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Genealogist/Family historian. Affiliations: Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH), Association of Professional Genealogists, National Genealogical Society, Virginia Genealogical Society, Phoenix Historical Society of Edgecombe, North Carolina; Virginia Historical Society, Duke Alumni Association, and the Association for Gravestone Studies. Direct descendant of U. S. Colored Troops from Tidewater Virginia and North Carolina. Since 2007, I've assisted the community preservation efforts for many African American/slave cemeteries where our family's ancestors are interred, including Portsmouth, Virginia's historic Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex (1879), beginning the summer of 2007, and database reconstruction for Evergreen Cemetery, Richmond, Va., since 2013. |
Researching our own family history led us to a general study of African American cemeteries throughout Tidewater Virginia and North Carolina. Since then, we discovered that some of our ancestors' gravesites, in Virginia and elsewhere, are currently marked, while the majority are not due to various factors, including municipal neglect, commercial development, and gentrification, which unfortunately affects thousands of African American cemeteries. Therefore, in the attempt to give redress to individuals whose gravesites have suffered from these issues, our family adds listings, backed by various forms of documentation, for those who have existing gravestones, as well as those who currently do not. Recently, I'm encouraged by all intrepid volunteers who have found and provided pictures of gravestones to the memorials we've added, and happily, the list grows by the day.
We hope that this type of community preservation initiative includes and acknowledges everyone, including those with disabilities. This plea for outreach and advocacy includes not just the corporations that treat people with disabilities, but acknowledges and includes the work of actual people with disabilities, that have long contributed to the history, preservation, and documentation of the sites, despite the many physical inabilities they face; disabilities that often forbids the on-site, physical clearing of weeds, brush, and trash of gravesites in long-neglected cemeteries. These activities can not only imperil those that are healthy, but can be considered especially dangerous to those with compromised immune systems. The latest and up-to-date reports on ticks is of special consideration and concern to all those that are immuno-suppressed, or have weakened immune systems.
In addition, I continue my ongoing research of historically African-American and slave cemeteries and their respective communities in the Tidewater region of Virginia, and the burial sites of U. S. Colored Troops in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Volunteer genealogist documenting the following cemeteries:
Calvary Cemetery: 2012
Grove Baptist Church Cemetery: 2010
Lincoln Memorial Cemetery: 2007
Mount Calvary Cemetery Complex: 2007
Olive Branch Baptist Church Cemetery: 2013
African Burial Ground: 2013
East End Cemetery: 2013
Evergreen Cemetery: 2013
Woodland Cemetery: 2013
Oak Lawn Cemetery: 2011
Pleasant Hill Cemetery: 2013
Rosemont Cemetery: 2012