The Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force is a group of concerned citizens who have united to help the Elmendorf Reformed Church to restore and memorialize its historically and culturally significant colonial African burial ground at 1st Avenue, between 126th and 127th Streets in East Harlem, New York City.

VISION & MISSION

View of the village of Harlem in 1765 from Morrisania (the modern day borough of The Bronx).

VISION STATEMENT

On this sacred indigenous tribal site near the Harlem River and East 126th Street, where the Village of Harlem was founded in 1660, lie the desecrated remains of both freed and enslaved Africans who helped build this village, city and nation. The Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force seeks to create a profoundly visionary memorial that empowers and educates all to the continued local, national and global struggles for social and economic justice and spiritual fulfillment.

MISSION STATEMENT

Working with the City of New York, the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force seeks the creation of a vibrant memorial that is fully integrated into the social and economic fabric of East Harlem. The mission of the task force is to ensure that any new development on this sacred site be iconic in design and honor the lives and contributions of enslaved and free African colony and nation builders, their descendants, and indigenous people who inhabited Manhattan before the arrival of Europeans.

 

This unique waterfront location reveals Harlem’s and New York City's rich history and inspires its social, economic and spiritual future. Its redevelopment incorporates openness, grace and innovation. Nearby Harlem River Park, Harlem River Drive, Willis Avenue Bridge, 2nd Avenue Subway, and the larger neighborhood are visually connected through elegant landscaping, architecture and urban design that highlights this place, embracing residents and visitors alike.

 

In this sacred memorial place, the spirits of those once forgotten will be remembered: their wisdom will be received and renewed, and their stories will take their rightful place in the rich American narrative.

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