March 2014 Update:
Found a very interesting post on reading and preserving eroded headstones
How to read the unreadable Gravestone Headstone Tombstone Grave Marker Cemetery Stone, guest post by Anthony Bengston
Also the PAAC (Preservation of African American Cemeteries) looks like a very interesting resource for preserving African American burial grounds. They have a conference coming up May 10-11, 2014
Currently working on my final paper for my Headstones and Burial Grounds course at Brown University. It has been both an interesting and frustrating course. I think I may have grown too used to taking Africana studies courses here. It is very aggravating to read works by people with no background in Africana scholarship writing articles about black culture. It is even more upsetting when those works are part of the curriculum for your course…and they have been part of the curriculum for years. Meaning there are a lot of misinformed people out there who don't even know and possibly don't care how misinformed they are.
This blog post is fun example of what I am talking about Of Slavery, Psalms, and Sculpture. Thankfully the last commentator corrected most of the misinformation found in the post. She did miss one piece though. The article's author claimed that a colonial era enslaved Rhode Island man carved his wife's headstone and included a portrait of her in African dress. Thats pretty much impossible since the carver was likely either first or second generation American born. The likelihood that he even know what authentic "African dress" looked like is incredibly slim.
Anyways I'll post my paper here when I'm finished. Well it will be 20 pages so I'll post a snippet and a link in case anyone is interested.
Yes, yes. I know. I am probably the only person you know who spends all of their vacation time in cemeteries...but it's worth it.
|Crouching between my great great grandmother Alice's grave on the right and the newly discovered grave of my great great grandfather Tom Magby on the left. July 6th, 2013.|