On the Road: Bronx park area believed to be slave burial ground to be consecrated on Juneteenth
Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx was previously a wheat plantation and on the grounds is an African burial site.
In 1905, when the New York and Northern Railroad was under construction, workers found unmarked graves near the formal colonial burial ground. They were believed to be for enslaved Africans.
Fast forward to 2019, the Parks Department conducted a ground-penetrating radar study and found coffins below in that same area.
Now that area will be consecrated on Juneteenth by the Parks Department, Van Cortlandt Park House Museum, Van Cortlandt Park Alliance and Enslaved People's Project.
"We wanted just to make sure to honor them and even if we're not in the exact right spot, this is a symbolic honoring and making sure that we remember their effort and their work here," says Stephanie Ehrlich, of the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance.
The ceremony will be streamed on the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance's Facebook page at 11 a.m.
Those who were enslaved on the Van Cortlandt plantation were freed 200 years ago in 1821.
De Blasio unveils Juneteenth Economic Justice Plan to academically benefit Black and low-income students