Events & News

Sandy Ground Oral History: Memories of Life and Work in the Nation’s Oldest Free Black Settlement

Sandy Ground Oral History: Memories of Life and Work in the Nation’s Oldest Free Black Settlement

November 16, 2017
5:30-7:30 p.m.
St. George Library Center

Join us for the culminating celebration of the Sandy Ground Oral History Project! The evening will begin with an introduction to the history of Sandy Ground and a screening of a short documentary about the community. We will then share and discuss some of the stories recorded during the Sandy Ground Oral History Project.

Refreshments will be served, and admission is free.

Founded in 1828, Sandy Ground is the oldest continuously inhabited free black settlement in the United States. Today, the area is home to four buildings that have been designated as historic landmarks, the oldest of which dates to 1859. The Sandy Ground Historical Society has been active since the 1970s, and continues to provide valuable educational programs to raise awareness about the heritage of the area.

During the summer of 2017, members of the Sandy Ground community were trained in how to conduct interviews through a collaboration of the Sandy Ground Historical Society, the New York Public Library, and the New York Preservation Archive Project. After training, interviewers recorded stories from their neighbors, friends, family, and anyone with a strong connection to Sandy Ground.

All the oral histories recorded will be available to the public at the Sandy Ground Historical Society, the NYPL Milstein Division for US History, Local History, and Genealogy, as well as the New York Public Library website, oralhistory.nypl.org.

This program is made possible by Humanities New York and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 

Location:
St. George Library Center
5 Central Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301
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Above: Robert McKinney, Jeffrey Moody, Catherine McKinney, Denise Pedro and Warren Landin, from left, play in Sandy Ground on March 31, 1967. Courtesy of the Sandy Ground Historical Society