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Commemorating the African Burial Ground in New York City: Spirituality of Space in Contemporary Art Works

Andrea Frohne


Several art projects have been commissioned to commemorate the New York City African Burial Ground that was uncovered in 1991 in lower Manhattan just off Broadway due to construction of a government office building. The art works have become visual representations for the African Burial Ground as well as of an African and African descendant presence that were once ignored and erased in colonial New York. Through an exploration of selected art works, I focus on central cultural, political, and spiritual issues defining and deriving from African American and African based discourses in particular. Dominant concerns within these discourses include control of the Burial Ground site and representation of it, recognition of ancestors, and violation of sacred space.

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Ijele: Art eJournal of the African World. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editor: Nkiru Nzegwu; Film Review Editor: Phyllis J. Jackson; Exhibition/Curator & Book Review Editor: Azuka Nzegwu

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