A Guide to Sites, Museums, and Memory

Periwinkle Initiative New York, New York, United States

The Periwinkle Initiative is a public humanities and education initiative with the important mission of building the National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans (NBDEA) — the first and only national database to document individual burials and burial grounds of enslaved Americans. The Initiative also advocates for public policy that protects enslaved burial grounds and recognizes their historical significance.

The Periwinkle Initiative derives its name from the flower that certain scholars believe was the most common wildflower brought to gravesites of enslaved Americans. This perennial flower has guided researchers to many abandoned burial grounds that would have otherwise gone undetected. The resilient Periwinkle is a perfect symbol to represent the endurance of enslaved Americans and their legacy.

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