the exhibition of a man in African dress, often accompanied by a parrot or an orangutan. An African pygmy, so read the sign, “Age, 23, Height, 4 feet 11 inches, Weight 103 pounds, Brought from the Kasai River, Congo Free… Read More

Categories
True Crime

‘Days of Rage’ and Nights of Terror

Right before noon on March 6, 1970, an explosion tore open a lovely Greenwich Village townhouse at 18 West 11th Street and awoke New York City to a violent new threat. The remains of three bodies were discovered in the smoking debris but they weren’t residents of this quiet neighborhood. They were members of The Weather… Read More