Black Gotham Experience’s “Land of the Blacks” now on view at the Oculus!

Land of the Blacks, a digital exhibition presented by Black Gotham Experience is now on view at the Oculus through March 25!

Land of the Blacks presents graphics, maps, and photography illustrating the 28 different land grants earned by Black people in New Netherland between 1643 and 1663, making it a Black community that predates New York City. On November 19th, 2020.

Community Board 2 passed a resolution unanimously to acknowledge the over 20 sites in their district. This digital exhibition is now the largest acknowledgment of these locations and a resource to the growing interest to understand where these sites are located.

Frequent collaborator, artist Adrian Franks joins the project along with artist Pope Phoenix to populate 22 screens at the Oculus with imagery that celebrates the Land of the Blacks from the 17th century and the spirit of ownership today.

The exhibition is available for public viewing at the Westfield World Trade Center Oculus between now through March 25th between 7am to 11pm.

The digital exhibition is on rotation on all the screens in the Oculus on a 2-minutes loop for 10 seconds. Gallery guides are available on

Portraits featured in the digital exhibition include the following historic Black figures and family members of the artists: Queen Nzinga, Catalina Anthony, Domingo Anthony, Sarah, Caesar, Bud Askew, Ella Franks, Wilie James Franks Jr., Gussie Cochran, Mattie C, Franks, Ernestine Jackson, Samuel W. Ware, William E. Ware, Dora M. Ware, Jeanne Christian, and Asis R. Ware.

Maps featured in the digital exhibition from the 1600s Land of the Black community of Manahatta include: Catalina Anthony (1643), Domingo Anthony (1643), Manuel Trumpeter (1643), Manuel Gerritt de Reus (1643), Cleyn Anthony (1643), Pieter San Tome (1644), Symon Congo (1644), Manuel Groot (1644), Anthony Portuguese (1645), Anthony Congo (1647), and Bastiaen Negro (1647)

Locations where these locations are today include Chinatown (Catalina Anthony and Domingo Anthony); Greenwich Village (Manuel Trumpeter, Anthony Portuguese, Pieter San Tome, and Manuel Groot); West Village (Symon Congo); SoHo (Cleyn Anthony); NoHo (Manuel Gerritt de Reus); Lower East Side (Anthony Congo and Bastiaen Negro).