New Legislation Seeks To Protect Lost African-American Burial Grounds

An early 20th century headstone lays turned over in an old African American cemetery located at the entrance of Frankie Allen Park, pictured Friday, Sept. 18, 2009, in Atlanta. Elon Osby is suing to save the cemetery from a developer seeking to move the gravesites to turn a profit. (AP Photo/John Amis)ASSOCIATED PRESS

When new construction projects break ground across the United States, they regularly encounter archaeological materials. Those materials can represent the last surviving trace of the lives lived by the people who made them; and all too often, those materials turn out to be from cemeteries and burial grounds used by segregated and enslaved African American communities. These cemeteries typically went undocumented on local and state government maps and…

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