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Slavery Was Legal in Brooklyn Until 1827
The simple Civil War narrative of the North being good and the South being bad might not be widely accepted currency amongst adults anymore (or maybe it is? I don't even want to think too hard about how ignorant Americans are about history because, depressing) but it would be a shame not to give our children a proper educational foundation. And what that foundation would include is the fact that New York was the largest slave-holding state north of Maryland and didn't outlaw slavery until 1827—more than 200 years after it was introduced by the Dutch. Brooklyn, in particular, had an economy that was reliant on slave-labor because of its many farms. Teaching children this reality will broaden their perspective and let them know that the issues of the past, distant as they might seem, are just as complex as the issues of today. There are no easy narratives.