Friday, January 20, 2012

The African Burial Ground

 It seemed fitting that during the Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend we should come across the African Burial Grounds.  What first caught my eye were the burial mounds with Bird-of-Paradise, Antheriums, and shells.  From 1626 through the late 1700's Africans gathered to bury their families as best they could according to their traditions.  For most of the Colonial Era this was the only cemetery for some 15,000 Africans and African Descendants.
As New York City expanded Northward the burial ground was encroached upon.  Officially closed in 1794, the land was divided into lots and sold.  Over the next two centuries it was covered with layer upon layer of fill and buildings, which protected the human remains. In 1991, the skeletal remains were discovered when the excavation began for a Federal Office Building.   Considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th Century, you can read more about the Rediscovery, Reinternment and Remembrance here.
"For all those who are lost, For all those who were stolen, For all those who were left behind, For all those who were not forgotten."

2 comments:

Marilyn said...

I love hearing about these burial grounds. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the quote.

Angela McRae said...

I love it when lost/missing history is rediscovered, especially something as significant as this!