East New York African Burial Ground officially recognized

JEROME BAILEY | 10/17/2013, 11:50 a.m.

It looks like Marcus will get his wish. According to Barron, the playground will be renovated with new lights and basketball goals sporting fiberglass backboards and lasting nets. Other renovation plans include a cultural theme and a monument that tells the story of the burial site. Surrounded with new swings, Sphinx figures and other artifacts of the African diaspora, the playground will include a red, black and green Pan-African flag hanging high above the area.

“We want to make the park look like an African village,” said Green.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has approved the renovation of the park, but they won’t begin until New York City funds the project, according to the councilman’s office. The office plans to reach out to the Brooklyn borough president and city agencies to increase funds. The councilman’s office also plans to have a section in the New Lots Public Library dedicated to the African Burial Ground.

Many supporters of the renaming were involved with the 2010 African Burial Ground Visitor’s Center opening in lower Manhattan after the remains of 427 African slaves were found beneath a parking lot near New York’s City Hall, gaining world attention.

“The people here can stand with their chest sticking out, filled with pride because they know that they brought life to East New York,” said Barron.