Monday, November 22, 2010

Perspectives: African Burial Ground

     To begin, I hadn't even known that there was an African Burial Ground in New York. All I've ever heard of was Time Share, and the Statue of Liberty, The Twin Towers, and the Gardens. Who knew the city of New York had such a sacred area for my ancestors. This place was rather amazing. For starters, the street name I happened to see"African Burial Way" was significant to me; like not only are we subtly recognized but they gave us a street name to go along. There was beautiful landscaping and artwork to complement the sacred ground. There was this mood of poignance that came over me. It was sad to see that this was all we had, after what Africans have done for the city, in spite of all the enslavement. However, there was this feeling of self- security. A feeling that even though we did not have much we had something.

     Moreover, I heard of all the famous black people who had visited the cite, given speeches, and reunited several young, black African American together with a part of their history. Since majority of them won't ever step foot in Africa, they can have a taste of that in which they are spawned. The memorial is circular (its blueprints) and I could only think that this was for peace. It was peaceful. When sitting in a group sharing a story, enjoying family/friends, camping out, playing cards- you sit in a circle. Its a form of comfortability and togetherness. I felt as if it keeps the spirits of the deceased African contained in one area, so that none are lost.

THIS place is different. Its specifically for us, not for Americans only, not for a certain religion, or group, but us Africans. We have a memorial. I like how we could reenact past jobs and services of our ancestors. We could see how it was to be a black African woman or man of that time. I don't like their work. I don't like the things they had to do for little payback. Its like less than minimal wage job- loathsome. But this sacred area given to my people is good. I like that.

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