African Burial Ground Dedicated in New York

Posted October 12, 2007

More than 1,400 people gathered on October 5 as the African Burial Ground National Monument was dedicated in New York City. This is the site where the graves of approximately 20,000 enslaved Africans were discovered in 1991 during construction of a federal office building.

With more than 400 guests seated to each side of the memorial and nearly a thousand more gathered in nearby Foley Square to view the event on large screens, dignitaries gathered to celebrate the completion of the memorial designed by architect Rodney Leon.

Administrator Doan, Northeast and Caribbean Region Administrator Emily R. Baker, and other GSA officials joined with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, representatives of the National Park Service, federal, state and local officials, dignitaries and members of the descendent community for the ceremony. Actor Avery Brooks served as master of ceremonies during the formal program, which included a tribute spoken by Maya Angelou.

The formal ceremony preceded the official opening of the new national monument to the public. The event also kicked off a series of celebrations and activities, including a candlelight procession and concert, taking place throughout the weekend in New York City in honor of the dedication.

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