African Burial Ground - A Sacred Space in Manhattan Where Enslaved and Free Africans in Early New York Were Buried
In 1626, the first enslaved Africans were brought to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, today's Lower Manhattan. Africans in Colonial America were brought from different parts of the continent, separated from their people, chained and taken away forever. From about the 1690s until 1794, both free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6-acre burial ground in Lower Manhattan. Lost to history due to landfill, progress and development, the grounds were rediscovered in 1991, and human remains were found as a consequence of the planned construction of a Federal office building. In 2003, a traditional African burial ceremony took place for the reburial of 419 human remains on the site. In 2006, the African Burial Ground National Monument was established. It is the nation's earliest known African and African American cemetery, a place to contemplate on the lessons of sacrifice, perseverance, respect, power of community and the hope for a better future. The African Burial Ground is located at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan just north of City Hall. The cross streets are Duane Street and Reade Street. Information from the website.