âObviously, it makes sense that black people would want to do this, as well as start their own funeral homes,â Smith said. “Who wants to go out the back door when they have to bury their mother?” “
Mozee agreed. âIt’s a place where we have been accepted when we weren’t accepted elsewhere,â she said.
Smith said he was not surprised that some black cemeteries had become dilapidated over time, given that they were not linked to any church or public entity.
âThese were private cemeteries, so the survivors were responsible for maintaining their family’s site,â Smith explained. “But over the years people move away and no one takes care of them.”
âIn the cities, we find that especially in black cemeteries. But in rural areas, cemeteries with only white people suffered the same fate, âhe said.
Last of the family reserve
After recognizing the historically significant names, Mozee and Hart pointed out that many others, forgotten by history, rest in peace in this place.
âAnd the rest of these people also had a story,â Hart said.
Like “Grandpa Charley”.
Officially, it is Charles A. St. James: great-grandfather of Mozee and Hart, who was buried with Father Dickson in 1960.