Category: Migration

United States – Blackdom, New Mexico

Founded by Frank and Ella Boyer in 1901, the town of Blackdom located in Chaves County, was the first solely African American community in New Mexico. During the early 1920s, the town thrived and had over 800 residents. However, the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression changed the.. Read More…

A group of Black people talking on a street in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Photo Credit: © Photo Credit: © New York Public Library Digital Collections.

United States – Mound Bayou, Mississippi

Mound Bayou, a town located on the Mississippi Delta was founded circa 1887 by freed enslaved people, Isaiah T. Montgomery and his cousin, Benjamin T. Green, who purchased 840 acres of Mississippi swampland. The goal was to become a self-reliant, autonomous, all-Black community. During its heyday, Mound Bayou had dozens.. Read More…

Refugees on Levee, 1897. "Exodusters waiting for a steamboat to carry them westward in the late 1870s. Photo Credit: © Library of Congress.

United States – Exoduster Movement

The American Civil War ended in 1865. It had been won by the anti-slavery Northern states. This meant that over four million African-Americans were freed from slavery in 1865. However, many of the Southern States could not accept this and they continued to try and restrict Black Americans’ freedom. In.. Read More…

Nicodemus Historic District, Nicodemus, Graham County, Kansas. Photo Credit: © Library of Congress.

United States – Nicodemus, Kansas

Nicodemus was founded in 1877 as an unincorporated community in Graham County, Kansas, United States. A group of 30 Black settlers from Kentucky established the town of Nicodemus in western Kansas. Two theories explain the choice of the name Nicodemus. One is thought to be named after the Biblical figure.. Read More…

United States – Post-Civil War All-Black Towns

Between 1865 and 1915, more than 1200 Black settlements, enclaves, and towns were established in the United States, including 500 settlements with the physical elements and cultural institutions in a town format, and 50 to 60 Black towns legally incorporated in 19 states. The first migration of African Americans after.. Read More…

Panoramic view of Freedman's village, Arlington, Virginia. Photo Credit: © Library of Congress.

United States – Freedman’s Village, Virginia

Part of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Arlington Estate in Virginia was transformed into Freedmen’s Village, initially housing over 100 formerly enslaved people from the Washington D.C. area. Officially dedicated with a ceremony in December 1863 and attended by members of Congress, Freedman’s Village had housing, schools, a hospital, and.. Read More…

Welcome to Africatown sign. Photo Credit: © Graveyardwalker (Amy Walker) via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Africatown aka Plateau, Alabama

A group of 32 West Africans, part of an illegal shipment of enslaved Black people brought to the United States, formed Africatown three miles north of downtown Mobile, Alabama in 1860. Retaining their West African traditions well into the 1950s, the area is now known as the Africatown Historic District.. Read More…

Hunterfly Road Houses, Weeksville, Brooklyn. Photo Credit: © Anonitect via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Weeksville, Brooklyn

Weeksville is a historic neighborhood founded by free African Americans in what is now Brooklyn, New York, United States. Today, it is part of the present-day neighborhood of Crown Heights. Weeksville was named after James Weeks, an African American stevedore from Virginia. In 1838 (11 years after the final abolition.. Read More…

Map showing the former location of Seneca Village (Egbert Viele, ca. 1857). Photo Credit: © Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Seneca Village, New York City

Seneca Village in New York was founded in 1825 by free Black Americans, the first such community in the city. At its peak, the community had 264 residents, three churches, a school, and two cemeteries. The settlement was later also inhabited by Irish and German immigrants. Seneca Village existed until.. Read More…