Hallowed Grounds: African American Memories

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force members Sharon Wilkins and Thomas Lunke were special guest speakers at “Hallowed Grounds: African American Memories,” The 5th Annual Federal Inter-Agency Celebration of National African American History Month.  They were honored with certificates of appreciation for their efforts to engage the broader public in discussions on how best to preserve, commemorate and memorialize the colonial-era African burial ground located in East Harlem.

The annual celebration is a creation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with ten other federal agencies.  Keynote Speaker was Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Visiting Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Mr. Sean Ghazala, Park Ranger at the African Burial Ground National Monument in lower Manhattan, was also a special guest speaker.

Letter from NYC DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione

Below is a link to the letter from New York City Department of Transportation approving language that will be included on a new Willis Avenue Bridge plaque commemorating East Harlem’s historic past and colonial African burial ground.  This plaque highlights the importance of this place and its people in the development of New York City.

NYC DOT Letter Approving the Historic Plaque Language on the Willis Avenue Bridge

Eighth Annual African American Genealogy Conference

The LDS Church (Mormons) in partnership with the Jean Sampson Scott Greater New York Chapter Afro-American Historical  & Genealogical Society, Inc. (AAHGS-NY) will host its eighth annual African American Genealogy conference on Saturday, March 10, 2012 from 1-5PM.  The location is 360 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard at the northeast corner of West 128th Street, Manhattan.  Conference activities include a series of presentations followed by light refreshments.  This event is free and open to the public.

HABG Memorial District Presentation December 13th

The Hunter College Urban Affairs and Planning Department worked with the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force and the East Harlem community to produce recommendations for a proposed memorial district in East Harlem. They are presenting their final report next Tuesday, December 13th, at the Silberman School of Social Work on 3rd Ave between E118th and E119th streets. All are welcome to attend!

We Want Your Ideas!

Harlem African Burial Ground
Community Visioning Workshop

Thursday, October 20, 2011
6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Elmendorf Reformed Church
171 East 121st Street
Between Lexington and 3rd Avenues

The Fall 2011 Hunter College Urban Planning Studio and the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force are hosting a community visioning workshop on Thursday, October 20, 2011 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the Elmendorf Reformed Church, 171 East 121st Street, between Lexington and Third avenues. The objective of this workshop is to generate community input on the idea of creating a Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial District centered on First Avenue and East 126th Street.

The visioning workshop will start with a brief introduction of the Harlem African Burial Ground memorial district idea, followed by participants breaking into smaller discussion groups so that everyone has a chance to express their ideas.  Each group will have a Hunter College student facilitator guiding the conversations.

Participants will learn about the history of the Harlem African Burial Ground and what makes a successful memorial district.  Each group will be given a map of the community and asked to identify important places, such as stores, community institutions, parks and other local resources they value and/or use on a regular basis.  Participants will be asked to think about how the African burial ground could be memorialized, how it could be integrated into the community, and how this memorial district could help shape the future of East Harlem.

The results of the workshop will be shared with all participants and guide the Hunter College Urban Planning Studio in crafting three separate alternative design concepts that could be used to create a memorial district.  These concepts will be presented to the Task Force and East Harlem in December 2011.