Black Gotham Experience fills in the blanks of Black history one step at a time

Kemberly Richardson Image
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Walking tours fill in the blanks of Black history one step at a time
Kemberly Richardson has more on Black Gotham Experience.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- History is built into the sidewalks of New York City. One company based on movement is hoping to bring an educational shift to the city.

The Black Gotham Experience (BGX) is working to fill in the blanks when it comes to Black history and its direct link to New York City's complicated past.

"New York City is really a historical Black city. If you understand New York without understanding the Black history, you probably just think about lights, big city, it's much more than that," said Kamau Ware, an artist and historian who founded BGX.

BGX hosts walking tours throughout the city in an effort to educate everyone from local elementary schoolers to tourists about the history under their very feet.

For example, at Water and Wall Street in Manhattan there once was a thriving slave market.

The 90-minute guided walks hosted by BGX are designed to remap your mind. In total, there are five different walks to choose from.

The first of the walks highlights history from the 1620's.

"We often wait until we get to the 1800's and mention very important luminaries that are black and orators and abolitionists but before there was even a British empire, there were black people on this island," said Ware.

One walk, titled Sara's Fire, tells the story of the first recorded slave rebellion in New York City back in 1712.

"I like meeting people who are drawn to this type of ethos around education and storytelling that's a really unique gumbo you're not going to find this concoction in many cities," said Ware.

An ethos that BGX abides by, filling in the blanks of history one step at a time.

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