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The Destruction of Seneca Village

The final effort to save Seneca Village was long, arduous, and bloody. Although the residents of Seneca Village endeavored to stay in Seneca Village and continue the protest they had started, they were ultimately forced to leave and abandon their community. In other words, Seneca Villagers had to leave their homes, schools, cemeteries, and churches. For more than 30 years, Seneca Village had been a beacon of hope to many African Americans throughout New York, yet, through an act of racism, it was ruthlessly destroyed.

Despite the remarkable institutions, such as churches and schools, in Seneca Village, the village was much more than a collection of these institutions. They were a community: a collective movement that represented the hope and possibility of African American New Yorkers. Furthermore, Seneca Village symbolized and represented many ideas like African pride, racism, Black New Yorkers’ effort to create lasting Black institutions, the tension between blacks and whites, and blacks’ growing political power.

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