Bland Playground

40 Rd. bet. Prince St. and Main St.


Directions via Google Maps

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This playground is named in honor of James A. Bland (1854-1911), a Flushing native known to many as the “greatest black writer of American folk songs” and the “world’s greatest minstrel man.” Bland was born just a few years before the outbreak of the Civil War to a long line of free African Americans. At a young age Bland moved with his family to Washington, D.C., where his father had recently become the first African American appointed Examiner in the United States Patent Office. The boy taught himself to play an $8 banjo that his father had bought for him, and earned money by playing and singing in the streets.

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Directions to Bland Playground

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