Walk through lower Manhattan, on Duane Street, and you will come across a unique burial ground amongst all the high-rise buildings that surround it.
The African Burial Ground is a unique memorial that is dedicated to all the African slaves who created a sacred space to bury their loved ones. It also acknowledges the role slavery played in helping build this city while recognizing their heritage and the hardship they had to endure.
While the memorial is now set on a tiny piece of plot, it wasn’t so then. In the 17th and 18th centuries, this site was spread across six acres of land in what was then an isolated part of Manhattan. It is to this hidden burial ground that these Africans came, in secret, to bury their dead, forge new friendships, and share stories, music, faith, and traditions.
It was forgotten for more than a hundred years until its discovery in 1991 when the city was excavating the area for a new building. It is around this small corner that the remains of 419 men, women, and children were discovered.
If one were to account for all of the six acres, imagine the total number of remains that lie undiscovered.
Main blog article image credit: Photo 43583345 / African Burial Ground © Jill Shepherd | Dreamstime.com