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African American Cemeteries Forum

African-American Burials Utoy Cemetery

Re: Acceptance of Utoy Cemetery to Georgia National Register of Historic Places...

On June 10th, 2011 at 254 Washington St. Atlanta Utoy Cemetery was approved by the National Register Review Board to be placed on the Georgia National Register of Historic Places. The presentation for the Cemetery was given by Gretchen Brock.

Although the Cemetery is privately owned it was recognized by the Officers present that historically a section of the Cemetery was entirely for the burial of African-Americans located in the NW quadrant. The contribution I provided was to place the names before the Board of those African-Americans who had grave markers with some identification.

Gretchen Brock noted that information regarding identification of African-American grave markers was not given to the Historic Preservation Division and therefore would be considered a further contribution to the Utoy presentation at the meeting. An Officer of the Cemetery informed the Board during discussion that there were many unmarked graves of African-Americans on the site.

The part of the Cemetery where African-Americans are buried was recently named Azalae Walk because there are many wild Azalaes growing of different colors. This is the only area of the Cemetery where Azalaes grow.

I have seen images of the Azalaes in bloom taken by Mr. White a member of the Association. The plants are very beautiful. Mr. White and I tied red ribbons on the plants to prevent them from being destroyed during maintenance of the Cemetery. It is intended that other botanical species will be recorded.

At the suggestion of Gretchen Brock I agreed to forward the details I provided at the meeting regarding African-American burials to the Historic Preservation Division before the National Register Review Boards Decision is sent to the US Interior Departments Parks Department for approval for the National Register of Historic Places.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

I.M. Spence-Lewis M.D.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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