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African American Historical Landmarks in the New York Area

African American Historical Landmarks in the New York Area

These landmarks are worth a visit to learn more about our country's African American history.

We put together a list of some of the New York region's important public monuments and statues that commemorate famous African Americans who contributed to American history, from the Civil War through Civil Rights. Check out these historical landmarks and buildings all over the New York metro area.

African American Landmarks in Manhattan

Invisible Man: A Memorial to Ralph Ellison
 Riverside Dr. at 150th St., Harlem
WHAT: Ralph Ellison was a 20th century African-American writer best known for his bestselling novel, Invisible Man. Written in 1952, the novel captures the story of an African-American civil rights worker from the south who moves to New York. The memorial was erected after Ellison’s death in Harlem where he was a longtime resident. See the memorial and give honor to a remarkable man with the family.
African Burial Ground National Monument
 290 Broadway, at the corner of Duane Street
WHAT: The monument’s main building, the Ted Weiss Federal Buiding, contains the remains of more than 400 Africans buried in the 17th and 18th centuries, just a portion of the largest colonial-era cemetery for people of African decent, both free and enslaved. The sacred site honors the contribution and forgotten history of African slaves in the development of colonial and federal New York. 
WANT TO GO? The outdoor memorial is closed through March 31 for the winter season, but the indoor visitor center is open daily Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm. 212-637-2019.

Jackie Robinson Monument
 85 Bradhurst Ave., at the corner of West 147th Street 
WHAT: The park provides ten blocks of resources for the Harlem community, including the Recreation Center which has fitness facilities and programming. The bronze Jackie Robinson bust is located inside the pool and recreation center entryway, and commemorates the baseball legend’s contribution to American history, pioneering into professional sports as the first black player in the major leagues. 
WANT TO GO? The building is open Monday-Friday, 8am-9pm, and Saturday, 9am-5pm.
Swing Low: A Memorial to Harriet Tubman 
 West 122nd Street between St. Nicholas Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard
WHAT: An oversized full-figure portrait sculpture in bronze and granite commemorating the abolitionist and humanitarian, who as a freed slave, devoted her life to rescue others fighting for freedom.
Frederick Douglass Circle 
 110 Street and Eighth Avenue, northwest corner of Central Park 
WHAT: A bronze, wrought iron monument with a water feature, honors the abolitionist, write, and teacher. The statue is inscribed with historical details and quotations from Douglass’ work and slaves’ passage to freedom.

African American Landmarks in Brooklyn

Sandy Ground Historical Museum 
 1538 Woodrow Road, Staten Island
WHAT: The Sandy Ground Historical Museum in the Rossville area of Staten Island is the oldest continually inhabited free black settlement in the U.S. Take in the African-American art and culture and learn about the history of freedom and the Civil War. Take a tour to see arts & crafts, films, lectures, and special children’s exhibits.
WANT TO GO? 718-317-5796.
Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese Monument
 MCU Park, Surf Avenue between West 16th and 19th Streets, Coney Island
WHAT: This statue depicts these two famous baseball pioneers who fought for racial equality, sportsmanship, friendship, and conciliation.

African American Landmarks in Queens

Louis Armstrong House Museum
 34-56 107th St., Corona
WHAT: Visit the house the jazz legend shared for 28 years with his wife Lucille from 1943 until his death. The uniquely decorated rooms are preserved as Lucille designed them, you can walk Louis’ study, his library, and listen to some of his music and recorded interviews.
WANT TO GO? Wednesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 12-5pm. Tours on the hour, every hour until 4pm. $12 admission.

Soul in Flight
Arthur Ashe Stadium, 124-02 Roosevelt Ave. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
WHAT: See the breathtaking memorial to the late tennis player, Arthur Ashe, entitled “Soul in Flight.” Sculpted by Eric Fishl, the bronze and granite piece captures the essence of Ashe’s talent and strength both on the tennis court and through his human rights initiatives. The memorial was dedicated in 2000. See the vibrant stadium and pay respect to this hero with your children.


African American Landmarks on Long Island

African American Museum of Nassau County
110 N. Franklin St., Hempstead
WHAT: Visit the 6,000 square foot museum dedicated to the appreciation of African-American culture, art, and tradition. See collections, exhibitions, and special programs. Take a tour of the beautiful space with hands-on art projects for the kids and event areas for receptions. What a wonderful way to celebrate Black History Month on Long Island.
WANT TO GO? 516-572-0730.

Southampton African American Museum
: 245 N. Sea Road, Southampton
WHAT: Take the family to learn about African-American culture at the very first African-American historic landmark in the Village of Southampton. See exhibitions, symbols of celebration, and cultural items. The museum’s mission is to encourage learning and enhance the lives of the people in their community.
WANT TO GO? 516-572-0730.

Joseph Lloyd Manor 
 Lloyde Lane and Lloyde Harbor Road, Lloyde Harbor
WHAT: This colonial building was built in 1766 and came under British occupation during the Revolutionary War, then to became the home of Jupiter Hammon, a slave and first published black poet. 
WANT TO GO? Open Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day, on Sundays from 1-5pm, or by appointment. $5; $3 children. 631-692-4664.

African American Landmarks in Westchester County

Estella Diggs Park
East 167th Street and Fulton Avenue, Bronx
WHAT: Estella Diggs, born in 1916, was the first African-American woman to represent the Bronx in the New York State Assembly. The park was formerly named Rocks and Roots was renamed for the heroic leader in 2011 after a multi-million dollar renovation. Relax with the family and tour the winding paths and sit upon the lovely benches.
WANT TO GO? 212-639-9675.

Neuberger Museum of Art
 Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase 
WHAT: The Neuberger Museum of art is Westchester’s premier museum of African, modern, and contemporary art. There are 10 new exhibitions each year, so you can come back with the family regularly to see new exhibits. See the cultural significance of African art and learn all about it, since the museum is considered a teaching museum.
WANT TO GO?  914-251-6100.

Mount Gulian Historical Site
 145 Sterling St., Beacon 
WHAT: James Brown escaped from slavery in Maryland, and made his way to New York via the Underground Railroad. His journals are some of the only written evidence of the daily life experiences of black people during that time in the North. He lived and worked at the estate through the Civil War years until his death in 1868.
WANT TO GO? Tours are available from May through October on Wednesday-Friday and Sundays, every hour on the hour from 1-5pm. $8; $6 seniors; $4 children. 845-831-8172.

African American Landmarks in Fairfield County, CT

Prudence Crandall Museum
 1 S. Canterbury Road, Canterbury
WHAT: Visit this National Historic Landmark with your family, where Prudence Crandall opened a school for African Americans while she was an abolitionist and teacher. The school was open from 1832-34. Crandall was designated Connecticut's State Heroine for her courage to stand up for African-American women during turbulent times. 
WANT TO GO? 860-546-7800.
Main image: Inside the African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan.
Courtesy National Park Services


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Catherine Patwell

Author: Catherine Patwell is a student of journalism and Italian at Hunter College. When not studying, she is running along the Hudson River, reading cookbooks, or plotting her next travel adventure. Catherine currently resides in Manhattan. See More

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