The African Burial Ground Memorial in downtown Manhattan is located next to the court houses. It is designed by Rodney Leon, and it anchors the oceanic conjunctures of New York City deep into the mounds of earth around it. Shaped abstractly to create a ship’s mast with the rudder and sail invoking the journey of a slave ship, the green granite monument is the first below ground level national monument in Manhattan. Trauma monuments are peculiar constructions. To capture a violence of epic proportions such as the African Slave Trade is a design challenge compounded by the location of such an undertaking. A literal remembering of the dead is impossible. In New York, the archipelagic nature of the eighteenth-century imagination perpetuated structures of isolation and quarantine, modes of hiding populations within plain sight amidst its numerous islands. New York’s agglomeration of wetlands, sandbars, barrier islands, mudflats and rocky protuberances activated an unplanned fluid urbanism.