House of Delegates VA General Assembly – House Bill for historic African American Cemeteries
The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation worked with Virginia House Delegate C. Matt Fariss to implement the provisions of a House Bill that would recognize at least 36 historical African American graves at The Stanton Family Cemetery in Buckingham County and that The Stanton Family Cemetery be added to the list of Historical African American cemeteries cared for pursuant to § 10.1-2211.2 of the Code of Virginia. The Stanton Family Cemetery was placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has developed a Virginia Historical African American Cemetery and Graves Fund Manual that is an invaluable resource that other states can replicate for its historical African American cemeteries and grave sites.
On March 3, 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed H 1523 the 2020 Legislative Session. Other Historic African American Cemeteries included in this legislation were: Calloway Cemetery, Lomax Cemetery, and Mount Salvation Cemetery of Arlington County; East End Cemetery in Henrico County; African-American Burial Ground for the Enslaved at Belmont in Loudoun County; New River Cemetery and West Dublin Cemetery in Pulaski County; Baptist Cemetery of the African American Heritage Park, Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery, Douglass Cemetery, Lebanon Union Cemetery, Methodist Protestant Cemetery and Penny Hill Cemetery in the City of Alexandria; Daughters of Zion Cemetery in the City of Charlottesville; Cuffeytown Cemetery in the City of Chesapeake; Bassette's Cemetery, Elmerton Cemetery, Good Samaritan Cemetery, Pleasant Shade Cemetery, Queen Street Cemetery, Tucker Family Cemetery and Union Street Cemetery in the City of Hampton; Newtown Cemetery in the City of Harrisonburg; Matthews Cemetery, The People's Cemetery and The Smith Street Cemetery in the City of Martinsville; Mt. Calvary Cemetery in the City of Portsmouth; Evergreen Cemetery in the City of Richmond; and, Oak Lawn Cemetery in the City of Suffolk.
The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation has created a free mobile app "African American Sites," that will be available through The App Store and Google Play. The African American Sites app features more than 1,500 African American Sites located throughout the United States that include Heritage Trails, Military Sites, Museums, National Historic Landmarks, Endangered Historic Places and other historic places that focus on the rich contributions of African Americans to our nation's history. We were able to cull information from various websites and search engines to consolidate these wonderful African American Historic Sites into one application. There are also useful plugins to create a Site Chat with your family, friends and colleagues as well as a Geo-Fence that will notify you when you are near a particular site so that you can contact the site, if applicable, for more information such as hours of operation.
The release date August 12, 2020.
The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation undertook a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) imaging survey to develop a picture profile and determine the location of unmarked graves in the Historic Stanton Family Cemetery, Buckingham County, Virginia. This imaging is an excellent tool for cemeteries with non-existent or destroyed burial records.
A GPR Survey can produce a composite site map of an area that would indicate grave locations as well as position and depth. The community was invited to observe this process.
Pro bono land surveying services were provided by Maxey & Associates, P.C. to map the 49 graves based on the GPR imaging.
This project was sponsored by Premier Consultants International, Inc.
The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation is continuing its contributions to the African American National Biography (AANB) Database edited by Professors Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. This landmark undertaking resulted in an eight-volume print edition containing over 4,000 individual biographies, indices, and supplementary matter. An expanded edition of the AANB continues online, with more than 1,500 entries added since 2008. The African American Heritage Preservation Foundation provided biographies on Roscoe Conkling Bruce and Dr. Frank Settle Hargrave. More than 750 of these can be found in a Revised Print Edition of the AANB, published by Oxford University Press in 2013.