African Burial Ground

by Linda Hayes

In New York City, May of 1991,
construction on a federal building had begun.
As excavators started removing stones,
they came upon a graveyard of human bones.
Archaeologists were brought in to exhume the graves,
and discovered these were the remains of African slaves.
Slaves that cleared shorelines, and built New York's first roads,
incurring premature deaths from carrying crushing workloads.
The information gathered from this discovery, 
will help us to secure our place in New York's history.

Listen to the ringing of the old church bell, 
as we bid our forefathers a proper farewell.
African Americans dance in the streets,
to the thunderous sound of pounding drumbeats.
Lifting our voices in a mighty chorus,
we pay tribute to our ancestors before us.
Individual coffins carved by hand,
were fittingly commissioned fromt he homeland.
Their bones were reburied, ther souls finally free,
on the  fourth of October 2003.

African Burial Ground by Linda Hayes

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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