Cemetery scandal affects black history

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Harold Lucas was raised with the stories about his grandparents, who rode segregated railroad cars from Missouri to Chicago in the 1930s and worked tirelessly to raise their family into the middle class.

Jeff and Ida Lucas were buried in Burr Oak Cemetery, alongside thousands of black Americans who made up the Great Migration — a movement north during the first half of the 20th century.

Burr Oak, once one of the only burial places for blacks, holds a sacred spot in African-American history — making all the worse allegations that workers there dug up bodies and dumped them to resell the burial plots.

People like Lucas see desecration of the cemetery as evidence their people's history is slipping away and forgotten. He and others say they don't know how to tell young blacks to be proud of their heritage when it has been treated so carelessly.

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