NYC Pauses To Its Slave History

Victor Mooney of Forest Hills, New York and executive director of South African Arts International, Ltd. prays before releasing a wreath into the New York Harbor on Saturday.

Victor Mooney of Forest Hills, New York and executive director of South African Arts International, Ltd. prays before releasing a wreath into the New York Harbor on Saturday. Mr. Mooney was joined by Mr. Matar Diop Kane, Retired Adjunct Commander of Senegalese Nationale Gendermarie, visiting from Dakar, Senegal and NYPD Harbor Patrol Officers.

The wreath-laying was preceded by a three-day memorial at the African Burial Ground in New York City, which SUNY Maritime College Cadets, City Officials and Diplomats attending 67th Session of the United Nations paid hommage.

The African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan represents the important role and major contribution that enslaved African men, women, and children made to the economy, development, and culture of America, both in the South and North. The Rites of Ancestral Return commemorative ceremony, which began with an Evening Departure Ceremony at Howard University, documented and celebrated the contribution of African Americans as the ancestral remains from the African Burial Ground were returned from Washington, D.C., to New York City. The remains were given a permanent resting-place at the African Burial Ground Memorial Site on October 4, 2003.

Later this year, Mr. Mooney will make his fourth bid and row the "Spirit of Malabo" from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to New York City for an AIDS-free Generation and to raise funds and awareness for the Permanent Memorial at the United Nations In Honor of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

"Only the strongest (of his African ancestors) survived the arduous task of crossing the Atlantic Ocean," said Mooney. "I'm determined with the fathers' blessing to complete this mission.

On the net: www.goreechallenge.com

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