The last five years has brought a wonderful awakening of knowledge and understanding about the richness of history in the Village of Irvington. Drawing on the extensive study and research by Village residents Sarah Cox and Cathy Sears, the hidden and often ignored stories of enslaved Africans along the eastern shores of the Hudson River are now being told. Hannah, Betty, Dick, David, Teem, Brebay, David, Bill, Jack, Bette, Bet, Caesar, Zusanna Derckse, and Hannah are among the many unrecognized, original inhabitants of our community – African men, women, and children identified by first names only, who were enslaved by many of the founding families of Irvington.
This history has been brought to light in articles, public art, community forums and public celebrations. It continues to thrive through the work of Commemorate, a committee of our friends and neighbors who are using civic engagement to reveal this history and to honor the humanity, resilience and contributions of these enslaved peoples.
To learn more about Commemorate and its work, please see the links below:
Learn about the history of slavery in Irvington: “Our Town and Slavery” by Cathy Sears and Sarah Cox, Volume 20, Issue One, THE ROOST (Winter 2019), published by the Irvington Historical Society.
Learn about the Enslaved African Burial Ground that was located on the Buckhout/Jewel farm in Irvington: “Report to Substantiate Enslaved African Burial Ground” by Sarah Cox, Cathy Sears, and Chet Kerr.
Watch the video presentation, “Our Town & Slavery: Irvington, NY”:
Virtually experience the unveiling and dedication of “Yesterday” on June 10, 2023, in a film created and produced by Michael Hanna of Protean Films.
Watch a documentary about the creation, installation and celebration of “Yesterday” produced by Dorinda Angelucci of AUX1 MEDIA, with very special thanks to Michael Hanna of Protean Films: