Our first featured Black Changemaker is Morgan Powell, a Bronx-based historian, ecologist, landscape designer, environmental activist, and gardener who was passionate about sharing his knowledge of Black history. Out of this passion he formed Bronx River Sankofa, an online blog devoted to the eco-cultural history of the Bronx. He was also a major contributor to the Bronx African American History Project, as well as the national website Outdoor Afro.
Morgan became interested in horticulture through a program at the New York Botanical Garden, and spent time working as a landscape designer and gardener. However, his true passion was his love of Bronx History and Ecology. Throughout his life, he provided free historical tours to Bronx residents and visitors, exposing them to the rich history of the borough, covering a wide berth of topics spanning the pre-colonial history of the borough all the way to the 20th century and beyond. As a historian, he believed that all people have a right to an education, and worked tirelessly to record and uplift the Bronx River’s African American heritage.
Through his passion for Bronx history, he helped to educate generations of Bronxites about the vibrant and ever-changing identity of their home borough, conducting self-led research and uncovering enlightening connections between the city’s indigenous, natural, and social histories.
Here at the Bronx River Alliance, we are honored to carry forward Morgan’s legacy, and work towards a brighter future for the Bronx. You can check out some of Morgan’s amazing research by visiting his Sankofa site here.