Nameless Are Memorialized at Old African Burial Site (NYC)





Sixteen years after the remains of more than 400 enslaved and free Africans were unearthed in Lower Manhattan, a new monument will open to the public on Friday to honor a place once called the Negroes Burial Ground.

The memorial, the African Burial Ground National Monument, designates the burial site of the remains, which were discovered in 1991 by workers excavating the foundation for the Ted Weiss Federal Building at 290 Broadway.

Commissioned by the federal government in 2005 at a cost of $5 million, the monument stands on a fraction of the 6.6 acres of burial ground where, according to historians and archaeologists, 15,000 to 20,000 people of African descent were laid to rest in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is the oldest and largest such burial site in North America, according to the National Park Service. Last year, President Bush proclaimed the site a national monument.

The monument will open to the public with a ceremony at 1 p.m. Friday, followed at 8 p.m. with a candelight procession from Battery Park to the monument at Duane and Elk Streets.


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