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there's oh ah oh production of this program has been made possible in part by a grant from the corporation for public broadcasting and the southern educational communications association dallas texas north city to the giants with a little known shared history of injustice and both cities sacred burial grounds were carelessly destroyed thousands of a slave and free blacks were robbed of their final resting place no there's a second chance to right the wrongs as a new generation emerge is to help heal the bay can be done like the old folks say i feel it in my bones by may
fifth in most african traditions that get before a powerful link in the chain of life to them but to the course of its influence both of livingston and the world of the ancestors bring messages on the other side but polls and the thickening and not be there in the wrestling tree and the grueling would be on the floor there in the heart of the debt i'm not dating and my first visit to the african burial ground of manhattan took place months after the bulldozers because there were no open graves no physical loans that in the stillness of that winter day there were voices and
to do that like most african americans i know very little about my ancestors who were these people where in africa they lived and i know many died in this country enslaved this burial ground is a tangible connection to an unknown past and the wind blows so does the ancestors the american constitution you just want to dance just as one knuckle for that they will not rest on i was furious i worked alongside many
changes in the economy we will morsi's detention it was separation we were forced to carry out what did on the outskirts of town our this is what became of your hallowed ground no indication remains that your burial ground ever existed the final resting place for twenty thousand of new york's enslaved population was initially covered with landfill philippe gilbert built upon i've forgotten until the summer of nineteen ninety one when construction crews digging the foundation for thirty seven story federal building found bones they push stop the sdn says this grass their
breath of ancestors who have not left or not and or who are not dead those who died have never left the woman to breastfeed their own the whaling child and the continuing fire branch of the dead and night on earth the burial ground was special to season the arc of whites often complain about the drumming and noises that heard coming from the area around there we can momentarily be free from laws that job cuts no more than three blazes were allowed to be together at any one time reels were the exception so when somebody doubted that gave us the chance to be with each other of course that was only at night but by law we have to bury our dead that night since the terrorist incident sacredness in the sense that that has been violated by this construction project has been a source of great pain and
consternation among large sectors of our community months after the bones were initially discovered the federal government launched an excavation of the plot of land knowing called an african burial ground to pay they wanted to remove that remains as quickly as possible so construction on the government's skyscraper i don't think that the federal government that some of the agencies within it know how deep into the soul and into the does the general site the idea of african americans this issue has penetrated in meeting rooms from new york to washington dc the african american community waged a battle to stop the government from taking out remains let me underline here my belief that this burial ground like old silent and hundreds of other places in our city is a part of the history of all new
yorkers in the meantime long lines snake around the burial site as people stood for hours to get a glimpse of the bones inside any more than one hundred thousand people sign their names to petitions drought the city and an effort to preserve and memorialize the site twenty four hour drama the shield to pay respects to the ancestors to a crowd of thousands in any more traces of africa and their paths and their hearts there was pride and pain that we should be about one of the graves that had been opened and so the skeletal remains at van ness we stood together it was like you know in some mystical in
that have brought us together and we reflected that who knows but that could have been my grandfather great great grandfather who knows but that we might be brothers and missile unless klein crying crying on the new songs i mean almost one time i felt like i wanted to just lay my hate next to one of the remains was a calling like pulling me in pulling me closer this is the skeletons head he wanted to tell me one year ago when it was sock it is the ancestors graph the bones are not in this room on display here to be protected and to be on the watch over
a room in the gym at new york's lehman college became the new home for the ancestral remains the room is called the waiting room every thursday it is open to the public the cream of this nearly three frames to different users at a six year old and a five course of the excavation members of the community come to express risk that an individual voice and a back corner office this woman when i went to the room in which this took the names
i thought about them in the storehouse a mere four hundred people and they're in little drawers and i didn't know what my reaction would be that when i i saw them illegally taped in numbers written on it there was some partially there was some feeling well maybe that shouldn't be our but on the other hand i thought isn't it wonderful that they really a day i will never be part of any institution that houses my ancestors' remains and canisters not only did you take them out of this sacred resting place but then you took them up to a building a gym no doubt and want to call it a waiting area playing a symbolic place that words now i could never go through
oh really they can leave my chess that my people come and see and look at this does not beat for joy sadness of like sadness of life sounds of the drum drum and the stones feel sadness of life in addition to human remains far geologist want to retrieve materials from the burial site nearly six hundred artifacts were rumors among them points found in the eye sockets of several parents and a musket ball found on a woman's rent the rent was cracked in three places looking at artifacts that are against this humble every little
thing has to sell the most common artifacts recovered or shroud pens used to pen together the white cross most of the dead were buried in the discovery of the bones and artifacts as generated a thirst for history many see the burial grounds emergence and what can be learned from it as a chance to re write the history books we've had business when the british took over from the dutch however many more support they had a song even became slaves again twenty seven all slaves in new york will officially century joe wilson is an anthropologist with the project she also conducts historical
tours in new york she's attempting to reclaim memories of african history in the city i think it's certainly important for black people to know the history because this knowledge itself but i think it's important for other people want to know the history because it contributes to a complete history of the payouts low since two wars included glimpse of trinity church and its centuries old cemetery we could have to change your age of course we've been forced to send billions to the white race they serve us our marriages performed by mutual consent with the blessing of the church our brains couldn't eat that all day
probably tried to crystallize us writes frequently mentioned that we had no souls and hellish as nice some reason i didn't trash and senators as iago clinton senators pointed out i wanna walk around on one leg at the tombstones and one c the names many of the prescriptions for some unless we witnessing a bomb people were many markers i wouldn't know here lies john dingell are here lies and congo are here lies in peter and go well we don't know that ouch ouch ouch ouch klingler is an internationally renowned jazz violinist his visits to the burial ground have changed him now that i've had a chance to be to be involved with my ancestors who wore this same way and who owned it who built the
wall on wall street who wyden broadway over there no i'm saying i don't feel like a stranger and on wall street and i don't feel like a stranger to this country because i know that we were here amongst first and then the moments are often use simple traditional african folk will many african americans believe the bones from the burial ground there and a message it may be that their ancestors' bones are coming up at this time to indicate to us that they had destroyed by what we're doing to each other they troubled by what we do and to each other but at the same time and an and paradoxically it may be that they coming up this time because this is a time of hope there is a resurrection i
have the same thing that sue moon oh cried with me i'm on my way is a lot in this world but the phone remembering his boat builder they might get away with my left hand i'm on my way i'm on my way the bill to death is rocking they are more in my way i'm a who have sung in mandan song moon
during my visit to the african burial ground i heard over and over the refrain they got no justice in life your death i heard that phrase before in dallas texas at another black burial ground and friedman center when i first saw that friedman cemetery in no way resemble the graveyard it looked more like a patchwork quilt made up of dark stains on the ground accented with brightly colored string the string outlined well after video of sunken graves graves of former slaves and newly freed men women and children play doh very friedman cemetery was the burial ground for the earliest black population and alice from the may eighteen fifties until nineteen twenty five but the cemetery was desecrated a number of
times to make way for urban twelve and eighteen seventy two the texas central railroad came through the burial ground in the nineteen forties construction began on central expressway the highway project took with it more grapes in nineteen fifty eight the city of dallas decided to confirm what was left of the graveyard into a city park a few surviving relatives were paid ten dollars a piece to get the land to the city although by state law it was illegal to erect playground equipment on top of a burial ground the site remained a park for nearly thirty years very carefully and oddly
enough it was the highway again the broad friedman cemetery to the surface in nineteen ninety state highway department cruz doing advance work for the widening of central expressway discovered many more graves and only maps had projected that's a part of the cemetery the war has taken nearly four years old those years began the chopped scraping layers of dirt a little at a time for members looked for signs that a grave has been uncovered christina applegate once the grave location is revealed archaeologist complete their work by hand workers usually removed the remains of one grave today the bones are then taken to a local morgue for
storage that is eric cantor things were fanning ever placed atop their graves treasured object stand with the graves help tell stories of the people buried there a long forgotten burial customs are being rediscovered some black families to lead the spirits of the dead or captured within everyday objects relatives placed broken dishes over the graves to such a spirit's three am sea shells are another common fight among the burials the shows are believed to symbolize water they're a reminder of africa and after the civil war more than three hundred former slaves began new lives of freedom and in areas surrounding that place known as treatments the heart of treatments
lie near the intersection of north south east west rail comment on the trains came within twelve as laborers remain to raise our families we were driving in the city and i'm speaking for many communities as president of blank ballots remember dr mamie midnight has researched the city's earliest black history for years that organization has worked alongside the state highway department during the excavation process it's important to not just african americans but it's it's important to the city i love that number one those persons who gave their lives for this city
now been recognized and certainly it's a hallowed ground a source of real concern and i think the respect for those persons disclose at the heart of everything that we are doing jesus jesus as some members of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to learn and almost forgotten segment of the city's history visitors are always free to watch and learn but they can never take pictures of bones it's a question that respect for a living descendents people who go to freedman cemetery today won't find the graves of any particular individual that's on our violent out of them and i can see the plant that nineteen oh very with each intrusion into the cemetery tombstones were destroyed the only one still intact
belongs to a woman named emma mccune this emma mccune has become assembled about the community and the professionals who were comics aviation project and that there is no grave under year so we don't know and we'll probably never know where he's buried the royal family bible is one of the few remaining links in the history of freedom and cemetery called is a burden free mix up for about his wife and baby basically and the birds all these are much all those problems and soldiers david rhodes shows children originally belonged to duck roll and when his day was called a trustee of the colored people of dallas rowan along with four other men paid three hundred and fifty dollars to buy the land that became frequent cemetery you
really roll and as dr owens grants that he is the last to carry the family name we peel a country a senator were they be black or white i still don't understand how that could happen and one of the things that bothers me is that i was just told a dish respect for the date even though the data's day but there are still some some respected nice to be maintained at our show old memories are revived as folks get together once a year to remember and recognize the people who were buried at friedman cemetery well now they'll that doubt was landmark are used are a landmark market the nba doesn't
want to be in that shanty todd simmons african cycle that when it comes to his workers wear cotton and one huge write the best the senate and therefore you are what you are in a very comfortable resting place i will probably never know where my ancestors come from or whether i might have a direct link to these particular burial grounds but i do claim these buried ancestors as my own somehow they belong to us all there isn't this world something that surpasses all of the things and sweetness it as sweeter than honey is sweet events all this sweeter than sugar sweeter than all existing things this thing is sleep when you are called goodbye
sleep nothing to prevent you nothing can stop you from sleeping when you were conquered by sleep and was millions of lives millions of life to disturb you millions will find you asked me production of this program has been made possible in part by a grant from the corporation for public broadcasting and the southern educational communications association he's been
Feel It In My Bones
Alternate edit
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KERA (Dallas, Texas)
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Report on how the sacred burial grounds of enslaved and freed blacks in New York and Texas have been destroyed and almost forgotten. Today a new generation attempts to honor these dead and heal the wounds of history.
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Race and Ethnicity
Slave era buriall plots; Race issues
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Executive Producer: Garcia, Yolette
Executive Producer: Komatsu, Sylvia
Interviewee: Dodson, Howard
Interviewee: Paterson, David
Interviewee: Muniz, Barbara
Interviewee: Daughtery, Herbert Rev.
Interviewee: McKenzie, M.A.
Performer: Babatunde, Akin
Producer: Cooper, Sheila
Producing Organization: KERA
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Identifier: cpb-aacip-0a8b7189d1b (Filename)
Format: 1 inch videotape: SMPTE Type C
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Chicago: “Feel It In My Bones; Alternate edit,” 1994-06-27, KERA, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2022,
MLA: “Feel It In My Bones; Alternate edit.” 1994-06-27. KERA, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Feel It In My Bones; Alternate edit. Boston, MA: KERA, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from