Land of the Blacks is a digital exhibition in homage to the people of African descent that negotiated their freedom in the colony of New Netherland in the 1600s, in what is now the borough of Manhattan. Before New York City had its name, there were 28 farmsteads that stretched from today’s southeastern corner of Chinatown north and westward to Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.
For centuries, these lands and these stories have been traversed with little to no acknowledgement. After a virtual presentation by Black Gotham Experience in October 2020, Community Board 2 unanimously passed a resolution to mark these territories the following month. The artists in this exhibition, Adrian Franks, Kamau Ware, and Pope Phoenix present digital works that celebrate this recognition and extend the idea of legacy and ownership to current conversations affirming Black lives in 2021.