Atlanta officials mark restoration of historic Oakland Cemetery’s African American Burial…

After the hardscape restoration was complete, garden staff installed trees, shrubs, groundcover and other plants.

From the inception of Atlanta’s municipal cemetery in 1850, the burial grounds for enslaved persons and free African Americans were legally segregated from the other sections of the cemetery located east of downtown Atlanta along Memorial Drive. Cemetery officials estimate the Black burial grounds contain more than 12,000 entrepreneurs, educators, ministers, physicians, and other prominent and ordinary citizens who helped to shape the city’s history.

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People gather together and talk after the Historic Oakland Foundation ceremony for the newly restored African American Burial Grounds at Oakland Cemetery on Friday, June 10, 2022. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

People gather together and talk after the Historic Oakland Foundation ceremony for the newly restored African American Burial Grounds at Oakland Cemetery on Friday, June 10, 2022. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Combined ShapeCaption

People gather together and talk after the Historic Oakland Foundation ceremony for the newly restored African American Burial Grounds at Oakland Cemetery on Friday, June 10, 2022. (Steve Schaefer / steve.schaefer@ajc.com)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

The Historic Oakland Foundation’s large-scale restoration projects also include work in the Jewish Burial Ground and the area around the gravesite of legendary golfer Bobby Jones.

Other dignitaries resting at Oakland Cemetery include Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first Black mayor, former Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr., and Bishop Wesley John Gaines, co-founder of Morris Brown Collège, county music star Kenny Rogers and Gone With the Wind novelist Margaret Mitchell.

“The restoration of the African American Burial Grounds only begins to reveal some of the depth and contributions of Atlanta’s African American community,” said Valerie Jackson, Maynard Jackson’s widow.

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