BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A rezoning project underway in downtown Brooklyn includes new skyscrapers, a park and art installations — including one specifically designed to honor the area’s abolitionist history.
Some neighbors and activists want to ensure the struggles of the people involved in the anti-slavery movement are directly represented. The city’s economic development corporation has commissioned the artist. Currently, public outreach is scheduled to gather some community feedback.
“The goal of the public programming is to hear from different communities about how they are making sense of abolitionist pasts, abolitionist presents, and abolitionist futures,” writes the artist on the project website.
The artist has also offered to connect directly with people interested in the work. The plan, according to information from NYC Cultural Affairs, is to feature engraved text throughout the open space and a freestanding structure inspired by the area’s abolitionist history.
The organization Friends of Abolitionist Place fought to prevent demolition of a nearby building that dates back to the times of the Underground Railroad. It was granted landmark status last year.
“We want to make sure it it really serves to enlighten and inform on the abolitionist movement. How dangerous it was and how brave these people were” said Shawné Lee.