Weeksville was a village of free African Americans founded just after the abolition of slavery in New York.
In 1838, only 11 years after slavery ended in New York, Weeksville was formed by a free black man named James Weeks when he purchased a substantial area of land from Henry C. Thompson, another free black man. Weeks then encouraged other blacks to settle on the property as he sold lots to the newcomers who named the community Weeksville.
The community thrived during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and included schools, churches, newspapers, and benevolent associations. It also participated in anti-slavery activities.
It became a refuge for southern blacks fleeing slavery and for northern blacks who desired to escape racial violence and draft riots in New York and other cities. By 1850, it was the second largest community for free blacks in pre-Civil War America.
Weeksville not only provided opportunities for blacks to attain entrepreneurial success, but also offered political and intellectual freedoms and was a site for abolitionist action. Even though the community existed until the 1930s, it was overtaken by the growth of Brooklyn and almost forgotten amidst urban renewal plans of the 1950s when many of its old buildings were replaced by newer structures. Weeksville achieved landmark status in 1971.