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.

WHO WE ARE

Guided by its Executive Committee, the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force, founded in 2009, is a group of concerned citizens who are working with the Elmendorf Reformed Church to preserve and memorialize its historically and culturally significant African Burial Ground. In 1660, when the village of New Harlem was incorporated, the Low Dutch Reformed Church of Harlem (now the Elmendorf Reformed Church) erected a church building at the corner of 1st Avenue and 126th Street. A quarter acre of church property was set aside as a segregated cemetery known as the Negro Burying Ground or Harlem African Burial Ground. This was an active cemetery from the mid-17th to the mid-19th century. The objectives of the task force are as follows:

To reclaim, preserve, and recognize this sacred cemetery.         

 

To obtain historic designation for the Harlem African Burial Ground.

 

To celebrate indigenous people who inhabited this area prior to the arrival of Europeans.

 

To honor the memory of Harlem’s colony builders, enslaved and free Africans who were major contributors to the growth and success of New York’s economy, infrastructure and society.         

 

To support the development of a memorial and cultural center where the history of this sacred site and of Harlem can be shared and explored with the public.

HABG CO-CHAIRS

REV. DR. PATRICIA A. SINGLETARY,

ELMENDORF REFORMED CHURCH PASTOR

MELISSA 

MARK-VIVERITO,

FORMER NEW YORK 

CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER 

HABG EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

DEBORAH I. GIBSON

LOIS BROWN

THOMAS LUNKE

WILLIAM LONG

JEAN BALLARD TEREPKA

SHARON WILKINS

MELINDA VELEZ

HABG HONORARY MEMBERS: ELECTED OFFICIALS

GALE A BREWER,

MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT

BILL PERKINS,

DISTRICT 9 NYC COUNCIL

MEMBER

ADRIANO ESPAILLAT,

UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE

JOSÉ M. SERRANO,

NEW YORK STATE SENATOR

ROBERT J. RODRIGUEZ,

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMBER

SCOTT M. STRINGER,

NEW YORK CITY COMPTROLLER

HABG HONORARY MEMBERS

CHRISTOPHER P. MOORE

ERIC V. TAIT, JR.

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