Unearthing New York City’s Forgotten Past: Seneca Village the Life and Death of an African American and Irish Immigrant Community
Join us for a talk about Seneca Village and the research and primary sources that discovered its silenced history. Led by Mr. Herbert Seignoret, Director of Academic Advising at the Colin Powell School and Associate Director of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History.
About the Talk:
Seneca Village was established in the 1820s as a free Black settlement. The Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History (IESVH) has defined its boundaries as 82nd to 89th Streets and 7th to 8th (Central Park West) Avenues, as these streets might extend into the park.
By the mid-1850s, it was a thriving community with a population of over 260; two-thirds were of African descent, while the rest were Europeans, mostly Irish. The community included a school and three churches; two were Black while one was racially integrated. In the 1850s, the City of New York legislated to construct Central Park in the area that included Seneca Village.
Taking the land through the right of eminent domain, it evicted the residents and razed their homes for the Park’s creation. This talk will explore the work done by the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History to research and raise awareness on the silenced history of Seneca Village.
Herbert Seignoret is the Director of the Colin Powell School’s Academic Advising Office. He is also the Associate Director of the Institute for the Exploration of Seneca Village History. The goal of the institute is to conduct ongoing research on the site of Seneca Village, to educate the public about its significance to the city’s history, and to commemorate the site.