Rediscovery of oldest African burial ground commemorated in Lower Manhattan

Manhattan

It’s been three decades since the burial ground of more than 15,000 free and enslaved Africans was rediscovered at the federal government office building in Lower Manhattan. The National Park Service is hosting a week-long 30th anniversary commemoration of the burial ground rediscovery to honor those lives lost. 

The African Burial National Monument — the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans — was re-discovered in 1991 when the federal government bought a piece of land in Lower Manhattan. During that time, archeologists found remains belonging to the enslaved Africans who built the city and lived here in the 1600s and 1700s. With help from the community and the national Park service, their remains are now preserved.

As New Yorkers commemorate the 30th anniversary of the burial ground rediscovery through speech, drums, and song, the city remembers their contribution to our history and how they’ve impacted our lives. 

The event ends Saturday and it’s free to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find more details about in-person and virtual events by visiting the National Parks website.

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