Capital Region African American Landmarks
With today being Juneteenth, I thought this might be a good time to give you some interesting and educational sites that you might want to visit in the area to improve your knowledge. They say that knowledge is power, so I’m giving you some power.
First up is the Stephen and Harriet Myer Residence which is located in Arbor Hill. The Stephen and Harriet Myer residence is important to African-Americans because it was a stop on the underground railroad. When slaves escaped from the south, many stopped at the Myer residence on their way to Canada. The mansion was also used as a meeting location for abolitionists in the 1800s. The residence has been preserved as a historical location.
Next is the Crailo State Historic Site. The Crailo Historic Site was built by Hendrick Van Rensselaer and it now serves as a museum for Colonial New Netherland history. The cellar of the house has been preserved to show where slaves cooked and slept. An annual festival called Pinkster began as a religious Dutch holiday, but in the 17th century enslaved and free African-Americans began to celebrate African culture during the festival. You can learn more about Pinkster at the Crailo Historic Site.
The last place I want to tell you about is the Historic African Burial Ground Site at Historic St. Agnes Cemetery. Revolutionary War General Philip Schuyler was a slave owner here in Albany, New York. General Schuyler had about 14 slaves buried on his property at the Schuyler Flatts. In 2017 the slaves' remains were moved to the Historic St. Agnes Cemetery. To honor the memory of those slaves the cemetery has been renamed Historic African Burial Ground Site at Historic St. Agnes Cemetery.
In addition to the other Juneteenth celebrations that are going on in Albany this weekend, get out and see some of these historical locations if you can. Make sure you visit their websites first, just to make sure they are open and accepting visitors. Whatever you do, remember knowledge is power!
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