Lawmakers Push to Protect Historic African American Burial Grounds
From Texas to Maryland, construction projects and archaeological surveys have unearthed numerous previously unknown African American burial grounds in just the last year. This has prompted Representatives Donald McEachin (D-VA) and Alma Adams (D-NC) to introduce the African American Burial Grounds Network Act to create a voluntary national network of historic African American burial grounds. The legislation would provide information, technical support, and grants to aid in the research, identification, preservation, and restoration of burial sites within the network. The measure would also provide federal support for historic African American burial grounds in need of assistance to ensure their preservation for future generations. Additionally, NY Democratic Representatives Gregory Meeks,Yvette Clarke, and Adriano Espaillat want to create a vehicle to commemorate these types of discoveries and last week introduced the African Burial Ground International Memorial Museum and Education Center Act. The bill would establish a museum and education center at the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan, a site that currently holds the remains of an estimated 15,000 free and enslaved Africans and early-generation African Americans from the colonial era. The museum would be managed by the National Park Service in consultation with the African Burial Ground Advisory Council, which would be established by this bill. More here.