Endangered African American Historic Sites

Floods are washing away Black history in this Md. city

ANNAPOLIS, MD. — Rita Coates fought a feeling of panic as the water gushed toward the graves.

Coates, a longtime member of the Brewer Hill Cemetery Association, watched a torrent of stormwater wash over this historic African American graveyard last year, erasing the engravings on headstones and the legacies they represented.

"All the water was running through washing away the soil from the graves," Coates recalled in a recent interview with E&E News. "There were some grave markers that were so ruined or messed up that you could not tell the names on them."

Brewer Hill Cemetery is the oldest Black graveyard in Annapolis. It contains the remains of more than 7,000 slaves and freed African Americans who were not allowed to be buried alongside white people.

ANNAPOLIS, MD. — Rita Coates fought a feeling of panic as the water gushed toward the graves.

Coates, a longtime member of the Brewer Hill Cemetery Association, watched a torrent of stormwater wash over this historic African American graveyard last year, erasing the engravings on headstones and the legacies they represented.

"All the water was running through washing away the soil from the graves," Coates recalled in a recent interview with E&E News. "There were some grave markers that were so ruined or messed up that you could not tell the names on them."

Brewer Hill Cemetery is the oldest Black graveyard in Annapolis. It contains the remains of more than 7,000 slaves and freed African Americans who were not allowed to be buried alongside white people. Floods are washing away Black history in this Md. city

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