Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand, Nadler, Meeks, Clarke, Jeffries & Espaillat Introduce Bi- Cemeral Legislation To Establish African Burial Ground Museum In New York City

Feb 15, 2017

New York, N.Y. – Members of the New York Delegation, led by Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Jerrold Nadler along with Representatives Gregory Meeks, Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries and Adriano Espaillat today re-introduced the African Burial Ground International Memorial Museum and Education Center Act, legislation that would authorize funding and establish a museum at the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan. The proposed site is located within the African Burial Ground National Historic Landmark, an area in Lower Manhattan near City Hall that holds the remains of an estimated 20,000 enslaved Africans and early-generation African-Americans from the colonial era. The legislation, led by Senators Schumer and Gillibrand in the Senate and Congressman Nadler in the House would establish a museum and educational center managed by the National Park Service in consultation with the African Burial Ground Advisory Council.

“The creation of the African Burial Ground Memorial Museum and Education Center will serve as a permanent living tribute to the enslaved and free African men and women who were buried at this sacred site,” said Members of the New York Delegation. “This museum will tell the untold stories of those who helped build New York City; and shed a light on their perseverance and strength of character in the face of adversity – this history deserves to be memorialized, remembered and studied. We must never forget as a nation the immense trials and tribulations faced during the ongoing fight of equality and justice.”

Today, the African Burial Ground serves great historical, cultural, archaeological and anthropological significance. The burial ground includes DNA samples from the remarkably well-preserved human remains that will enable researchers to trace the home roots in Africa of those individuals buried at the ground.

The African Burial Ground officially became a National Historic Landmark in 1993; and in 2006, was officially designated a National Monument.