Black Jacks: African American Sailors in the 19th Century

Here’s a fascinating and informative lecture coming up the first weekend of February that we wanted to share with you all. There are two opportunities to attend this free talk, Friday February 3rd at Borough Hall and Saturday February 4th at The Noble Maritime Collection.  More about this below.

The critical historic role played by black mariners in the Port of New York and Brooklyn although poorly understood is deeply relevant today. Over 25% of New York’s pre-Civil War maritime workers were black. Their story deserves to be told, especially in the port cities like New York, where their work was vital. These sailors helped to smuggle slaves to freedom and often served as a conduit for news and information. Their skills were critical to the social, educational and communications networks and mobility of black seaboard communities.

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