NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For years, activists have rallied to save a Brooklyn abolitionist home from demolition.
This Black History Month, they succeeded in forever preserving that history.READ MORE: Gov. Cuomo Says He Will Not Resign Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations: 'I Never Touched Anyone Inappropriately'
On Abolitionist Place in Brooklyn sits 227 Duffield Street. As its name suggests, abolitionists once fought against slavery there.
On Tuesday, modern day activists celebrated, finally preserving that legacy.
“This is a victory for every single enslaved African person,” activist Imani Henry said.
The 19th century home belonged to Harriet and Thomas Truesdell, members of the anti-slavery movement before the Civil War.
Activists say a series of tunnels in the basement connecting to neighboring buildings lead them to believe it was also a stop along the Underground Railroad.
Activist Raul Rothblatt was one of the many fighting for its landmark status.READ MORE: Road To Reopening: New York City Arts And Entertainment Venues Allowed To Reopen At 33% Capacity Beginning April 2
“The fact that there’s tunnels underneath is a metaphor. So there were connections here and you can go in there and you can see very clearly where these tunnels were,” he told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
The recognition of the Brooklyn property Tuesday brought tears to activist Shawnee Lee.
Her mother owned the historical building and successfully fought an attempted seizure of the property through eminent domain.
After she passed away, the building fell into the hands of new owners who pushed for demolition.
“I want to say Mommy, thank you for helping me do the job that you started. For keeping the name of Duffield Street alive,” Lee said.
“This should be a monument as powerful as the Statue of Liberty. You can come and be in the spot where these abolitionists lived and fought their causes,” Rothblatt said.
Activists say they hope to turn the property into a museum so people can return to see and touch its history.MORE NEWS: Caught On Camera: Asian Man Brutally Beaten At Lower East Side Subway Station
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