Black Historic Sites in Conversation: The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground
The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground dates back to 1840, initially set aside as a pauper’s burial ground. Most of the interred are African Americans and Native Americans, as well as some of the general public affected by several epidemics. The town soon referred to the site as The Colored Cemetery, and it has been known as The Pauper’s Burial Ground, Potter’s Field and The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground. In 1914 New York City assigned care of the burial ground to the New York City Parks Department. In the 1930s, the commissioner of Parks, Robert Moses, in his vision of the growth of Flushing, decided to pave over the cemetery and make it a playground complete with a wading pool, handball court and seesaws. The Parks Department treated it as a playground until Mandingo Tshaka came along in the 1990s. Panelists: Robbie Garrison and Sally Mehreteab, The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground Conservancy; Prof. Johnathan Thayer, Queens College; Lori Wallach, Queens Memory.
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