Black History Month Program

The Friends of Schuyler Mansion and the Hackett Middle School PTA

The Promised Land
from Mississippi to the South End to Rapp Road
An African American Odyssey

an evening of informal conversation with
Emma Dickson
Rapp Road Historian

moderated by
Stefan Bielinski
New York State Museum

Thursday evening
February 3, 2000
7:30 pm

Hackett Middle School
Delaware Avenue, Albany

community sponsors:
Albany County Historical Association/Ten Broeck Mansion
Albany Institute of History and Art
Albany Visitor's Center and Convention Bureau
Historic Cherry Hill
Colonial Albany Social History Project

  • This story begins with a group of struggling farmers from Shubuta, Mississippi who were brought by an Albany minister to the South End of Albany during the 1930s.
  • These country people found work in the city's service industries. With the help of their church, several families purchased land in the Pine Barrens on the western edge of Albany.
  • Over several generations, these families established a neighborhood along Rapp Road, became an important part of Albany's African American community, and today remain stalwart members of Albany's Wilborn Temple.
  • Their story is an important but little known chapter in Albany's rich and varied history.
  • Emma Dickson is the daughter of an original Rapp Road family and the proprietor of a Childcare center operating there today. She is a fascinating and articulate spokesperson for their story. Stefan Bielinski is the author of numerous works on the history of Albany.

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