Thursday, July 30, 2009

Conversation with two New York supporters of Go, tell Michelle

While attending the NAACP Centennial Convention, we were pleased to meet Sandra and Jasmine, who were the first persons we met at the Author's Pavilion. They said that when they saw we were on the Author's Pavilion schedule, they made a plan to stop by to see us before going to their own exhibit. They are volunteers with the African American Burial Ground in Manhattan. The following is from their website:

"GSA’s African Burial Ground project began in 1991, when, during excavation work for a new federal office building, workers discovered the skeletal remains of the first of more than 400 men, women and children. Further investigation revealed that during the 17th and 18th centuries, 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, which would become New York. Over the decades, the unmarked cemetery was covered over by development and landfill.

Managed by GSA, the overall project is a testimonial to a positive and collaborative partnership between many parties, including the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Howard University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the African American community.

Today the site is a National Monument featuring 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."

Jasmine, Sandra, Peggy and I (we are off camera) had an interesting conversation about Go, Tell Michelle, family history and preservation of African American historic sites. We are a little late in getting this post up, so I hope that Sandra and Jasmine get an opportunity to see this and send us a message with their contact information so that we can write or call them.

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