|A marker on the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail|
for the site of the "Negro Burying Ground"
I’ve been following this story ever since, and visited the site in person last year. Portsmouth is a city with some carefully preserved ancient burial grounds, but this “Negro Burying Ground” was sadly neglected, paved over and houses were built on top. It is a shameful fact that this burial ground was neglected on purpose.
In the proposed site, the bodies will be re-interred with dignity in an underground vault. Life sized sculptures will represent the adults and children buried there. There will be an information kiosk and other historical markers, as well as symbolic African art. Several previous proposals were rejected by the African Burial Committee. The project is estimated to cost $1.2 million, and on Monday night, 20 December 2010, the Portsmouth city council pledged $100K in grant money towards the project titled “We Stand in Honor of Those Forgotten”.
Currently there is a Black Heritage Trail in Portsmouth, which gives visitors an overview of African history in the seacoast region. It is a self guided walking tour of twenty four locations around downtown Portsmouth. More information can be found at http://www.pbhtrail.org/ a website sponsored by the Greater Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Inc, a nonprofit organization preserving the African American culture of this part of New Hampshire.
For more information:
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/northeast/view/20101221portsmouth_approves_100k_for_african_burial_parkh/srvc=news&position=also link to the Boston Globe article, 21 December 2010 about the grant money
http://www.cityofportsmouth.com/abg/index.htm the link to the Portsmouth Community Development Department website, with a video showing a visual of the proposed memorial project and other renderings.
The Greater Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Inc, 143 Pleasant St., Portsmouth, NH, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2010, Heather Wilkinson Rojo