New York City’s most public monument to its role in slavery in the 1700s and 1800s is the African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan, where some 15,000 men, women and children were buried. This is the place to honor them and celebrate Kwanzaa, the the week long holiday that begins on December 26 and commemorates African-American heritage and culture. There are family-friendly events throughout the day on Monday, December 26th, including lectures on the history and meaning of the burial ground by National Park Service Rangers.
- 10:30 AM — African Spiritual Beading with Vickie Fremont. Learn how to makenecklaces and memory bracelets made with traditional African beads.
- 11 AM-12:10 PM — “The Black Candle”, an award-winning documentary film explored the meaning and history of Kwanzaa (1 hr 10 minutes)
- 12:30 PM — History of Kwanzaa Workshop (30 minutes)
- 1 PM — “The Black Nutcracker” by Uptown Dance Academy
- 2:30 PM — Traditional African Wire Doll Making by Ivelisse Pabon de Landron. Learn about the island of Puerto Rico and its Black traditional doll makingcraft.
- 3 PM: Ranger-led tour of African Burial Ground National Monument
- 3:30 PM: African Naming Ceremony led by Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely
All Kwanzaa events at the African Burial Ground National Monument are free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Call 212-637-2019, or the National Park Service website. And dress warmly, since this is outdoors.