Wall Street signage about Atlantic Slave Trade in NYC
  • Petitioned Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC City Council

This petition was delivered to:

Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC City Council

Wall Street signage about Atlantic Slave Trade in NYC

    1. Petition by

      Occupy Publishing

      NY

December 13th is the 300th anniversary of the law establishing the first slave market in New York. That market was located at the end of Wall Street where present day Water Street is. Yet there is not a single sign, plaque, marker, statue, memorial or monument with any reference to slavery or the slave trade in Lower Manhattan (with the exception of the African Burial Ground memorial).

The fact is that New York’s first City Hall was built with slave labor. The first Congress passed the Bill of Rights there and George Washington gave his inaugural speech there. Slaves helped build the wall that Wall Street is named for. Slavery was such a big part of early New York that during the colonial era one in five people living in New York was an enslaved African. One in five. Yet there are no permanent signs acknowledging the role slaves played in early New York.

Even after the discovery of a massive, 6.6 acre burial ground where Africans - free and enslaved - were buried, with thousands of individuals possibly still in the ground, their contribution to New York is and has been almost completely invisible.

Please sign this petition asking that permanent signage be put up acknowledging the role of the African Slave Trade in the development of early New York and to finally recognize the contributions slaves made to New York. After 300 years it is finally time to tell their story.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. A new video at the site of the former Slave Market

      Occupy Publishing
      Petition Organizer

      This video shows you directly where the site is and explains a bit about the area on Wall Street.

    2. More Ways to Spread the Word in NY and Beyond!

      Occupy Publishing
      Petition Organizer

      Not only a petition campaign any more! We have started a modest fundraising campaign to produce cards and posters in New York to educate the public. All will be given away. A great thing to be a part of!!

    3. Reached 100 signatures
    4. I was just interviewed in New York for Sam Seder's Majority Report.

      Occupy Publishing
      Petition Organizer

      He had me on to discuss why the signage campaign was important and we discussed how it related to events today. Sam is frequently on MSNBC and interacts with a lot of NYC media people. This is great and will potentially reach a lot more people than on Facebook! See the link below to listen:

    5. Huffington Post featured the campaign in a great article today!

      Occupy Publishing
      Petition Organizer

      It's a great first step! We are getting in the news because someone should have done this a long time ago! Spread the word!

    6. Reached 50 signatures
    7. Councilman Jumaane Williams came and spoke at the press conference today

      Occupy Publishing
      Petition Organizer

      Councilman Williams along with Councilman Ydanez Rodriguez and Councilwoman Leticia James have all expressed support for this petition - this is good for us because it shows we have a real shot at making this happen!

    8. Reached 10 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Emil Scheller FORT LEE, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      It is very important that we become aware of our history. There is far too much ignorance about this aspect. Without a whole picture what we know is much diminished.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Pearl Duncan NEW YORK, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      Author, researcher and genealogist who has written about Wall Street, the slave market and Lower Manhattan. I am completing a book about the 18th-century merchant cargo ship discovered in the foundations of the World Trade Center. When I researched the ship, I discovered lost stories about New York's colonial history. I have written about the slave market on NearSay.com. Recognition of the site at Wall and Pearl and Water Streets is long overdue. We have ancestors who passed through that site.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • cheryl alu LOS ANGELES, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      the more things change the more they remain the same. Real freedom is participation in power and all the power still rests with the one percent

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mae Yanowitz BROOKLYN, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      It is important that we acknowledge our past so that we know who we've been and can choose where we wish to go.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Justin Williams UNIONDALE, NY
      • over 2 years ago

      We, the people, must continue to require (if not shame) the power elite into making our Union ever more perfect by ending the denials and omissions to our collective history. The Jewish Holocaust never occurred in America, yet this sad event has been memorialized all over America, as if part of our history.

      Two vicious holocausts, centuries longer than the approximately 15 year mass extermination of Jewish brothers and sisters, happened in these United States (to African & Native people). Neither get similar press. Until this changes, our Union shall remain as imperfect as it is.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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