Crown Heights

Trolley tour to celebrate Black History Month in Brooklyn

A Look at the Lives of Prominent Black New Yorkers, with Lunch

February 22, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Weeksville Heritage House has launched a fund-raising campaign to avoid closure. File photo courtesy of Weeksville Heritage Center
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The last slave in New York refused her owner’s offer of freedom. When the first African-American woman to earn a medical degree in New York died, W.E.B. DuBois gave her eulogy. When a famous Brooklyn artist went to California to paint, he brought along his girlfriend, an unknown aspiring singer named Madonna.

These are just a few of the lives being celebrated on a special Black History Month trolley tour put together by Green-Wood Cemetery and Weeksville Heritage Center. The tour, highlighting prominent black New Yorkers and abolitionists, takes place on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Beginning with a trolley ride through Green-Wood, attendees will first visit the graves of notable residents including Margaret Pine (1778-1857), the aforementioned last slave in New York; Susan Smith McKinney Steward (1847-1918), the first black female doctor in the state; James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938), a lawyer and diplomat famous for penning the popular hymn Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing; and accomplished artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1959-1988).

The trolley will also visit Green-Wood’s “Colored Lots,” and learn the burial ground’s recently unearthed history.

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Following the tour of Green-Wood, the trolley will head to Weeksville Heritage Center in Crown Heights, now Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution, to see the new exhibition “Weeksville, Transforming Community/ In Pursuit of Freedom” and the 19th-century Hunterfly Road houses. A box lunch will be provided and visitors will dine in the new main room of the Weeksville Heritage Center. The trolley will then return to Green-Wood.

The tour takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet inside the main gate at 25th Street at 5th Avenue. (Take the “R” train to 25th Street.) The trolley tour is $40; $35 for members of the Green-Wood Historic Fund or the Brooklyn Historical Society. Reservations are required. Visit or call 718-210-3080. Email [email protected] with any food allergies.


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