Concrete grave marker in an abandoned African American cemetery, Montgomery County, Maryland.
My latest article for The Activist History Review explores more than a century of serial displacement in two Washington area neighborhoods with a common connection: Bethesda’a Moses Cemetery.
People who lived in communities destroyed by urban renewal and gentrification frequently frame their narratives about displacement as theft. Their homes, businesses, and churches, they believe are stolen by capitalism. Spaces for the dead are among those stolen and erased.
For the rest of the story, read The Moses Cemetery: Where Serial Displacement Meets History.
© 2017 D.S. Rotenstein
“Black lives matter, alive or dead” — poet Siki Dlanga
South African poet Siki Dlanga and rally organizer Laurel Hoa. Photo by David Rotenstein.
Several dozen people participated in a rally and march to support the recognition and preservation of the Moses Cemetery in Bethesda, Maryland. The cemetery initially was founded in the 1880s a nearby District of Columbia neighborhood. Continue reading
Ada Dupree. Photo credit: Edisto Herald.
Ada Dupree (1887-1991) lived a long and consequential life. She moved to the small Florida town of Esto in 1902 at age 15. For the rest of her life, she and her family were among the few people of color in the rural panhandle community near the Alabama border. When she died in 1991 at the age of 104, her family began funeral arrangements in accordance with her wishes: Ada wanted to be buried in the town where she spent most of her life. But some residents in the mostly white community didn’t want her buried in the town’s “all-white” cemetery.
Ada’s story made national headlines and in 1998 former NBC legal correspondent Star Jones recounted the story to introduce her book, You Have to Stand for Something or You’ll Fall for Anything: “Sometimes it takes a story about death to teach you about life ….” Continue reading
RALLY TO SAVE BETHESDA AFRICAN CEMETERY – SUNDAY, NOV 12TH -1:30PM
When: Sunday, November 12, 2017, 1:30—3:30 PM
Where: Macedonia Baptist Church, 5119 River Road, Bethesda, Maryland
For more information, visit the Save Bethesda African Cemetery page on Facebook.
Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission, Nov. 1, 2017.