Unearthing New York's Forgotten Slavery Era In 1991, construction workers in lower Manhattan stumbled upon a gravesite for enslaved Africans and unearthed a forgotten part of New York's past. Africans and people of African descent made up twenty percent of the population in colonial New York. Almost all were enslaved. Now, a National Monument in Manhattan has recently been built to honor them.
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Unearthing New York's Forgotten Slavery Era

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Unearthing New York's Forgotten Slavery Era

Unearthing New York's Forgotten Slavery Era

Unearthing New York's Forgotten Slavery Era

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/15187759/15187755" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In 1991, construction workers in lower Manhattan stumbled upon a gravesite for enslaved Africans and unearthed a forgotten part of New York's past. Africans and people of African descent made up twenty percent of the population in colonial New York. Almost all were enslaved. Now, a National Monument in Manhattan has recently been built to honor them.

Michael Blakey — the former scientific director for the African Burial Ground Project — and Howard Dodson, chair of the federal steering committee on the African Burial Ground, explain the monument's significance.