Sculptures to be moved to long-planned Enslaved Africans' Rain Garden in Yonkers

The rain garden will be officially unveiled June 17 as part of the city's Juneteenth celebration.

News 12 Staff

Jun 7, 2022, 11:51 AM

Updated 719 days ago

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A project 13 years in the making is moving forward outside the Yonkers Riverfront Library today.
Crews will move five life-sized monuments from the at Riverfront Library to the waterfront where they'll become part of the long-planned Enslaved Africans' Rain Garden.
Sculptor Vinnie Bagwell says she's been working on the rain garden for over a decade.
It'll honor the legacy of enslaved Africans who worked at Philipse Manor Hall in Yonkers.
The five figures being moved today are all enslaved Africans who were freed decades before the Emancipation Proclamation.
Once they're installed in the rain garden, you'll be able to walk around them to see the features on their backs, a technique Bagwell uses to get you to engage with the art for a longer time. 
Bagwell told News 12 that she sees public art as a form of reparations.
The rain garden will be officially unveiled June 17 as part of the city's Juneteenth celebration.
“I think it’s wonderful. Why? Well, it’s significant. The art, itself, is wonderful, but also what it commemorates is really important,” says Robert Hothan, a fan of the sculptor. “It’s part of our history and we can’t forget that. It’s lifelike. It’s attention to detail. It’s really wonderful.”


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