October 24, 2006

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Michael Blakey, scientific director of the New York African Burial Ground project, will give the lecture, “New York’s African Burial Ground: When the Dust Cleared,” Monday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The African Burial Ground was uncovered in 1991 during construction of a federal building in lower Manhattan. The extensive contributions of enslaved Africans to the building of colonial New York had not been acknowledged prior to the rediscovery of the cemetery which contained the remains of more than 400 Africans from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Controversy arose as different interest groups struggled over how the site should be treated, ultimately resulting in research and memorialization projects that are reaching their conclusions. 

Findings to be discussed

Blakey will present findings from the final reports on the 419 excavated remains of Africans who had been enslaved in 18th-century New York City. He will discuss the memorial and interpretive center being completed at the African Burial Ground National Monument, and examine the implications of these dramatic developments for anthropological practice.

Professor of anthropology and American studies at the College of William and Mary, Blakey also is director of the Institute for Historical Biology. His scholarly publications concern the history and philosophy of science, paleopathology, historical demography, medical anthropology, racism, museums, and anthropological ethics. 

His papers appear in such journals as American Anthropologist, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, International Journal of Anthropology, and Critique of Anthropology.

The lecture, which is free to the public, is the 20th Annual Black Experiences Lecture, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender at Bucknell.

Posted Oct. 24, 2006

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