Reclaiming Black Spaces: How African Americans shaped Lower Manhattan

by  Tenement Museum

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In the Tenement Museum’s newest program, Reclaiming Black Spaces, students will learn about how Black and African Americans shaped Lower Manhattan as they made homes, businesses, and communities there over the centuries. Facilitated discussion will allow students to consider questions like: What drew Black New Yorkers to Lower Manhattan, and how were their experiences shaped by that migration? How did those communities create a sense of home, and how did they resist the racism they faced? From the story of Sebastiaen de Britto, one of the first Black residents of the area in the 1640s, to Studio We, a musician’s collective in the 1970s, we’ll look through windows into the past that expand the history of today’s Lower East Side. Students will explore primary source documents, photographs, and music and discuss the need to reclaim historical identities and stories that have been left out of traditional narratives.

Program Rating

This program has not yet been evaluated.

About This Program


Multipoint: $15.00

The fee for this program has been reduced to reflect that multiple classrooms will be participating in a single program.


1 Hour

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 9, 10, 11, 12, Learning Pod

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Culture, Problem Based Learning, Problem Solving, Social and Emotional Learning( SEL), Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode


Booking Information

This is an assembly-style Zoom program for up to 10 classrooms. Once 10 classrooms have registered, registration for that specific session will be closed.

Sorry, this program is not currently available. To inquire about future availability, please contact Tenement Museum

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

CANCELLATION/RESCHEDULING/REFUNDING POLICY: Reservation payments are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Refunds are only given if your reservation is rescheduled up to two weeks prior to the reserved date. Any payment canceled less than two weeks will not be refunded and will given a voucher for a future visit. If extenuating circumstances occur, such as staffing strikes or technology issues, suspension of all school activities issued by your Department of Education your reservation may be rescheduled or your payment refunded, at the Museum’s discretion.

About This Provider

Content Provider logo


Tenement Museum

New York, NY
United States

Tenement Museum virtual field trips immerse students in the past through 360° images, video, and primary sources. Students explore history through the stories of real people and see how their own stories are part of history. Immigration and migration are the foundation for all programs, and museum educators connect the themes of belonging, community building, and cultural adaptation in programming to create entry points for students of all identities and experiences.

Programs are adapted for students k-12, collegiate, and adult learners and led by a museum educator for a flexible, interactive, and inquiry-based experience that makes history relevant. All programs are aligned with the National Education Standards, the C3 framework, and multi-state Social Studies Scope and Sequence.

Kristen Lay (Group Experience Coordinator)

Program Details


1. This program begins with an introduction to the Tenement Museum, and a brief history of tenements.
2. We are introduced to the connection between immigration, migration, and forced migration and the Tenements, using a timeline to highlight key moments in history.
3. We are introduced to the idea that we will be virtually visiting a series of locations in Lower Manhattan that are significant to Black and African American history.
4. Participants learn about the history of these sites; from the story of?one of the first Black residents of the area in the 1640s, to Studio We, a musician’s collective in the 1970s.
5. At each stop, participants will explore primary source documents, photographs, and music and discuss Black and African American history on the Lower East Side.
7. The program closes with time for outstanding questions and thematic discussion.


• Students will develop an appreciation for how Black and African Americans shaped Lower Manhattan 
• Students will explore the factors that drew Black New Yorkers to Lower Manhattan, and how they established communities  
• Students will engage in discussion about how Black history has been erased, restored, or preserved in this neighborhood.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.6-8.RH.1 -- Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.7.RI.10 -- By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.8.RI.10 -- By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RL.1 -- Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RL.3 -- Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RL.4 -- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RL.7 -- Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.9-10.RST.2 -- Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.