Not Your Typical Guide to Black New York
The Black Bucket List heads to New York, where we discover there's so much more to black history than the Harlem Renaissance -- like Do or Die Bed-Stuy circa 1838.
The grand opening of the new Ellis Island two years from now, adds Zitko, "will represent the building of this nation's history."
The ferry to Ellis Island departs from Battery Park at the bottom tip of Manhattan every 20 minutes beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tickets cost $13 for adults, $10 for seniors over 62, $5 for children 4 to 12. To beat the crowds, it's best to order tickets in advance online at statuecruises.com.
Before Ellis Island, the ferry stops at Liberty Island, home of Lady Liberty. You can get off the ferry and walk around the pedestal of the statue for no extra charge. (If you choose not to disembark, the boat passes close enough to the Statue of Liberty to get a decent snapshot.) If you'd like to get off and catch the view of New York from the crown, you'll need to pay an additional $3 per ticket.
Actually, the Statue of Liberty also has special significance to black Americans. For years, rumors circulated that the original model for Lady Liberty was a black woman, but the design was changed to appease white Americans who would not accept an African-American Liberty.
After increasing pressure, the National Parks Service investigated the claims and found that the statue's sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, did in fact use drawings of Egyptian women at the very earliest stages of designing Lady Liberty. There is no evidence, however, that Bartholdi's design was changed because of racially motivated indignation. So go ahead and think of her as a "sister."