Thursday, February 2, 2012

90 Gold Street: Site Of Philip White's Pharmacy

below from NYPL Digital Gallery, The New York Public Library

Carla Peterson talks about her ancestor Philip White in her book, Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City
While researching Philip White’s life in postbellum New York City, Peterson used city directories to uncover that while White had moved his residence from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn in 1870, his pharmacy remained in its same location in Manhattan until his death in 1891. Peterson wondered why, since he moved his home, White hadn’t also moved his business, either in 1863 in the aftermath of the Draft Riots (which traumatized the black community), or in 1867, when he married Elizabeth Guignon? So she decided to walk the streets where White’s home had once been located—and found the entrance ramp for the Brooklyn Bridge. To build the unsuspended approaches and anchorages leading up to the bridge’s span on the Manhattan side, “this required clearing six blocks between Chatham and Water and Frankfort and Duane Streets…Philip’s drugstore on the corner of Frankfort and Gold was saved, but his home on Vandewater Street was demolished” (311). City directories led to city maps which led to city streets which revealed urban renewal – and a crucial piece of Peterson’s story.
View a booktalk by Professor Peterson on cspan. She will we speaking at the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday February 4, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Portrait of African American Heroes: Illustrations by Ansel Pitcairn

From the youtube description: Visual artist Ansel Pitcairn displays and discusses the art in the book Portrait of African American Heroes. Maritri & Tantra-Zawadi perform with Ansel Pitcairn"s art as a backdrop.
I'm proud to say Ansel was a student of mine nearly 30 years ago. When I was teaching at PS 397 he and another one of my favorites, John Daniels, would often visit and Ansel would create murals to illustrate language arts and reading and math strategy skills. I wish I saved them. I own the above book and highly recommend it.

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