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All the Dead are Connected
Ryan Smith (Virginia Commonwealth University)
We often think of cemeteries as separate worlds unto themselves. But those buried at Confederate graveyards were surely connected to those at the African burial grounds, and the cemetery reveals the intimacy of their connections. Ryan Smith says he and his students have been transformed by tending to cemeteries over the past 20 years.
The Magruder Project
Travis Harris (William & Mary)
After Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy needed land for bases and training. Former William & Mary PHd student Travis Harris says the African American neighborhood of Magruder near Yorktown, Virginia was just one of the many mostly black communities forced out to make way for U.S. military bases.
Finding Kin, One Headstone at a Time
Brian Palmer (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Erin Palmer (Friends of East End)
Brian Palmer grew up hearing about Magruder, his father’s boyhood neighborhood that was bulldozed to make way for a US Naval base. An old picture led him and his wife Erin Palmer back to Magruder and across the state tracking where his ancestor was enslaved. After moving to Richmond, the couple got involved in restoring a cemetery where Brian has more ancestors.
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