Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

The African Burial Ground in New York City: Memory, Spirituality, and Space

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

The African Burial Ground in New York City: Memory, Spirituality, and Space

Article excerpt

Frohne, Andrea E. The African Burial Ground in New York City: Memory, Spirituality, and Space. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2015, pp.444, ISBN: 0815634013.

In this work, the author (an associate professor of African art history at Ohio University with a joint appointment in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and the School of Art and Design) narrates the story of the African Burial Ground and the controversies surrounding urban commemoration. Hence, she analyzes its colonial and contemporary representations, drawing on colonial-era maps, prints, and land surveys to illuminate the forgotten and hidden visual histories of a mostly enslaved population buried in the African Burial Ground. Tracing the history and identity of the area from a forgotten site to a contested and negotiated space, the author situates the burial ground within the context of late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century race relations in New York City to reveal its enduring presence as a spiritual place. Finally, she illustrates visually, spiritually, and spatially the historic and contemporary formation of a New York City African diaspora in relation to the African Burial Ground. …

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