The city’s parks department has installed four new park signs at Joseph Rodman Drake Park in Hunts Point, to memorialize the Black slaves who were buried on the peninsula in the 1800s.
The new signs include the words “Enslaved African Burial Grounds,” in addition to the park’s name.
Parks commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa said the new signs honor “enslaved Africans buried in the park,” and will “spur reflection, remembrance, and a pursuit for greater knowledge and understanding” for visitors.
Forty-four enslaved Africans lived on the Hunts Point peninsula at the time, according to the 1800 census. The last burial on the grounds took place in the 1840s, according to records.
Over the decades the burial ground had been covered with dirt, gravel and asphalt from roadway construction and development, until students at the Bronx’s oldest schoolhouse, P.S. 48 on Spofford Avenue, helped research a project, unearthing nearly two centuries of the peninsula’s history.
While the once-bucolic Hunts Point waterfront has been overtaken by industry and food distribution warehouses since the 1960s, the oasis-like park has offered a combination of tree cover and history for visitors.