This modestly sized park is named for an important figure in African-American culture: entertainer and philanthropist Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (1878-1949). Born Luther Robinson in Richmond, Virginia, he was orphaned when still an infant. His grandmother, a former slave, raised him and his two siblings. Robinson left home at the age of eight for Washington, D.C., where he worked as a stable boy at the Benning Race Track. Around this time he assumed the name of his brother William and earned his nickname “Bojangles” after stealing a beaver cap from a hat maker named Boujasson.
Learn about the trials and triumphs of the black experience in the United States and how New York City honors black history in our parks today.