AFBG Kwanzaa 2008
Contact: Mindi Rambo, 212-668-2208
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY—Celebrate Kwanzaa on Dec. 30 with the National Park Service (NPS). Kwanzaa is a weeklong African American holiday observed from Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase, “matunda ya kwana,” which means “first fruits” in Swahili.
The holiday was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Long Beach. The African Burial Ground will be honoring the principle Nia which means purpose.
The celebration will take place at the African Burial Ground National Monument, which is located on the first floor of the Ted Weiss Federal Building at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. All workshops and performances will focus on celebrating family, community and culture. The morning and afternoon festivities are free, however, space is limited and reservations are required.
“Uncovering the Story of the African Burial Ground through Archeology” is a workshop that is designed to help students learn more about archeology by examining replica artifacts from the African Burial Ground. It will be led by NPS Ranger Melissa Magnuson-Cannady. This workshop is being offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
An evening performance infused with African music will conclude the Kwanzaa celebration. Music of the African Diaspora has chronicled the experiences of Africans world wide and has influenced others. Africans and African American traditions have helped to create and influence music of the United States.
If you would like more information about how to make reservations for the Kwanzaa Celebration please call (212) 637-1995 or visit www.nps.gov/afbg.
From the 1690s until the 1790s, both free and enslaved Africans were buried within a 6.6 acre burial ground in Lower Manhattan, outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam, later known as New York. Lost to history due to landfill and development, the grounds were rediscovered in 1991 as a consequence of the planned construction of the Ted Weiss Federal Office building, located at 290 Broadway. A memorial at the African Burial Ground National Monument, dedicated in October of 2007, honors the memories of the approximately 15,000 Africans buried within the 6.6 acre boundary of the original cemetery. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays. The memorial, located on the corner of Duane Street and African Burial Ground Way (Elk Street), is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
- NPS -
Did You Know?
The African Burial Ground, called the Negroes Burial Ground by the Dutch and English, was closed to make way for development and covered with landfill, concrete and buildings.