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In 1911, Samuel Battle became the “first black officer to join” the NYPD. Today, nearly 100 years later, the intersection at West 135th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem is being renamed Samuel J. Battle Plaza.

It was this location where “Battle saved a white officer during a racial clash in 1919.”

But Battle was just one of the many great African-Americans who broke the race barrier in New York. To find out which other African-Americans were pioneers in their industries and communities, take a stroll through history below.

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