Periwinkle Humanities Initiative
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Local Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spotlight on Local Work


Burial grounds demonstrate not only the existence of slaves but of communities — of families and shared experiences, of suffering and struggle, and of dignifying rites of humanity across generations. The roots of these communities run deep, and bind families and communities to the land and this nation then and now.
— David Blight, The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition

PS 48 students and teachers at HPSBG site Photo: Richard Harbus

PS 48 students and teachers at HPSBG site
Photo: Richard Harbus

Hunts Point Slave Burial Ground
Bronx, NY

A group of students and teachers from Public School 48 in Bronx, New York discovered an burial ground of enslaved Americans in nearby Hunts Point.  Researching census data, maps, photographs and wills, the students identified an area that is believed to be the final resting place of numerous formerly enslaved people.  The Hunts Point Slave Burial Ground (HPSBG) Project seeks to definitively locate and commemorate the lives of slaves that lived in Hunts Point, Bronx, New York.  The project works with students from PS 48, alongside local historians, community organizations, museums, and city agencies to investigate the final resting place of the slaves from various historical and prominent New York families.

www.hpsbg.weebly.com


Portsmouth African Burying Ground Photo: City of Portsmouth

Portsmouth African Burying Ground
Photo: City of Portsmouth

Portsmouth African Burying Ground
Portsmouth, NH

The African Burying Ground in Portsmouth, NH was established during the 1700s. Over time, as Portsmouth grew during the 18th and 19th centuries, the African Burying Ground was paved over, built over and forgotten by many. Today, the Portsmouth community recognizes this important place as the only known African Burying Ground in all of New England from this era.  The African Burying Ground Committee working together with their community, City Council, archaeological professionals, and a nationally-known design team, created the African Burying Ground Memorial Park We Stand in Honor of Those Forgotten.  The park was intentionally developed as a public place of reverence and reflection on the site of the burial ground – a city street block in downtown Portsmouth.

www.africanburyinggroundnh.org



Burying Ground of the Colored People 
Sylvester Manor - Shelter Island, NY

Burying Ground of the Colored People (Grave Marker) Photo: Sylvester Manor Educational Farm

Burying Ground of the Colored People (Grave Marker)
Photo: Sylvester Manor Educational Farm

Sylvester Manor was established in 1652 on Shelter Island, NY.  It is considered one of the best preserved northern plantations in the United States.  In 2011 the property became the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm.  The enslaved community of the Manor, which includes Native Americans of the Montaukett tribe, is a major focus of the Manor’s educational programming.  The Manor specifically devotes many public programs to the burial ground of those who were enslaved at the Manor. Although a commemorative stone inscribed “Burying Ground of the Colored People of the Manor since 1651” was placed next to the burial ground in the late 19th-century, the first public recognition of the 200 African and Native American enslaved, indentured, and free people buried at the Manor was held in a public remembrance ceremony in 2014.

www.sylvestermanor.org



The African American Cemetery
Wessyngton Plantation  - Cedar Hill, TN
 

Burial Ground Monument at the Wessyngton Plantation Photo: John F. Baker, Jr.

Burial Ground Monument at the Wessyngton Plantation
Photo: John F. Baker, Jr.

The African American Cemetery at the Wessyngton Plantation in Robertson County, TN was established around 1798 as a burial ground for the enslaved community on that plantation. Their graves were initially marked with rough field stones and wild flowers. Until 1928, the Cemetery remained an active burying ground for the descendants of those enslaved at Wessyngton.

John F. Barker, Jr. whose ancestors were enslaved on the Wessyngton plantation, led local efforts to memorialize the cemetery with a monument that recognizes the nearly 200 graves of men, women, and children buried in the cemetery.  The monument lists the names, birth and death dates of the deceased, including soldiers who served in the United States Colored Troops.

www.wessyngton.com/Index/MemorialMonument

 


 

 

 



East End Cemetery
Henrico County, VA

East End Cemetery Clean Up & Restoration Project Photo: Brian Palmer

East End Cemetery Clean Up & Restoration Project
Photo: Brian Palmer

East End Cemetery is an historic sixteen-acre African American burial ground in Henrico County, VA. Much of what is now East End was originally chartered as Greenwood Cemetery in 1892 by an association of prominent African Americans in what was Tidewater, VA.  Today, the cemetery is overgrown and neglected.  However, local volunteers are collaborating to restore East End.  Among them is Erin Hollaway Palmer and Brian Palmer. In addition to joining the efforts to reclaim the East End cemetery, they are producing the documentary Make the Ground Talk - which reveals the story of a vanished black community in Tidewater, VA that the cemetery represents.  The preservation efforts to restore the East End Cemetery is spearheaded by John Shuck.  He is credited for the leading the East End Cemetery Clean Up & Restoration Project and the work's progression.

www.wokdocs.com

www.eastendcemetery.wordpress.com


Harlem African Burial Ground Task 
New York, NY

A report produced by the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force and the Hunter College Urban Planning Studio. Photo:  Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force

A report produced by the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force and the Hunter College Urban Planning Studio.
Photo:  Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force

The Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force is a group of concerned citizens who have united to help the Elmendorf Reformed Church to restore and memorialize its historically and culturally significant colonial African burial ground at 1st Avenue, between 126th and 127th Streets in New York City.

www.harlemafricanburialground.wordpress.com


 

 


The Remembering Project 
Williamsburg, Virginia

Photo: The Remembering Project

Photo: The Remembering Project

Remembering Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom (The Remembering Project) seeks to develop memorial events, exhibits and/or projects to recognize the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation through discussions and engagement with Virginia's African-descended communities and other interested groups. The memorial events that have proceeded from this engagement are designed to attract a multi-cultural and diverse audience of Virginians and visitors to the Commonwealth. These commemorations honor the rich and complex lives, contributions, and sacrifices of enslaved and free Africans and African Americans.  Although the Remembering Project emphasizes several types of sites, including buildings built with enslaved labor and sites where the enslaved resisted the condition of slavery, its main focus is the location and commemoration of cemeteries.

The Remembering Project Website


African American Cemeteries in Albemarle & Amherst Counties (AACAAC)
Lynchburg, Virginia

Lynn Rainville, founder of The AACAACC Project Photo: Lynn Rainville

Lynn Rainville, founder of The AACAACC Project
Photo: Lynn Rainville

Virginia contains thousands of family burial grounds and consecrated cemeteries. These final resting places preserve invaluable biographical information about the past residents of the county. The AACAAC Project is dedicated to locating, documenting, and preserving historic African-American cemeteries in two Virginian counties.

The AACAAC Project Website