“a sacred space in Manhattan”
GSA’s African Burial Ground project began in 1991, when, during excavation work for a new federal office building, workers discovered the skeletal remains of more than 400 men, women and children. Further investigation revealed that during the 17th and 18th centuries, free and enslaved Africans were buried in a 6.6 acre burial ground in lower Manhattan outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam, which would become New York. Over the decades, the unmarked cemetery was covered over by development and landfill. The African Burial Ground National Monument is the first National Monument dedicated to Africans of early New York and Americans of African descent. It is the newest National Monument in New York City, joining the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Castle Clinton National Monument. The African Burial Ground National Monument's story is both old and new; It began use in the 17th or 18th century, but was only redisovered in the past 20 years. Our story is both the story of the Africans whose holy place this was, but also the story of the modern day New Yorkers who fought to honor these ancestors.
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African Burial Ground
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