"Search for African-American Cemeteries" to be Black History Month Topic

February 8, 2014

A Black History Month Program will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at the Historic Courthouse, General Puller Highway, Saluda, Virginia. The Historic Courthouse is located at the intersection of General Puller Highway and Gloucester Road (map). College of William and Mary anthropologist Michael Blakey will talk about his Remembering Slavery, Resistance and Freedom Project (the Remembering Project) and its search for historic African-American cemeteries throughout Virginia. David Brown, archaeologist and Co-director of the Gloucester-based Fairfield Foundation, will describe the cemetery component of the Foundation’s work in the Middle Peninsula.

The Remembering Project was established to engage the community of African descendants throughout Virginia to develop memorial programs for the Civil War Sesquicentennial that honor the rich and complex lives, histories, contributions, innovations, and sacrifices of enslaved Africans and African Americans. One of the primary ways that the project is memorializing the contributions of individuals of African descent in Virginia, is by identifying the cemeteries of the people who were enslaved. The project recognizes the deep significance of burials in remembering the contributions Africans and African Americans made to Virginia and the nation as a whole.

The Remembering Project is developing a database of known cemetery sites. Do plan to attend this program to learn more about this exciting project and to make sure that your family and community cemeteries are included in the database.

Dr. Michael Blakey is the Director of the Institute for Historical Biology at the College of William and Mary. He is a physical anthropologist known for analysis and interpretation of the important evidence uncovered in 1991 at the African Burial Ground in Manhattan. Dr. Blakey set the precedent and is world renowned for his scholarly work on this project. In 2012, he was recognized for his contributions as one of Library of Virginia’s African-American Trailblazers.

The Fairfield Foundation promotes and conducts archaeology, preservation, and education activities within Virginia’s Middle Peninsula and surrounding areas. For information, see fairfieldfoundation.org.

The program is free to the public and is co-sponsored by the Middlesex County Museum & Historical Society, Inc. and the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical & Historical Society. For further information, call 804.651.8753.