The exhibition Reclaiming History, Reinvesting in East Harlem: The Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial Project opened at La Marqueta this month.
The pictorial exhibition and timeline showcases the past, present and future of the Harlem African Burial Ground, bringing a new memorial and cultural center to honor the historic Harlem African Burial Ground, along with affordable housing and jobs for the East Harlem community.
The Opening Reception, which was held at La Marqueta on May 15th, featured a panel discussion with some of the foremost thought leaders on memorials, cultural engagement, and public history in New York City.
The burial ground was located on the southeastern portion of the 2.7-acre bus depot site, which covers a full city block. The 126th Street Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial and Mixed-Use Project is a unique initiative to preserve this essential piece of the city’s history, while simultaneously addressing needs expressed by the East Harlem community.
The MTA is currently in the process of vacating the bus depot and returning the site to the City. Acknowledging the immense historical significance of the site, in 2015 the City, through NYCEDC, began to work in partnership with elected officials and community stakeholders to develop a transformative mixed-use project at the site, centered on a new Harlem African Burial Ground memorial and cultural center to honor the significance of the site and its descendant community.
The Event and current exhibition is an update from the previous exhibition held by the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force at The State Office Building, where presentation boards were on view depicting the site and history. In that exhibit, the focus was on the historical significance of the site and its history from the 1660s to present day.
Reclaiming History, Reinvesting in East Harlem: The Harlem African Burial Ground Memorial Project is sponsored by the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force, Council Member Diana Ayala, NYCEDC, and NYC Cultural Affairs.
We can’t end this post without a mention that the Event also featured complimentary food and beverages from several of our favorite La Marqueta vendors, including Amuse Bouche, Elma’s, and Sprinkle Splash Sweet Shoppe.
Read more about East 125th Street and current projects in the works here.
Want to learn more about El Barrio and the people who live there? Check out the outdoor art installation Present Histories by artist Kathleen Granados located in Harlem Art Park next to the historic Courthouse.
La Marqueta is also getting a face-lift. Read about it here.