In 2015, the Portsmouth Community will complete the years long effort to honor those buried beneath Chestnut Street in Portsmouth’s downtown.
The Portsmouth African Burying Ground and Memorial Park – We Stand in Honor of Those Forgotten is the result of a dramatic revelation unearthed from a City street that has led to a forgotten people being brought to life and a community embracing its full history. On an October morning in 2003, a series of coffins were revealed during infrastructure upgrades in the heart of the Portsmouth’s downtown. Through archaeology and DNA analysis the City confirmed the site was a segregated burying place for Africans and their descendants (likely both enslaved and free) and that as many as 200 individuals are buried below. Their names are unknown and their resting place – in use from the early 1700s through to the 19th century – was paved over, built over and mostly forgotten.
The presentation will focus on what is known about the site’s history, the community’s efforts to memorialize the site, and a description of the Memorial and its components.
Join us to share in this powerful story at an illustrated lecture in honor of Black History Month. Snow date Feb. 26th.