Recently in Current Events, we´ve been studying Weeksville. At first I thought about the project buildings wondering why we learning about old project buildings. When I read Weeksville Tours, I started to think why is this so significant to my teacher? After watching clips it made me want to learn more about it. I know that many people feel that this isn’t important, not knowing the difference between the center and the projects. After doing this study, I think this topic is serious and it helps the youth know how this came about.  For example, I read that James Weeks created this community where colored people were in charge of everything from business to property.

One thing that I know for sure about Weeksville is that even though colored people were restricted from a lot, they fought and was rewarded with Weeksville. Prospering through the odds. Now I’ve studied my share of US history and personally, it’s really interesting to me how I don’t learn enough about colored achievements. How I know mainly about slavery, civil rights and other actions taken by colored people. I don’t hear enough about the good. Hearing about Weeksville gave me more information that I can share with others.

I did some research on Weeksville. This one article, “The Inspiring Story of Weeksville, One of America’s First Free Black Communities,” provided a lot of information and opinions on James Week. Some felt like he was a strong successful individual. Others felt he couldn’t have done this all by himself. ¨Weeksville had become a successful community of more than 500 people, boasting more opportunity for homeownership, employment and success for its black residents than any other part of Brooklyn, and well beyond.¨ This statement didn’t really surprise me all that much, but it did make me feel relieved. Only because it really shows that we can surpass anything we put our mind to. Although it was successful, the original was destroyed, a cemetery was removed for the now Eastern Parkway, houses were destroyed. Little is left of the original.

In another source that I looked at, on, “Weeksville, New York (1838– ), there was this one statement that made me shake my head in disagreement with the writer. It was: “Even though the community existed until the 1930s, it was overtaken by the growth of Brooklyn and almost forgotten amidst urban renewal plans of the 1950s when many of its old buildings were replaced by newer structures.” This is untrue because Brooklyn didn’t mess up the structures entirely. There are still original buildings left. Things were removed yes, but not everything.

All this makes me think that everyone wants a negative response to colored people being successful. In history, many hated this. I feel like that’s why it declined now, many didn’t want to see its uprising.

Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

  1. Steven White 2 years ago

    This post is really interesting and well thought out. In my opinion based off of what I read, I think the reason why Weeksville was so unnoticed was the simple fact that there were no ways to get to brooklyn back then besides taking a ferry boat, and Weeksville already had a low population and was not even on the city map back then until later when the Brooklyn bridge was cread in the mid 1900’s. I learned that the Weeksville population grew to 500 with “new opportunities” thanks to your work.

  2. Joshua 2 years ago

    To: Shaquala, your essay has gotten to me and had brought some emotions that i can’t express. Also keep up the good work. P.S. Keep on rocking!

  3. lillian 2 years ago

    Your statement on how in history, we only learn about the oppression of the black community is totally true. We never learn about the successes of black people. I also never knew Weeksville was a thing, and it’s crazy that that isn’t taught because it seems pretty relevant.
    Your essay was very informative and effectively introduces your readers to the existence of Weeksville.

  4. Nasay 2 years ago

    Dear shaquala
    Wow This article really help me learn more about Weeksville because some of these facts i just looked over and sorted out things i felt was most important. This article was very informing.I feel that lots of people can learn from things that u said
    I agree with”One thing that I know for sure about Weeksville is that even though colored people were restricted from a lot, they fought and was rewarded with Weeksville.” it sums up a lot about black history.

  5. Saul 2 years ago

    I never knew about weeksville until now so thank you for teaching me something new today.

  6. Lona 2 years ago

    Hi Shaquala,

    Thank you for sharing your insights about the Weeksville settlement and what it meant then and now to the African-American community. As you mentioned, what an amazing thing to accomplish such an achievement at a time when it seemed insurmountable!

    I think you are right. It is important to hear these stories of success in the African-American community. And what do we do with this information? We need to research these stories of success and then share what we learn with others–our peers, family, teachers, community leaders etc. What are your thoughts for getting this critical information out there?

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.


    Ms. Lona

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


We welcome new members. You can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Missions on Youth Voices

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?


Create Account