The Atlantic Slave Trade was the largest forced migration in world history. Twelve million Africans were captured and enslaved in the Americas. More than 90 per day for 400 years. Over 40,000 ships brought enslaved Africans across the ocean. Though New York Passed an act to gradually abolish slavery in 1799 and manumitted the last enslaved people in 1827, it remained an intrinsic part of city life until after the civil war, as businesspeople continued to profit off of the products of the slave trade like sugar and molasses imported from the Caribbean.
By the turn of the eighteenth century, enslaved and free black New Yorkers had become sufficiently familiar with the laws to both openly break them and try using them to advance their own interests and causes. They waged constant struggles, individually and collectively, against the constraints of their lives. They founded some of the earliest African-American churches, schools, and publications in the country. Black New Yorkers also established and ran successful businesses, created Underground Railroad stations, assisted and defended runaways, and helped organize and run antislavery and abolitionist societies.
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Below is an overview of the tour's path.