Photo by Loy Elliott

HALLOWED GROUNDS, ENDANGERED HISTORY: PRESERVING THE HISTORIC AFRICAN-AMERICAN BURIAL GROUNDS OF THE SOUTH MOUNTAIN REGION

Over the last two hundred and fifty years, African American churches and organizations have established dozens of burial grounds in communities throughout the South Mountain region. These historic cemeteries provide remarkable sites for documenting the rich African American history of the region, including such issues as the history of slavery, emancipation, segregation, and African-American military service in the United States Civil War. Today, many of these historic burial grounds have vanished, or they are threatened by a combination of weathering, neglect, vandalism, and development.  Dr. Steven Burg, Professor of History at Shippensburg University, discussed the ways that the historic burial grounds of the South Mountain can be used to discover the region’s rich African-American history.  Dr. Burg’s talk also introduced a discussion on the threats posed to these sites, and a variety of efforts that are currently underway to preserve, protect, and share the stories of these hallowed grounds.

This Speakers Series event was held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds project, which hosted a cemeteries conservation workshop prior to the evening’s public lecture.

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