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East End Cemetery

East End Cemetery

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Historic Black cemeteries need substance, not symbolism, by Brian Palmer

Across the South on any given day, volunteers of all ages, races and backgrounds gather with hand tools and weed whackers to help restore historic Black burial grounds, many of which have been subject to the structural neglect and active violence that Jim Crow visited on African-Americans individuals, communities and institutions for generations. groups such as Richmond’s Friends of East End Cemetery (I’m a founding member) and Woodland Cemetery Volunteers, along with Durham, N.C.’s Friends of Geer Cemetery, have devoted years to clearing these sites of invasive overgrowth and illegally dumped garbage. They have revealed thousands of grave markers and stones, each standing for a person, that had been obscured for decades.