Recent Discoveries in Local Black History

  • Did you know that a civil
    An ad in the "Colored American" newspaper from 1901 advertising Kingsbridge as a vacation spot
    A 1901 advertisement in “The Colored American” magazine.
    rights hero grew up on Mosholu Ave, worked and played in Van Cortlandt Park, and attended Christ Church Riverdale?  Read about Donald Harris.
  • The neighborhood’s first Black-owned business was operated by Stephen and Rachel Simmons, formerly enslaved people who were likely the first Black landowners in Riverdale.
  • Revolutionary War militiaman, Robert Brown, was one of very few Patriot soldiers in our area of African descent to enlist in 1775.  He continued to live in our area after the war as a free head of household.
  • Enslaved Africans left a lasting legacy in our community that is still visible in Van Cortlandt Park.  The first bridge to Manhattan island, the King’s Bridge, was likely constructed by enslaved Africans.