Sen. Marisol Alcantara Calls For Memorial To Inwood Slave Burial Ground

Sen. Marisol Alcantara

State Senator Launches Effort To Memorialize Inwood Slave Burial Ground

August 01, 2018 - 1:48 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- There is an effort to memorialize the site of a slave burial ground found more than a century ago in Upper Manhattan.

As WCBS 880’s Kevin Rincon reported, the burial ground is now the site of a parking lot at P.S. 98, at 512 W. 212th St. in Inwood.

“I can guarantee you that the majority of the kids – that all the kids in this school – probably don’t know that in that parking lot is the site of an African burial ground,” said state Sen. Marisol Alcantara (D-Manhattan).

Alcantara wants the city to install a plaque, and wants the site to be part of the history taught in state schools. She also wants funding to help groups like the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum to learn more about the men and women who are born here.

Don Rice is board chair at the Dyckman Museum. He said the remains from the colonial cemetery across the street from the school were carefully removed.

“The dirt from this site was not reburied. There was no dignity. There was no respect,” Rice said. “I think that’s what we’re trying to correct here – the indignity that was done and to keep the site in the public consciousness for posterity.”

There is also an effort to protect the old burial ground from future development.