, Mon, September 17, 2018
Weeksville’s historic Hunterfly Road Houses via Wiki Commons
After the state of New York State abolished slavery in 1827, the country’s second-largest free black community was established in Brooklyn. Known as Weeksville, today the neighborhood falls a bit under the radar, surrounded by more sought-after neighborhoods like Crown Heights and Bed Stuy. But it’s a charming little enclave, lined with many two-family homes and small brick rowhouses, that has done well to preserve its history. And just down the street from the Weeksville Heritage Center is a new 10-unit rental building at 1520 Prospect Place that just opened an affordable housing lottery for three $2,098/month one-bedrooms.
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Historic Hunterfly Road Houses via the Brooklyn Historical Society
It’s a mighty sounding moniker, but the name “King’s County” also speaks to Brooklyn’s less-than-democratic origins. At the turn of the 19th century, the city of Brooklyn was known as the “slaveholding capital” of New York State and was home to the highest concentration of enslaved people north of the Mason-Dixon Line. But, after New York State abolished slavery in 1827, free black professionals bought land in what is now Crown Heights and founded Weeksville, a self-supporting community of African American Freedman, which grew to become the second-largest free black community in Antebellum America. By 1855, over 520 free African Americans lived in Weeksville, including some of the leading activists in the Abolitionist and Equal Suffrage movements.
More about free black Brooklyn