African American Cemeteries Forum
Endangered Cemetery in Sumter Cou
Our good friend Joyce McCollum is asking for our help to save this cemetery. Her email follows:
Regarding the removal of African American Cemetery in Sumter County Florida, we are in a home stretch for tomorrow night’s Sumter County Commission meeting. FOX13 Tampa aired a news story tonight about the cemetery, All the more reason to bombard the commission with emails. One Commissioner’s heart has definitely turned. We need the rest. FOX13 News story: http://www.lcni5.com/cgi-bin/c2.cgi?073+article+News+20091007104347073073003
Letters to the Editor: http://www.lcni5.com/cgi-bin/c2.cgi?073+article+Opinion+20091007103219073073004
Their email addresses are below. Many of you took action previously but we need to renew and intensify our efforts. I am also wondering if we don’t need a S.O. S. site for endandered historical African American sites. Is there one online? I became involved with an effort to prevent a highway going through the cemetery in Henderson, KY. The road expansion would have been over the burial sites of my maternal great-grandparents. We won that one - for now. And I am reminded of Milligen’s Bend, LA. where my great-grandfather fought in the Civil War. I’m told that there has been an historical marker but it was vandalized and not replaced. You can read the story of Milligen’s Bend Battle and the United States Colored Troop who fought there online. It’s a story worth reading and retelling. (I recommend looking for ancestors on the Civil War enlistment rolls. The pension files fron NARA are extremly informational). I feel that we have a responsibility to identify unrecognized places of African American historic signifigance and see that it’s recorded and/or preserved.and publicized. Many communities have oral tradition on events that happened and had a social or familial impact on the residents. The latest genealogy news on our First Lady, Michelle Obama, showed a perfect example of following the paper trail and putting life into those names and dates. It can start with a local place or event and the names of those who shared in an event. Food for thought. Don’t forget the Sumter County Cemetery. Spread the word and please send emails to the following addresses. Promote preservation!
Dick Hoffman: Dick.Hoffman@sumtercountyfl.gov
Doug Gilpin: Doug.Gilpin@sumtercountyfl.gov
Don Burgess: Don.Burgess@sumtercountyfl.gov
Garry Breeden: Garry.Breeden@sumtercountyfl.gov
Randy Mask: Randy.Mask@sumtercountyfl.gov
Thanks for your efforts and I hope to have some great news for you on this matter soon.
Peace & Love
Joyce Reese McCollum
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