PS 98 at Inwood School Marks Forgotten Slave Cemetery as Sacred Ground

INWOOD, Manhattan (WABC) – Officials at a school in Upper Manhattan are honoring the memory of slaves after it was discovered the school was located on a long-forgotten cemetery.

PS 98 in Inwood held a memorial service Friday to mark the ground as sacred, as students gained new understanding of what was once buried at their school site.

Principal Maritza Rodriguez said: “There was a time when this place was filled with sadness. “It was filled with grief. But now it’s a place where children learn and dream.”

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In the early 1900s, construction workers discovered a site on 212th Street where an estimated 36 enslaved Africans were buried.
“Historical maps also indicate that the land was previously used by the Lenape people for ceremonial purposes,” said Meredith Horsford, of the Dyckman Farm Museums Union. “The burial ground for the slaves who lived and worked for the families of this region, is now known as Inwood.”

The ceremony marked the memory of the land, with speech and children dancing – the culmination of many years of Union research.

“We and our community hope to bring peace to those who have rested here, as well as their ancestors,” Horsford said.

There is now a plaque up front, unveiled on Friday, to teach history about what happened there and make sure those who died are not forgotten.
“We acknowledge these spaces to our young people, letting them know that they are standing and walking on the shoulders of greatness, of giants who have made great sacrifices,” said Principal Meisha Porter. of the school said.

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https://abc7ny.com/ps-98-inwood-slave-cemetery-sacred-ground/11352427/ PS 98 at Inwood School Marks Forgotten Slave Cemetery as Sacred Ground

Huynh Nguyen

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