Black History in the Philadelphia Landscape: Deep Roots, Continuing Legacy (Paperback)

Black History in the Philadelphia Landscape: Deep Roots, Continuing Legacy By Amy Jane Cohen, Wendell E. Pritchett (Foreword by) Cover Image
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Black Philadelphians have shaped Philadelphia history since colonial times. In Black History in the Philadelphia Landscape, Amy Cohen recounts notable aspects of the Black experience in Philadelphia from the late 1600s to the 1960s and how this history is marked in the contemporary city. She charts Charles Blockson’s efforts to commemorate the Pennsylvania slave trade with a historical marker and highlights Richard Allen, who founded Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church.

Cohen also describes the path to erecting a statue of civil rights activist Octavius Catto at Philadelphia’s City Hall and profiles international celebrities Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson who are honored in the city. At the end of each chapter, she includes suggestions to continue readers’ exploration of this important cultural heritage.

Showing how increased attention to the role of African Americans in local and national history has resulted in numerous, sometimes controversial, alterations to the landscape, Cohen guides readers to Black history’s significance and its connections with today’s spotlight on racial justice.

About the Author

Amy Cohen is an educator, historian, and writer. After twenty years teaching social studies, she became Director of Education for History Making Productions and is a contributing writer for Hidden City Philadelphia. Visit her online at

Praise For…

“In Amy Cohen’s able hands, the history of Philadelphia is Black history, from the enslaved laborers who built the eighteenth-century city and the Black abolitionists who fought to end slavery to the activists who led the city’s civil rights and Black Power movements. As if that were not enough, Cohen also highlights the vital contributions of Philadelphia’s public historians, whose advocacy for historical markers and memorials has inscribed Black history into the city’s built environment. Black History in the Philadelphia Landscape is essential reading for all who value honest and unapologetic assessments of the nation’s past.”Matthew J. Countryman, Associate Professor of African American and African Studies and History at the University of Michigan, and author of Up South: Civil Rights and Black Power in Philadelphia

“A polyvocal collection of hidden histories beaming a black light on spectacular intersectional lives who have made Philadelphia, this book helps unmute lost legacies of its public spaces and rethink stories of cityhood. Cohen offers an actionable Black atlas for navigating the nation’s most historic city—whether as a student, a visitor, or an everyday resident. Moreover, packaging this pluriverse of global Black history made locally provides an urgent model for practicing love of place by expanding who embodies the ‘echoes of heritage’ in America. The window is now wider for inviting more colorful, just futures.”Matthew Jordan-Miller Kenyatta, Lecturer in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania, and contributor to The Black Geographic: Praxis, Resistance, Futurity
Product Details
ISBN: 9781439923658
ISBN-10: 1439923655
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2024
Pages: 208
Language: English