What a rebuilt historic Black cemetery should be, and what story it should tell, is a complicated thing. One anthropologist who has studied African American outdoor spaces across the South, Grey Gundaker, a professor at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, said the imprint of ancient African practices echoed in some places more than others. In some cemeteries, the dead were honored with piles of old broken crockery or glassware, symbolizing the idea that things broken in this world are mended in the next. But many cemeteries in the 1800s, both for white and Black people, were also treated as de facto parks.
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