The African Burial Ground National Monument, the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans, was defaced with a racist slur on November 1.
Federal Protective Service officials have taken the lead on the investigation and provided clearance for National Park Service personnel to remove the racist slur that was written on a wayside sign at the monument.
The African Burial Ground National Monument was established to protect the grounds of a site that memorializes the role free and enslaved African Americans played in building New York City and this nation.
“This shocking and hateful act cannot diminish the spirit of African Burial Ground National Monument, nor silence the story it tells,” NPS Manhattan Sites Superintendent Shirley McKinney said. “The National Park Service takes acts such as this very seriously. Our stewardship of this site and the safety of our visitors and NPS personnel is of the utmost importance and we are working with law enforcement agencies on the investigation. In the meantime, the monument and adjacent visitor center remain open during normal operating hours, so we encourage the public to come visit and learn about the important and deeply moving history of the burial ground.”
Photo of African Burial Ground National Monument courtesy Wikimedia user Dmadeo.