Monday, January 23, 2012

Africa Burial Ground in NYC

"Unearthed" Frank Bender artist
in 1991 an historic burial ground was discovered during the construction of the Federal Building at 290 Broadway in NYC.

It has been estimated that as many as 200 burials may remain undisturbed on this site.

There is no way of knowing what may exist within the confines of the larger, original African Burial Ground site.
No names can be attributed to the individual burials. Records of births and deaths were kept by churches rather than by the colonial or early state governments.  However, some Africans were not church members and most church records from the 18th century have not survived.

Until now, very little has been known about the lives of the enslaved population for a variety of reasons that are well beyond the scope of this web page.  It is hoped that the research being conducted by Howard University will lead to additional research and dissemination to the broader academic community.

The Re-interment
 The African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan represents the important role and major contribution that enslaved African men, women, and children made to the economy, development, and culture of America, both in the South and North.  The Rites of Ancestral Return commemorative ceremony, which began with an Evening Departure Ceremony at Howard University, documented and celebrated the contribution of African Americans as the ancestral remains from the African Burial Ground were returned from Washington, D.C., to New York City.  The remains were given a permanent resting-place at the African Burial Ground Memorial Site on October 4, 2003.
Source: African Burial Ground
Read more

 "The re-interment ceremony, solemn and celebratory, was the culmination of six days of tribute and celebration that began earlier in the week in Washington D.C."

419 coffins with skeletal remains were reinterred.
It was quite a ceremony click here for the ceremonial schedule

No comments: