DESECRATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CEMETERIES

For at least over two hundred years cemeteries of African Americans have been desecrated in every way imaginable.  In the 1800’s medical students would rob the graves of recently buried Blacks to use the corpses for dissection study.  I suspect that this went on well afterwards also, with grave robbers digging up and selling corpses.  It was not enough for Whites to torment Blacks throughout their lives, so it seems, so the final atrocities of taking bodies and ruining graveyards was the final act of attempted genocide.

Of course the most common desecration over time has been the “easy pickings” of destroying headstones or otherwise vandalizing them.  White boys with rifles no doubt used headstones as targets in rural areas.

However, so-called “gentrification” and the expansion of commerce into older areas of towns and cities has done the greatest damage.  The construction of roads and utilities directly impacts these cemeteries.  I have a friend who right now is dealing with such an abomination, and is seeking legal redress.

While I personally will be cremated and my remains not placed in a cemetery, I have a great respect for the feelings of families of any “race” regarding their attachment to such places of “final rest.”  My late wife and her parents and relatives are interred in a major urban cemetery, and my parents remains and those of my grandparents and other ancestors lay within an old country cemetery.  I would be heartbroken if these were vandalized or disturbed.  That African American “places” have been perpetually treated as either targets of extended racism or treated as “invisible” to the powers of modernity I find anti-humanistic on every level.

Here are a few links should you have further interest in this topic:

Freedman’s Cemetery Has a History as Complicated as its Buried Members

https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/disgraced-desecrated-disturbed-urban-cemeteries/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/27/gentrification-is-erasing-black-cemeteries-and-with-it-black-history

Hidden in plain sight: Cemeteries and civil rights

 

 

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