More than 100 volunteers came together at East End last Monday to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy. We filled the dumpster well past the brim, uncovered a number of grave markers, and made headway in some of the most heavily overgrown sections of the cemetery. We even made the nightly news — check out the NBC 12 story here. (All photos below by Brian Palmer.)
We hope you’ll join us on Monday, January 15 — Dr. King’s 89th birthday — for a day of service at East End. It’s going to be cold, but don’t let that stop you! Dress warmly in layers and meet us at the cemetery at noon. Or join Erin and Brian at Oakwood Arts (3511 P Street in Church Hill) at 11 a.m. for coffee, tea, and a brief introduction to the history of East End and the community it served. Volunteers will carpool to the cemetery from there (about a five-minute drive). Tools, water, and light snacks will be provided on-site. We hope to see you there!
We hope you’ll join us on Tuesday, June 27, at the Robinson Theater for an update on the restoration effort—past, present, and future—at East End Cemetery. We’ll share the latest facts and figures, show a selection of photographs, and encourage a community-wide conversation. Come with questions and suggestions! Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (@EastEndCemeteryProject), or Instagram (@friendsofeastend). We look forward to seeing you on the 27th!
The Friends of East End Cemetery Inc. is now a 501 (c)(3), a nonprofit registered with the Internal Revenue Service. This means we’re eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. (We’re asking people to wait on contributing until we give the word to contribute!)
We spent a productive Memorial Day weekend at the cemetery, weed-whacking and weed-plucking in the front section. The Knights and the Taylors came by to tend their family plots while we were there.
We took a few moments to look back on what we’ve accomplished over the past four years with our friends and partners. Since John first rolled up in the Shuck Truck, we’ve cleared roughly three and half acres of the 16-acre cemetery. About 6,000 volunteers have participated in nearly 300 work days at this hallowed ground. These figures don’t count the thousands of hours of clearing, photographing, and researching that core volunteers have invested in the restoration effort on unscheduled work days.
It’s been four excellent years—and we’re just getting started. We look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we were thrilled to unveil a new sign (courtesy of donors who prefer to remain anonymous) at the entrance to East End and Evergreen Cemeteries. The fate of the old sign has yet to be determined.
This weekend the New York Times ran Brian’s opinion piece on HB1547, a bill before the Virginia Legislature to provide annual funding for the care of historic African American cemeteries. The legislation will almost certainly meet resistance in the General Assembly, which opens January 17. Lawmakers will need encouragement from concerned citizens to pass the bill. We’re asking our supporters in the state of Virginia to contact your legislators to urge them to vote for perpetual care for East End, Evergreen, and other important sites of memory.