Excavating an African Burial Ground: Lack of Funding Could Mean Loss of Information Forever

3196 Words 13 Pages
Excavating an African Burial Ground: Lack of Funding Could Mean Loss of Information Forever

As children growing up in the United States, educated through our public schools, we learned about the institution of slavery, which was an integral part of life in our country for nearly 300 years. We do not usually question the historical facts we learned about slavery or ask how we know so much about the history of these people (the enslaved Africans in America) who left behind so little written record. In the classroom, archeologists do not receive much credit, but it is largely through their work and research that we have been able to learn about “America’s diverse ethnic heritage” (Singleton 155). In the 1960’s, excavations of slave cabins
…show more content…
Courthouse, and the State Supreme Court” (Brunius 16). Many people, including scholars, historians, archaeologists and members of the African-American community consider the African Burial Ground Project “the nation’s most significant archaeological find of the century” (Brunius 16). Usually GSA is able to handle their responsibilities with federal properties, but they are not doing a good job with this project. Unfortunately, the GSA has significantly mishandled the African Burial Ground Project. As the overseers of this project, the GSA is responsible for the project’s insufficient funds and the under-skilled archaeological team who damaged many artifacts. The multitude of information that the African Burial Ground holds presents a priceless opportunity to learn about the lives and conditions of slaves living in the North, and it is therefore time to fully fund this project.

It was not until recently, through studying remains found at the African Burial Ground site, that we discovered a significant African presence in early New York. Virtually all of these people were enslaved. “It is not generally understood that 40% of the original Dutch colony and up to 20% of the English colony were enslaved Africans” (Brunius 16). In 1626, slaves were brought to New York, the city that had been inhabited two years prior by the Dutch and named New Amsterdam. At one point in colonial times, New York was guilty of working more slaves than any other colony with the exception of

More about Excavating an African Burial Ground: Lack of Funding Could Mean Loss of Information Forever

Open Document