Putting the last touches on the African Burial Grounds monument
Howard Dodson, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, left, spoke to reporters during a press preview of the African Burial Ground Monument Monday. Outside the Burial Ground visitors center at 290 Broadway, construction workers hurried to finish the monuments landscaping in time for a dedication event on Friday. A construction worker said that the monument would not likely be fully complete for the Friday morning ceremony, which will feature poet Maya Angelou. There will also be a candlelight procession from Battery Park to the Burial Ground site on Friday night. The monument will open to the public on Sunday. The remains of 421 slaves were discovered at the corner of Elk and Duane Sts. in 1991 during the construction of the federal building at 290 Broadway. Archaeologists studying the remains have determined that most of the people were from West Africa and withstood harsh physical treatment under slavery. They were reinterred during a ceremony in 2003.