Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force
You'll learn about:
- The history of Harlem, now a vital African-American and Latino residential, cultural, and business center
- Historic commemoration and preservation efforts as integrated parts of an economic growth strategy
Founded in 2009, the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force is a group of concerned citizens who have united to help the Elmendorf Reformed Church restore and memorialize the colonial and early national African burial ground in East Harlem, New York. This presentation will describe the cartographic and documentary sources containing the history of this significant burial ground, the only place where people of color, including both slaves and free Africans, were laid to rest in Harlem between 1680 and 1860. In this Harlem overview, you will learn about the Lenape culture, the significant contribution made by people of color to Harlem’s growth and development, the participation of African-Americans in New York’s history, and the patterns of settlement and immigration of people from Europe, Africa, South and Central America as well as Asia throughout Harlem’s four hundred year history.
Discussions will focus on the commemoration of the African-American burial ground as an economic, cultural and spiritual growth strategy in the ongoing resurgence of Harlem.
, Mt. Vernon
Invited SpeakerAs a graduate from Hampton University with a B.S. in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College (which is part of the City University of New York), Mr. Long presents over 14 years of experience in the field of urban planning. His experience spans two states (New York and New Jersey) within the New York City Metropolitan Region. He currently volunteers with a local initiative (The Harlem African Burial Ground Taskforce and has assisted with commemoration of the oldest African burial site in Harlem). Mr. Long resides in the City of Mount Vernon, where he has held the position of Planning Administer for the past 7 years. Along with his civic duties, Mr. Long is an active member of the American Planning Association's New York Metro Chapter and the Institute of Transportation Engineers, where he serves on various committees.
Jean Ballard Terepka
Confirmed SpeakerJean Ballard Terepka, a life-long New Yorker, has served on the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force since its inception. Terepka is Archivist at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in New York City and is a member of the Board of Trustees of National Episcopal Historians and Archivists. Terepka writes and lectures on the African-American experience of the Episcopal Church as well as on topics related to American and Western European cultural, intellectual, political, religious and social history.