Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Expand African Burial Ground National Monument in New York


April 7, 2021

Hidden history no more!

Lawmakers just introduced a bill to expand the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York, Black Enterprise reports.


The African Burial Ground was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1993. It was the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for more than 15,000 free and enslaved Africans from the 1690s to the 1790s. The site seeks to protect and archive the history of the free and enslaved Africans who helped build New York. Now a delegation of New York lawmakers is looking to reintroduce legislation that would expand the effort.

The African Burial Ground International Memorial Museum and Education Center Act would help create a museum that operates as a “sister” site to the National Museum of African American History and Culture located in Washington, D.C. The new museum would serve as a learning place where visitors deep dive into the institution of slavery and its role in the United States and across the globe. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Jeffrey Nadler spearheaded the efforts alongside Congress Members Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Hakeem Jeffries, Grace Meng, and Adriano Espaillat. 

Nadler believes that it is impossible to galvanize around the fight for equality at this critical juncture in American history if we do not have a clear understanding and documented history of slavery in this nation. 


“Tens of thousands of African men and women-both enslaved and free-built New York City. The adversity they faced, the tangible contributions they made, and the lasting impact they left on our city are all part of a story that deserves to be told and honored by New Yorkers,” Rep. Nadler said in a statement. “For far too long, [the 15,000 Africans are interred here] have failed to receive the public remembrance or the historic recognition that they merit. With this bill, we hope to rectify that wrong by creating a permanent tribute not only to those resting at the burial ground but also to the millions of enslaved Africans and their descendants who will be honored at the site,” 

Gillibrand echoed his sentiments, saying, “At this moment in time, where we are having a reckoning, as a country, on the justices and inequalities the African American Black communities have been subjected to from the earliest days of our nation today. This museum and educational center could not be more important.

We are looking forward to legislators passing this bill!


Photo Courtesy of Twitter/Black Enterprise

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