Welcome to the Woodbridge Public Library's Virtual Exhibit - Black Americans in Woodbridge History: From Unseen to Seen.
African Americans have been 6-10% of Woodbridge Township's population nearly since its inception over 350 years ago, but their stories have represented less than one percent of Woodbridge's recorded history. Through this exhibit, the Woodbridge Public Library, with the support of the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Woodbridge Township Historic Preservation Commission, have started the process of moving Woodbridge's Black history—from the abomination of slavery to the joy of Colonia's Independent Club—from the margins to the front page.
The experience of Black Americans in Woodbridge does not exist in isolation and their stories cannot be pulled from history without context, just as Woodbridge's history cannot be told without acknowledging the sorrows and celebrations of surrounding communities such as Perth Amboy and Potters Crossing. The story of Black Americans in Woodbridge is the story of colonization, slavery, Revolution, struggle, Civil War, migration, success, racism, heroism, and allyship.
The Woodbridge Public Library's goal for Black Americans in Woodbridge History: From Unseen to Seen is to lay a foundation on which our town can build a learned and compassionate discussion. The history of Black experience in Woodbridge must be researched, taught, mourned, and celebrated. This is just the beginning.
Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund. We would also like to thank the Woodbridge Library Foundation, the Independent Club, and the Woodbridge Township Historic Preservation Commission.
Select from the items below, or the links to the right, to get started.