Sherrill D Wilson, Ph. D.  
Urban Anthropologist

Dr. Sherrill D Wilson earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the New School for Social Research in 1991. She is the author of New York City’s African Slave Owners: A Social and Material Culture History (1994). She served as the founding director of the Office of Public Education and Interpretation for the National Monument NY African Burial Ground located in lower Manhattan from 1993-2005. Dr. Wilson lectures and writes on the subjects of the African presence in colonial and early New York, and the enslaved African presence in the north. She has lectured at the Smithsonian Institute, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Monument NY African Burial Ground, the Museum of the City of NY, the US Mission to the United Nations, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the NY Historical Society, the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture and numerous other organizations and institutions nationally and internationally. She is the recipient of the 2005 History Visionary Award from the Manhattan Borough Presidents Office and the first recipient of the African American Heritage Award from Historic Hudson Valley Museum in Tarrytown, NY. In 1999 she was recognized by the Mayor's office of the City of NY as a Centennial Historian.

Dr. Wilson lectures via Speakers for the Humanities Program, for the NY Council of the Humanities on the NY African American Experience. She is the Subject Matter Expert on the design of the Interpretative Center for the National African Burial Monument in New York City. She teaches Pluralism and Diversity in America at Rockland Community College in Suffern, NY, and The African Presence in Colonial Era New York at Long Island University’s Collaborative Learning Center in Orangeburg, NY. She is a Committee Member of Art in Public Places of Rockland County, NY. She is also, an Associate Editor and contributor for the 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia of New York City (Yale University Press and the NY Historical Society).

Currently she is completing “Poetic License: Rumblings from the NY African Burial Ground and Beyond,” a book of poetry and collage.


Sherrill D Wilson, Ph.D.
Urban Anthropologist
For Those Who Spread the Word
Dedicated to the Volunteers at the National Monument NY African Burial Ground

I never fail to be amazed by
the power of our ancestors who bring us together
in storms
and sunshine
in peace
in unending debate

We dare to call forth
a future where gaps in our tortuous past
might be filled
where the wounds of our fathers and mothers
and their children's children
might be healed

from Poetic License: Rumblings from the NY African Burial Ground and Beyond