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The African American Experience 

Construction laborers


Description:Courtesy of New York City Parks Photo Archive, Neg. 0594. Described in the Parks Department's photographer's journal as a "colored gang," this group of black laborers is shown laying foundation stones in the shallow river bed that was to become…more.

Construction laborers

Courtesy of New York City Parks Photo Archive, Neg. 0594. Described in the Parks Department's photographer's journal as a "colored gang," this group of black laborers is shown laying foundation stones in the shallow river bed that was to become part of the Riverside Park expansion. One of the largest public improvements to ever take place in New York City, this massive project decked over the New York Central Railroad, doubled the park's acreage, and added the scenic Henry Hudson Parkway along its perimeter. Financed by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), the workforce numbered in the many thousands. Notice the harmonica player at center who tries to maintain the work crew's spirits in the face of their daunting task.

Location: Riverside Park, Manhattan
Date: May 16, 1934

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