The promise of freedom enlivened the 1820s. Blacks thrust themselves into freedom resourcefully. The well educated became ministers, publishers, and teachers. The enterprising sold goods in storefronts, markets, and street corners. The flamboyant paraded boldly on stage, in carriages, and on the avenues. The modest labored all day to stay afloat.

What tied them together was a faith in freedom's promise and a sense of responsibility for one another. They were truly writing, as they said, "freedom's journal."

In this feature, click on the book to meet some of freedom's people.
Despite obstacles, an unshakeable and resourceful black New York turned out by the thousands to celebrate the abolition of slavery with parades, orations, and worship on July 4 & 5, 1827. Black New York had every reason to be proud: they had nurtured a diverse and ambitious community which included numerous churches, schools, independent businesses, benevolent and reform associations, and a fierce dedication to ending slavery, eliminating racial injustice, and holding America to its highest ideals.
Profile: Reverend William Hamilton
The Route of the Emancipation Day Parade, July 4th, 1827