A proposal to expand the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City was recently introduced by lawmakers in Congress. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Jeffrey Nadler reintroduced a bill that would turn the monument into a museum and educational center.
The monument was created after construction workers discovered the 6.6-acre area that contained the remains of 400 people in 1991. The grounds, located in Lower Manhattan, received National Historic Landmark status in 1993 and is the final resting place of more than 15,000 free and enslaved Africans who lived during the 17th and 18th centuries, according to the National Park Service.
On Wednesday (April 7), a ceremony was held to commemorate the 300th anniversary of a slave rebellion that occurred in New York in 1712.
The African Burial Ground International Museum and Educational Center Act received support from various members of Congress including Hakeem Jeffries, Carolyn Maloney, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, and Adriano Espaillat.
“The museum would create a new venue where we can grow our understanding of the true history of our nation, our state, and at the institution of slavery in the United States and around the world,” Sen. Gillibrand said during a press conference.
Rep. Meeks of Queens, New York said, “This is not just an ordinary piece of legislation. This is not just any regular ceremony to me. This is really emotional. This is really important.”
The museum would be a partner site of the National Museum of African American History and Culture located in Washington, D.C.
Photo Credit: Getty Images