Fordham to Launch Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans

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They lie underground, often with no marks to identify them. They’re often interred in out-of-the-way places, hidden from the public. In some cases, their neighbors are the ones they were forced to call “master.” They are deceased American slaves. And Sandra Arnold wants to find them. Arnold, a history student in Fordham’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS), is spearheading the launch of the Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans. Housed in and overseen by the Department of African and African American Studies, where Arnold is also a senior secretary, … [Read more...]

African-American repatriates tribal treasures through eBay diplomacy

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When family researcher William Holland flies back to his ancestral homeland in Cameroon next week, he'll be bearing gifts: ceremonial masks that were taken out of Africa decades ago, purchased by Holland in online auctions, and now destined to be returned to the tribes from whence they came. It's an unusual exercise in citizen diplomacy, but one that's fitting for Martin Luther King Jr. Day — an occasion that celebrates the late civil-rights leader's legacy and encourages volunteer service. You're always supposed to give back," Holland said. "Even if you have nothing, at least try to … [Read more...]

African-American descendants sue to save Revilletown cemetery

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Former residents of Revilletown—an African-American community torn down 25 years ago in Iberville Parish—are trying to preserve a cemetery founded by ancestors there in 1874. The cemetery, started by ex-slaves, is now within the grounds of a vinyl-resin plant owned by Georgia Gulf Corp., based in Atlanta. The plant is in the city of Plaquemines, 17 miles below Baton Rouge. The Mount Zion Baptist Association is exploring legal channels to maintain its original keep on the cemetery and prevent it from being swallowed by plant operations. The group says it was formed in 1874 and continues to … [Read more...]