When plans for the 126th Street bus depot threatened to disturb a colonial era African American burial ground, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito urgently acted to safeguard this ancestral space.

Together, Dr. Patricia Singletary, the pastor of the Elmendorf Reform Church who brought this issue to light, and Melissa created the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force in 2009. Comprised of community stakeholders, city agencies, archeologists, architects and historians, the Task Force gathered neighborhood feedback and then called for the removal of the bus depot at East 126th Street.

We’re proud of the work we are doing to create respectful monuments in our communities that seek to right a historical injustice by recognizing that this land, and the individuals that lie within, are an integral part of our cultural heritage, not just for the African American community, but for the entire City.