New York’s African Burial Ground is the nation’s earliest known African and African American cemetery, with an estimated 15,000 men, women and children buried between the late 1600s and the mid 1790s.
In this sacred Manhattan space, during the 1690s until 1794, both 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, now known as New York.
Over the years, the unmarked site became lost to history due to landfill and development, but in 1991 the grounds were rediscovered during the construction of a Federal office building and a late early 18th Century illustration is the only clue to the layout of the site.
African Burial Ground National Monument
In order to mark the importance of the site, part of the area was designated as a National Monument.
The site has it’s own Visitor Centre which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10a.m. until 4p.m. and closed on all Federal holidays.
The African Burial Ground National Monument Memorial is open each day from 9a.m. until 5p.m. except for all Federal holidays.
The African Burial Ground National Monument Visitor Center is located on the first floor of the Ted Weiss Federal Building, at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. Admission is free and includes four exhibit areas; A 40-person theatre and a bookstore.
The center is ADA compliant and includes an audio component for the sight and/or hearing impaired.
Today the National Monument site is managed by the GSA and features a distinctive memorial that commemorates and
communicates the story of the African Burial Ground — the single-most important, historic urban archaeological project undertaken in the United States.
Their website contains information on GSA’s African Burial Ground project, the memorial, artwork, interpretive center, reinterment ceremony, scientific reports and more.