The Black Experience in Dutch New York

Friday, November 5, 2021

Program Summary

The explosion of research into the lives of the Black inhabitants of the Dutch colony of New Netherland in recent years inspired this program. This special program brings together scholars who are at the cutting edge of this work. How did Black people live in New Amsterdam? What was slavery in the colony? When did the first Africans arrive? The NYG&B co-hosted this program with the New Netherland Institute.

Featured speaker, Andrea Mosterman, Associate Professor of History at the University of New Orleans, discusses the topic of her newly released book, Spaces of Enslavement: A History of Slavery and Resistance in Dutch New York.

A panel discussion moderated by Lavada Nahon, culinary and cultural historian, followed. The panel featured short talks by:

  • Jaap Jacobs, Honorary Reader at the University of St. Andrews, author of a soon-to-be-published article about the first Blacks in New Amsterdam
  • Nicole Maskiell, Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, author of the forthcoming Bound by Bondage: Slavery and the Creation of a Northern Gentry
  • Debra Bruno, author of a recent Washington Post article about her search for her enslaving ancestors.

A lively and fascinating discussion among the moderator and panelist concluded with a Q&A from the live participants.

Program Sponsors

Sponsored by the New Netherland Institute and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society with support from the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York, and in collaboration with the New Amsterdam History Center and the New York State Education Department, Office of Cultural Education.