New York Historical Society

“The Fifteenth Amendment”, 1870
Thomas Kelly

This summer I went to Governors Island for a bird walk led by Gabriel Willow of the New York City Audubon, where we saw a nesting pair of Yellow Crowned Night Herons.  While there, near the Audubon’s house on Nolan Park I found The New York Historical Society residence.  Their house hosted an exhibit titled Out of Many, One: American Civics and Citizenship.  The show examined the history of racist exclusion to U.S. citizenship rights.  It was impressive–and curated by high school students!

Upon leaving, I congratulated the young docents, and they gave me a family pass for the main museum on the Upper West Side.  So, when my mom came to visit a couple weeks ago, we made use of the free pass.  The first floor was teeming with kids in capes, there for Harry Potter: A History of Magic.  On the second floor was a continuation of the Governors Island exhibit, Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow. At a time when voting rights are under attack, and our president wants to end birth right citizenship, these exhibits should tour across the country and be required viewing for every student in the U.S.

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