African-American gravesite are victims of neglectBreaking News
tags: Black History, PRESERVATION
In late February, Raphael Morris pulled his car onto the gravel path just off St. Louis Avenue in northern St. Louis County, and saw something he’d hoped was a thing of the past: a large pile of garbage dumped in Greenwood Cemetery, near where he grew up and where several family members are buried. Morris is president of the Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association and has been working to restore the African-American cemetery that dates back to the Reconstruction era. A day later, the worn mattresses and rusted exercise bike were just another trouble spot across Greenwood’s 32 acres. The dozen or so acres visible from the road are well maintained, even manicured; but further down the hilly sloping site, the landscape loses focus, growing ragged, almost feral, the headstones crumbling into the earth as nature reasserts itself. Here the cemetery is so overgrown that it’s largely inaccessible.
“My emotions are always like this … ,” Morris tells me, motioning with his hand up and down, a rollercoaster of hope at seeing this jewel of St. Louis history being slowly repaired, and despair at realizing how much remains to be done. In the rear section of the cemetery, we see wood planks, innumerable plastic bags and bottles, a TV, and a black wig partially ground into the dirt. We see a lot of tires, too, but Morris and Etta Daniels, the preservation association’s historian, have plans for these: they’ll incorporate them into the landscape as flower planters. Neither of them, both well into retirement age, have ever caught anyone dumping there. “I’m so glad,” says Daniels, who is lithe, self-assured, stern when there’s a point to be made. “I’d be in jail.”
comments powered by Disqus
- How the Religious Right Has Transformed the Supreme Court
- Down With Judicial Supremacy!
- A Neighborhood’s Race Affects Home Values More Now Than in 1980
- H.R. McMaster on Trump's White House and American National Security (Video)
- Trump's Praise of Robert E. Lee Gets Pushback from Minnesotans Proud of State's Role at Gettysburg
- Look What Has Been Taken From Black Americans
- Watching “Watchmen” as a Descendant of the Tulsa Race Massacre
- The Harvard Community Reflects on the Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- TODAY: Eric Weitz "A World Divided: The Global Struggle for Human Rights in the Age of Nation-States"
- Russian Police Detain History Professor After Protest