New York City’s Emancipation Day Freedom March and Program

Slavery was officially outlawed in the state of New York on July 4th in 1827.  Some Black New Yorkers, most notably Pierre Toussaint, publicly celebrated freedom that day on America’s Birthday.  However the vast majority of Black New York, it seems, recognized the Emancipation on July 5th.  To the enslaved the Independence holiday must have reeked of hypocrisy.  For many of the newly freed, celebrating then felt wrong. By all accounts on July 5, 1827 African American New York poured into the streets to stage a huge and frenetic event that began a tradition of July 5th Emancipation Day holidays.

In 2003 the St. Augustine’s Slave Galleries Committee decided to revisit this tradition and  celebrate the Emancipation of slavery in New York.  Included are a few highlights from our most recent Freedom march and program from SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2007.

--> An African American quilt & doll exhibit organized by Slave Galleries Committee member Minnie Curry

--> Notes on Colonel Tye as presented by keynote presenter Emilyn Brown.