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US NewsThis Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.

07:05  17 june  2019
07:05  17 june  2019 Source:   msn.com

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It ’ s Also an African - American Burial Ground . The owner of a plot of land in Queens wants to sell it or develop it. Others want to memorialize one of The oddly-shaped parcel that abuts the Long Island Rail Road tracks is available for .8 million . According to the flier, the lot is a great opportunity to

African Burying Ground Portsmouth. 777 likes · 1 talking about this . Working towards .2 million "to stand in honor of those forgotten" and build the This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions . It ’ s Also an African - American Burial Ground .

This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground. © Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times About 200 years ago, one of New York’s first African-American communities established itself in what is now Elmhurst, Queens.

The flier advertising a near-one-acre plot of land for sale in Elmhurst, Queens, looks like a typical real estate listing. The oddly-shaped parcel that abuts the Long Island Rail Road tracks is available for $13.8 million. According to the flier, the lot is a great opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand for residential space in the neighborhood.

What is not mentioned is that the site is a historical African-American burial ground. As many as 300 men and women, many of whom were former slaves, could be buried there. By the 1830s, a church and a school stood on the lot, at the heart of one of the city’s first African-American communities, formed around the time New York abolished slavery in 1827.

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It examines the archeological dig that resulted in unearthing the remains of some 400 African men, women and children. Part Three, Politics and the People, documents the impact of local citizens upon the African Burial Ground . Witnessing the conflict between "the people" and an agency of the United

The empty lot has a murky future. For one thing, it comes with an archaeological restriction which requires the St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church, the organization associated with the human remains buried there, to be consulted before the lot can be further developed.

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Representatives of 90 Queens Inc., the firm which owns the land, have offered to build a 5,000-square-foot cultural space on the ground level of a five-story condominium at 47-11 90th Street, but the church has yet to give its blessing on that plan.

This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground. © Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times The African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan has landmark status. After years of negotiations without a resolution, the firm has now put the lot up for sale, leading church leaders and local preservationists to wonder if there is a buyer out there that can help preserve the site instead of build on it.

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it has been estimated that roughly. 10 million Africans survived the Middle Passage. The slave trade was largely dominated by this group until the last third of the 17th One symbol of the emerging black community in the lower Manhattan area known as the Bowery was: the burial ground for Africans .

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“It has been extremely hard for the church to find a partner that is willing to help us, to look at this piece of real estate from a historical perspective,” said the Rev. Kimberly L. Detherage, who has been leading the negotiations on behalf of the church with the developer.

St. Mark was the last religious organization to own the lot. But in 1929, it decamped to East Elmhurst and then to nearby Jackson Heights, where it is currently located.

The site is steeped in the city’s African-American history and should be preserved, Ms. Detherage said, so that locals, and especially schoolchildren, can learn how former and freed slaves lived in Elmhurst, which was then known as Newtown.

The year after state emancipation, a white farmer named William Hunter deeded some land to five black residents who were members of the United African Society, one of the first African-American organizations formed in Queens after slavery ended in the state. There was most likely an African-American cemetery there that predated the society’s ownership, said Roger Sanjek, an anthropology professor emeritus at Queens College.

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It did not matter that I am from a black majority African nation, people who look like me here have to negotiate for their humanity with a system that constantly alienates, erases and punishes them. How could I own a pain I had not lived, as an African "fresh off the boat" in America ?

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This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground. © Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times “This is our chance to educate, share our history and perhaps change what people think African-Americans were like after slavery,” said the Rev. Kimberly Detherage, of the St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1833, the abolitionist James Pennington began teaching at the school in Newtown’s African-American community. After several years, Mr. Pennington attended classes at Yale Divinity School, becoming the first black American to do so. Mr. Pennington then returned to the community in 1837. The following year, a Presbyterian church was erected and he served as its pastor. (The corner of Corona Avenue and 90th Street is called Reverend James Pennington Place.)

As the years went by the African-American residents of Newtown started to organize, while learning about their new racially-restrictive civic rights, Dr. Sanjek said. He has written about a meeting that took place in Newtown in 1862, when residents denounced President Abraham Lincoln’s proposal of possibly resettling freed slaves in other countries by affirming their strong American identity.

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At some point, the community converted its church from the Presbyterian denomination to an African Methodist Episcopal one. A map indicates that the A.M.E. church had been established on the lot by 1873.

In 1929, however, the church, under pressure to move, sold the property, as the land had become “very valuable for business and industry,” according to The New York Times. Before relocating to East Elmhurst, the church — now known as St. Mark, the one overseen by Ms. Detherage in Jackson Heights — requested to transport all the bodies from the burial ground to Mount Olivet Cemetery in Maspeth. (The city denied the request, although 20 bodies were transferred.)

As the lot changed hands several times throughout the decades, the burial ground was largely forgotten until the current owner started excavating the land for a new building in 2011. Construction crews called the police when they found the well-preserved body of Martha Peterson, likely a descendant of one of the founders of the United African Society. The discovery became the subject of a “Secrets of the Dead” episode on PBS in 2018.

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This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
The discovery also put a stop to development plans. Since then, negotiations with the church have been very gradual, Ms. Detherage said. The last meeting, held two months ago, was cordial, she said, as representatives gave her renderings for a museum that would be on the ground floor of the condominium complex. She said the latest plan was a step in the right direction, but didn’t quite fit the church’s vision. (When asked, Ms. Detherage did not yet want to comment on what that vision entailed).

Bo Jin Zhu, who is listed as the president of 90 Queens Inc. on public records, said in a telephone interview that he was only a minority shareholder and had not been part of the negotiations with the church. He said his involvement was only with construction, and any questions about negotiations with the church or future development plans should be asked to the firm’s other stakeholders, whom he declined to name.

Church leaders are also concerned about financing and maintaining a museum, should one be built on the lot. Ms. Detherage suggested that maybe the city or another cultural institution could invest in and help run whatever was developed on the site. “This is our chance to educate, share our history and perhaps change what people think African Americans were like after slavery,” but the church cannot do it alone, she said.

The preservation of African-American burial grounds is gaining momentum as a national movement. Sandra Arnold, a graduate fellow at Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, has started the Periwinkle Humanities Initiative, which is building a database of national burial sites of enslaved Americans. And a bill was recently introduced that would allow the National Park Service to provide assistance to those researching and preserving burial sites.

There are two landmark African-American burial grounds in the city; one in western Staten Island and another in Lower Manhattan near City Hall. There are others that are recognized and commemorated, including one in Harlem.

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This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
This Empty Lot Is Worth Millions. It’s Also an African-American Burial Ground.
“It’s sad to me that this place hasn’t been properly commemorated,” said James McMenamin, the vice president of the nonprofit Elmhurst History and Cemeteries Preservation Society, a local group that has asked the city to landmark the site. “It is worth preserving not just because it’s a sacred cemetery, but because it’s a big part of the city’s history.”

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