Teaching students about their history is commonplace. Showing students their history in an interactive way is something else entirely. It’s an impactive, awe-inspiring way to learn. We showed our students a piece of their rich history when we went on our class trip to the African Burial Ground in New York City.
The children enjoyed the beautiful architecture and environmental design. They enjoyed exploring every facet of the memorial, including the call and response area, the inscribed symbols, the raised mounds with graves beneath, the wishing well, and other features.
One thing the children learned is that their ancestors were a vital part of New York City, helping build the city and keep it operational. They also learned that their ancestors were enslaved Africans, not slaves. There’s a monumental difference between the two!
Some of the imagery was heartbreaking, including this reproduction of shackles used to keep the Africans in bondage.
Can you believe these are sculptures? They’re not real people, but look like real people. It was very emotional standing next to them under the moody lighting. It made you feel as if you were there with them during their time of distress.
Lunchtime was enjoyable, albeit pensive. Everyone had a lot to think about.
Overall, we’re glad we went to the African Burial Ground. It was educational and cultural. We’ll have to go back again soon to see the exhibit and learn some more.