Bradley Academy to begin recording African-American cemeteries

The Murfreesboro Post, August 9, 2009

The Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center in Murfreesboro is starting a new project to record all of the African American cemeteries in Rutherford County.

This unprecedented project has never been accomplished before, and we feel a strong urgency to record those that have gone before us to keep our history alive for our community, Project Coordinator and Bradley Academy Board Member Florence Smith said. Once completed, this project will be an important contribution to the recorded history of African Americans in Rutherford County, she said.  But record these cemeteries, volunteer help is needed to locate all the black cemeteries and burial locations, document inscriptions, and record oral histories and family stories regarding burials that may not have been marked or whose markers have not withstood the passing years.

In partnership with the Rutherford County Archives, the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU, and the Rutherford County Historical Society, Bradley hopes to complete the project by the end of 2010. A similar project was conducted in the 1970s to record all of the mostly white cemeteries and burials in this county and resulted in the book, Cemeteries and Graveyards of Rutherford County, Tennessee by Susan Daniel and published by the Rutherford County Historical Society in 2005.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Florence Smith at 615-867-2633 or [email protected].

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