19th-CENTURY AFRICAN AMERICAN NEW YORK
After 1827 and for most of the rest of the 19th century, life in New
York City was difficult for African Americans in spite of being free.
Open race hatred and discrimination were part of the social fabric.
In the 19th century, Europeans were generally taught that they were
physically and mentally superior to people of African descent.
African Americans were denied equal legal and voting rights.
They were excluded from most professions and many occupations, barred
entry to leading museums, libraries, restaurants, hotels, etc., and had
their access to public and private transportation restricted as well.
story of African American New Yorker, Elizabeth Jennings, who fought to
integrate public transportation in New York City.
In the face of this brutal oppression, some African American New
Yorkers fled; others stayed put or repositioned themselves in nearby
places, like Seneca
Village and Weeksville.
The Black community exerted constant pressure on those who ruled New
York, using moral suasion, civil disobedience, and creative use of the
African American New York also developed its own
institutions--churches, corporations, libraries, stores, theaters,
schools, etc.; forced certain companies to integrate their services or
premises; and helped make New York City the center of the abolition