A VISIT TO THE AFRICAN BURIAL GROUND NATIONAL MONUMENT

“For All Those Who Were Lost

For All Those Who Were Stolen

For All Those Who Were Left Behind

For All Those Who Were Not Forgotten”

These words are inscribed on a granite wall outside of the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York City .

The wall is hiden by scaffolding now, but the first time that I walked by it , these words spoke to me as they should everyone, not just Americans.

The monument is located right near New York’s City Hall and the oh so many courthouses that may look familiar to you if you watch the t.v. show, Law and Order .

It’s also close by that bridge that seems to dominate the Lower Manhattan skyline, The Brooklyn Bridge .

The monument is part of the United States National Park Service.

It’s open on Tuesdays through Saturdays and the admission is free.

The building is officially located on Elk Street , but right underneath the Elk Street sign is another sign that lets you know that you’re going in the right direction right after you get off the subway at the Chambers Street Station.

The street sign reads “African Burial Ground Way.”

As part of the building is under construction you have to walk around the corner to the entrance.

The monument was officially open in 2006.

As you walk into the building and see all the exhibits, you notice two things.

One that slavery did take place in New York City, and how the city had more slaves than any city in the South including Charleston, South Carolina.

You’ll also see a West African heart shape figure called a Sankofa.

You’ll see it a lot throughout your visit.

The Sankofa asks you to “learn from your past so that one may prosper for your future.”

Each exhibit makes you think.

You learn that not only did Europeans sell slaves, some of their fellow Africans did as well.

You also learn, sadly, that if a slave was ill on the voyage to the New World, they were thrown overboard .

What shocks you more, if the exhibits weren’t shocking enough, is that many African slaves and free Negroes, couldn’t be buried in the city or New Amsterdam , as it was called then.

Remains of 419 men, women, and even children, were discovered in the late 1990’s, and finally given the prosper burial they deserved.

The seven mounds that you see that are now covered by scaffolding are the remains of the 419.

One might say that this monument is sobering.

Some people might say that, but it opens your eyes to a part of American History that many Americans don’t know or seem to care about.

African Burial Ground National Monument

290 Broadway , First Floor

New York City , New York 10007

212-637-2019

HELLO  CHARM  CITY  –  BALTIMORE ,  MARYLAND  THE WORLD  TRADE  CENTER  IN BALTIMORE  

This  building  is located  in  one of  the  most  visited  neighborhoods  in  the city of Baltimore ,  Maryland . 

It’s  the Inner  Harbor . 

The Inner  Harbor  is one of  the  top tourist attractions  in the city.

I’ll  talk about  my visit  to  the  Inner  Harbor  in a later  post.

On this day, September  11th ,  I  thought  it’s  only right  to mention  one of  the  tallest  buildings  in the  Inner  Harbor . 

The World  Trade  Center  in Baltimore . 

You can go inside  the  building  and get a bird’s  eye  view of  the  Inner  Harbor  as well as some other parts  of  the  city.

However, it’s  what’s  inside  of  the  building  that  makes  one stop and reflect  on what happened  on this day 16 years ago  in New York  City ,  Washington  DC ,  and  Pennsylvania . 

It’s  the 9-11 Memorial  of Maryland . 

It’s  a  simple  piece  of  white  marble.

On one side of  the  marble  are the words, “Together  we remember  the  people of Maryland  who perished  on 9-11-2001.”

On the other side  of  the  marble  are the  names of  the  people  who were either on the plane from Washington  DC  that crashed into  the  Pentagon  or those people  who lived in Maryland  and worked at the Pentagon . 

On top of the marble is a mangled piece of  steel  from the World  Trade Center  in New York . 

It’s  a very  sobering  sight  and I  wasn’t  the only  tourist  who stopped  to look at  this  simple  but moving monument  and to never forget what happened  16 years ago today.

If you happen  to  be visiting  Baltimore  and go to the Inner  Harbor ,  be sure to  stop by the World  Trade Center in Baltimore  and pay your respects.