Field Trip - African Burial Ground - Week 2

February 2, 2018

Neither the snow, the cold or the 2 hours commute stop me to be at the meeting point, in front of the Museum of the American Indian, downtown New York. At the starting point we learned about the marble sculptures that are placed in front of the American Indian museum, commissioned by artist Gilbert Cass, Four Continents, which represent the character and history of each continent: Asia, America, Europe, and Africa as seen by the artist.

We continued walking toward the African Burial Ground Museum and learning about slavery's history in early New York during the 17th and 18th century. Places like the Fraunces Tavern a patriotic shrine were Samuel Fraunces hosted meeting of the radical Sons of Liberty, or the 18th century cistern, a repository that provided water to the inhabitants of the area.

The African Burial Ground Museum is a  National Historic Landmark that commemorates the life and death of the free and slaved Africans of  New York. In the 18th Century slaves' work force was considered one of the colonies' largest slave-holding urban centers.

The site was rediscovery in 1991 during the construction of the Ted Weiss Federal Building were 419 human skeletal remains were exhume. It constitutes one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century.

A memorial sculpture designed by Rodney Leon, honour the memory of those who died in slavery "A Place of remembrance"

At the exhibition it caught my attention a quote by Maya Angelou ( 1928-2014) an extraction of one of her poems Still I Rise which inspires the spirit of this historical burial ground.

 

 

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