An Eye-Opening NY Tour

Why should you spend hours researching? Have someone do the work for you. Relax…

Below is a brief description of one of the tours I recently took.

Inside Out Tours

Slavery and the Underground Railroad

Last Saturday was a particularly cold day. I had signed up for a walking tour —the first I had ever done in New York. I read about this tour a year ago and it was on my radar. I finally signed up and what a mesmerizing experience .

The group met at the Indian Museum downtown Manhattan in the Wall Street area. Walking up to the group I was immediately aware of a very vivacious , enthusiastic woman talking animatedly to the small group. I introduced myself and found that this lovely woman was to be our tour guide. Ludie, the guide, gave us a short introduction to what the Underground Railroad was —and wasn’t. It was not some underground passageway but in fact certain safe houses slaves were taken from point to point from the South as they made their way to The North and supposed freedom. The north, as I presumed, was not the bastion of freedom I thought. Slavery was not abolished in New York until 1827.

In the mid 1600’s all the important ports were located in lower Manhattan and this area became the focal point for the formation of colonies by the Dutch West Indian company. The building of these colonies needed labor therefore cheap and/or free labor was required. Ludie took us through the history of the implementation of slavery in New York through the rebellion against the British, the hypocrisy of the fight for independence while still owning slaves, and the formation of the Underground Railroad. The secret codes and establishments that hid the runaway slaves coming from the south to freedom in the north and also some migration into Canada. The abolitionists, both black and white, who took chances time after time — putting their lives on the line if they were caught. Harriet Tubman, Ruggles and the countless others who fought for freedom. The first civil rights movement!

The tour was approximately 3-1/2 hours and ended at what is currently the largest sacred mass burial place of African Americans found in New York.

The Tour Guide was a fascinating storyteller/griot so well informed that the people and events in her stories came to life.

Inside Out Tours operates many tours throughout the city and the outer boroughs. It was such a pleasant, learning experience.
Feeling like a tourist in my home town and exploring this wonderful world we inhabit!!!!