The project is a doorway for a community to engage in an effort that will strengthen relationships across racial and generational lines. We will walk together onto the sacred ground of African-American burial sites. Preserving these sacred sites by recording them is the first step in honoring the lives of those whose bodies lie in these graves. The Louisa County Historical Society won Preservation Virginia’s Preservation Pitch Award in October of 2016 to create a GeoForm for collecting data, location and photographs in the field on smartphones and the user guides so that anyone or organization across the Commonwealth can join in the work.
As we stand beside a marker stone, perhaps surrounded by periwinkle, the question arises “Who is buried beneath those stones?” “Where did their descendants go that no one is here to tend their graves?” Research to give identity to the persons buried in those graves will unveil truths about the scope and the experience of slavery and its aftermath. The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is providing funding for scholarly guidance, technical support, and the inspiration of powerful speakers to this effort. Only a new historic narrative of slavery and race, which this project will address, can give us the understanding of our past to heal our deepest national wound. Will you join us in this important work?