Hatchets And Blood: Scenes And Stories From The Deadliest Street In The United States

How New York City’s Doyers Street became the deadliest street in American history, known forever as The Bloody Angle.

Doyers St Red

Image Source: Flickr

New York City has always been inextricably linked with its gangs. In simply reading that sentence, you’re likely already remembering images from Gangs of New York, The Godfather, The Warriors and on and on.

But what you’re probably not picturing is a strange little 200-yard stretch called Doyers Street, one of the few streets in Manhattan bent at a nearly 90-degree angle — and one of the bloodiest streets in American history.

On Doyers Street, the history of the immigrants who built America is clear, and it’s filled with violence, racism, xenophobia and segregation. This forgotten cranny, buried deep in the heart of Chinatown, has seen the most gang violence in the history of the city, and, by some estimations, the country.

Whether it was because of bullets or hatchets, Doyers Street was literally stained red during its most violent years, earning the street its immortal nickname: “The Bloody Angle.” Exactly how it became so bloody, and what’s become of it since, is quite a tale…

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Ota Benga’s Short, Tragic Life As A Human Zoo Exhibit

His family was killed, he was taken as a slave, and he lived in the Bronx Zoo’s monkey house as a human exhibit.

Ota Benga Chimp

Ota Benga on display at the Bronx Zoo in 1906. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

On March 20, 1916, a 32-year-old African man named Ota Benga shot himself in the heart while being held against his will in the United States. Benga’s short, sad life was shaped by colonial avarice justified by the quack science of eugenics. Through it all, he did what he could to keep his dignity intact despite being subjected to the most degrading treatment imaginable. His story, like far too many tragedies, begins in the Congo, then known as the Congo Free State.

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‘Til Death Don’t Us Part: A History Of Ghost Marriage

The idea of marrying a dead person is older than the Magna Carta — and it’s called ghost marriage.

Ghost Marriages

Image Source: Pixabay

Imagine a world where “‘til death do us part” wasn’t taken literally — where you could be married after death, and even get married after you’d already passed on.

In actuality, there’s no need to imagine. Necrogamy, or marriage that takes place after death, is alive and well today. Though the form and frequency of the practice varies across the globe, the fact remains that in some places, the right to marry never ends, even beyond the grave…

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