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.

If you ever want to visit where these slaves are resting, don’t do what I did, which was cross the street and headed over to the Ramapo College campus. There is no actual address to this location. When you go online, people will tell you that it’s on land owned by Ramapo, so you get the impression that is actually located somewhere behind, or around the college.

Here is exactly what to do: Locate the Ramapo Sculpture Studio. There is a parking lot there…park there. Don’t worry, you will not get towed or anything like that. Upon leaving your vehicle DO NOT CROSS THE STREET (Route 202 S), even though there is a path in the woods there, and you may be inclined to cross. Don’t don’t, do it, because that’s how I ended up wasting at least an hour or my time.

Stay on the side which is where the studio is located. Now, as you are facing the road, walk and make the first left that you can, outside of the studio. Walk closely on the shoulder of the road, and be careful of incoming traffic. Your landmark will be a yellow sign that says “Hidden Driveway”. The graves are located on that very side of the road, right behind the Laroe-Van Horn House. This is the best I can do in regards to the direction. I just know how much of a pain it was for me to find it, because of the very poor directions given online.

Said to be resting here are the following:

Harrison, George, no dates, age: 3y, s/o York & Jane Harrison
Harrison, Hannah, no dates, age: 10y, d/o York & Jane Harrison
Harrison, Joseph, d. Jun 1850, age: 41y
Harrison, Mary, no dates, age: 2y, d/o York & Jane Harrison
Jennings, Samuel, no dates

I spent more than an hour there, just walking around the small burial ground, observing, deciphering, and coming to my own conclusion on things. When I recorded enough footage, I finally decided to leave. I actually didn’t want to: So strange for someone who was once terrified of cemeteries and the likes of it.

May their souls Rest In Peace.