The prevailing narrative of Seneca Village is one of loss, focused predominantly on the moment the City of New York moved to evict Black villagers and raze their community by the power of eminent domain for the implementation of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s design for Central Park. In her new book Before Central Park, Sara Cedar Miller illuminates the deeper histories of the Black property owners—many of whom were women—and the monetary awards they received. For this event, Miller will be in conversation with Carla L. Peterson, author of Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth Century New York City and a descendant of the Lyons family of Seneca Village. Together they will discuss recovered stories of Black women who empowered themselves through real estate profits and other means before, during, and after the creation of Central Park.
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM