How Did NYC Become the Birthplace of Global Capitalism?

Black Gotham Experience Walking Tours: Other Side of Wall Street

A look at the early colonization of Mannahatta demonstrates that the urban landscape was rapidly memorialized to reflect the face and presence of white European settlers. It is no surprise that groups that did not correspond to this profile (Blacks, former slaves, Jews, women, natives etc) were not only forgotten in the city’s history. They were also pushed outside the city walls in buffer zones between an expanding colonial city and the “wilderness” of Native territories. A history of capitalism and settler colonialism helps us understand better the various logics of exclusion and elimination.

This Olio is co-taught by a leading artist (Kamau Ware) and a professor of Sociology at NSSR (Benoit Challand). Having taught classes on the making of global capitalism through the history of sugar and cotton, Professor Challand approached educator and artist Kamau Ware, author of a graphic novel on the colonial period of NYC who also leads historical tours of the city, about locating the legacy of these commodities that played an important role in shaping the communitarian contours and the urban landscape of colonial New York.

Building on Kamau Ware’s effort to retrieve a history of black people in New York, we'll open up a dialogue and reflection that connects findings of settler colonialism studies with critical perspectives on the birth of modern global capitalism.




Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue for our Friday night residency.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Jan 22

Living Room Salon | Our Struggle with Free Will

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 24

Living Room Salon | Tough Poetry in Dark Times

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 31

The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Feb 1

Feb 2

OlioHouse | Our Stories, Our Bodies: Rape Culture in American History

Taught by Jamie Warren
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 6

Olio Seminar | Space, Time, & Work: Understanding Labor

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $75

Feb 8

Rethinking Refugee Trauma and Mental Health

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 15

Philosophy and Friendship

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 21

Living Room Salon | Music and Environmentalism

Taught by Kristy Barbacane
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Feb 25

What Would Buffy Do? Radical Feminism and the Slayer

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $20

Feb 28

Into the Mystic: Music & the Moving Image

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!