The City of Kingston Common Council voted unanimously to apply for the Underrepresented Communities Grant with the National Parks Service in the amount of up to $50,000 for the study of the early history of African-Americans in Kingston and Pine Street African Burial Ground.
If awarded, the grant would allow for the city of Kingston to “complete existing research regarding documentation of slavery, African-American settlement, and African-American life in colonial and post-colonial Kingston to circa 1876.” Additionally, it would “gather, organize and develop a narrative of this population’s history, prior to 1750, and would create a national historic nomination for the Pine Street African Burial Ground.”
“This is history,” said Alderman Tony Davis. “We need to embrace our past and do the due diligence to make sure our whole history is represented in the city of Kingston and not just one base. I look forward to this passing so the people and the children in Kingston can know of the rich history of African-Americans who lived here and contributed to the growth of this city, but to also be able to have discussions about the mistreatment of African-Americans in this community as well.”
Alderwoman Rita Worthington echoed Davis’ sentiments and urged community members to go view the Pine Street African Burial Ground.
“It really is amazing – the history that is there and the history that will continue,” said Worthington.
In 2019, the site was purchased by the Kingston Land Trust in partnership with Harambee and in collaboration with Scenic Hudson and was converted into a community memorial site.