POSTPONED: Uncovering the History of Seneca Village with Sara Cedar Miller

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This event has been postponed.

In celebration of Black History Month, join Sara Cedar Miller, historian emerita of the Central Park Conservancy, who will give an illustrated lecture on Seneca Village, the first and largest community of Black landowners in New York City, located within today's Central Park.

The prevailing narrative about Seneca Village has always been viewed through the lens of loss and victimization. However, in Sara's new book, Before Central Park, she shows how the community was an opportunity for Black empowerment and enrichment. In her research, she was able to unearth previously unpublished stories about the residents and renters who lived in the community or owned land there. You will learn how and why the village was formed, the effects of slavery on some residents, and meet several enterprising Black women of the time, one of whom joined the ranks of the richest Black women in America.  You will also visit the churches, gardens, schools, and what possibility was a future stop on the Underground Railroad. Sara will offer a suggestion for the name "Seneca Village" and finally answer the long-pondered question about the owners' monetary awards for ceding their property in order to create Central Park.

About the Presenter

Sara Cedar Miller first joined the Central Park Conservancy in 1984 as a photographer — a job she says changed her life. Since then, her role has evolved; today, as the Conservancy’s historian emerita, she conducts extensive research on Central Park, lectures on its history, and writes award-winning books.

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