–One of the exhibits created by students in the Creating Digital History course.–
History of the Minettas
by Janice Liao
Minetta Street is one of the few in the city with distinctive curvature. Nestled between the busy thoroughfare of Sixth Avenue (Avenue of Americas) and MacDougal Street, the Minettas are seen as a tranquil escape from the sights and sounds that border these streets. These streets however, were not always this way. The Minettas have a multi-layered history, beginning with rural farm life with New York City’s first freed slaves in the 1640s. By the 1860s, the Minettas were known as “Little Africa” and by the 1890s became a multi-ethnic enclave. Soon after, the Minettas would be regarded as a slum and was then salvaged by developer Vincent Pepe to become a home for bohemians.
There is much folklore that continues to be regarded as history. The folklore shouldn’t be disregarded as myth – these stories themselves serve to be representative of the making of the history of the Minettas.
To see the exhibit, go to: http://aphdigital.org/GVH/exhibits/show/history-of-the-minettas