Cemeteries, as we know them in the U.S., began to appear around the 1830s. So it is safe to assume that during that time just like people of color were segregated while living it was also done in their death. So, we were responsible for the care of our burial grounds which were more than likely connected to a church and were voluntarily maintained by church members.
But what happened if the church ceased to exist?
Abandoned, lost, forgotten, and erased – much like the Black communities they were a part of – Black cemeteries rank among some of the most fragile remnants of Black history in the United States. Antionette Jackson, the founder & director of the Black Cemetery Network, joined us to talk about finding, preserving, and protecting Black cemeteries in the U.S. Dr. Jackson also spoke about a database with information about Black cemeteries which will be invaluable for Black American researchers.
She also shared information about a network of Black cemetery preservation groups that are actively working to protect these historic sites.
For more information about the Black Cemetery Network, please visit: https://blackcemeterynetwork.org