The night air was thick with tension as townspeople tried in vain to stop the fire that burned along the pier. White terrorism was at an all-time high, and it had gotten so bad even the racists themselves were nervous. Why?
In 1741 New York, poor white people, free Black people, and enslaved Black people were in competition for jobs and wages. Whenever wealthy racists saw a few of us gathered, they assumed we were plotting against them. So what happened put their paranoia over the top.
Four separate fires burned parts of the city to ashes in one night! White people were in an uproar. Affluent white people blamed poor white people and Black people. Poor white people blamed each other. So what actually DID happen? Was this an insurrection?
No one knows. Frightened white people turned each other in! Many were taken to court, where they lied and told the police what they wanted to hear. When all was said and done, Black people were STILL blamed. Why?
Though historians are unsure about this particular conspiracy, one thing is clear – our people have always fought for liberation, just as we should! It could have been us, but we’ll never know. Still, we must always defend ourselves against the very real oppression and violence waged against us.