BROOKLYN - A new exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society is highlighting black and white Brooklyn residents who were part of the abolitionist movement in the United States.

Officials say many abolitionists lived in the borough, and they are sometimes called the unsung heroes of the anti-slavery movement.

Deborah Schwartz, the historical society's president, says New York played a role in the earliest phases of abolition in 1779 — a concept called gradual emancipation.

There were several communities of freed slaves in Brooklyn, according to historians. In the 1830s, blacks began assuming ownership of land, voting and creating neighborhoods, churches and schools.

The exhibit will run through 2018.