York Town Square

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York County’s black cemeteries: ‘Before desegregation, even the dead were segregated in many places’

Ester Jefferson is seen in Mount Olive Cemetery in Lower Chanceford Township in this York, Pa., Daily Record/Sunday News photo taken about five years ago. For years, Jefferson and her brother, Warner Batty, have taken care of the cemetery. Family members have been buried there of there for 150 years. Also of interest: All black history posts from the start and A journey through Lebanon Cemetery, North York, Pa.’s African-American burial site and Walking in the footsteps with heroes.
Tireless researcher and Yorkblogger June Lloyd’s post Heritage of York County African American Cemeteries surveys known black cemeteries in York County.
She begins with an interesting analysis, undertaken with the help of York County Heritage Trust archivist Lila Fourhman-Shaull, who has surveyed many of the 370 known cemeteries in York County: …

In 2005, forest growth covers a grave in Chanceford Cemetery, then accessible only by foot. This cemetery, like Mount Olive, is a site where black people were buried in York County.

It is often easier to do historical research if the person or event was connected with a town. Newspapers, the prime news sources, were printed in towns, so events happening to town dwellers were more often recorded there. For example, the majority of York County marriages and deaths in 19th century York papers were of people who lived in York, Hanover and Wrightsville, all newspaper towns. I recently found the same premise to be true while researching York County African-American cemeteries — more is known about those in towns.

Read the rest of her post here.
And York Daily Record/Sunday News reporter Mike Argento recently did a piece which contained the memorable quote:

“Before desegregation, even the dead were segregated in many places; the remains of African-Americans could not share the same land as those with white graves.”

Red the rest of Mike’s story here.
Event today
What: Voices Remembered: A Journey through Local African American Cemeteries with Dr. Dorothy King, Jim McClure, Ray Crenshaw and Vernon Bracey.
When: 5 to 7:30 p.m. today
Where: York County Heritage Trust, 250 E. Market St.

This black cemetery is in a remote area in the southeast tip of York County. For more about this cemetery, see: Photographer tramps to the four quarters of York County.
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– Of course, you can always search for York Town Square posts on Google. For example, when you search for yorktownsquare and black history, you get this.