“Another Struggle”: Against All Odds, Father Dickson Cemetery Preserves Black History | Joe’s Saint-Louis


“Obviously, it makes sense that black people would want to do this, as well as start their own funeral homes,” Smith said. “Who wants to go out the back door when they have to bury their mother?” “

Mozee agreed. “It’s a place where we have been accepted when we weren’t accepted elsewhere,” 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.

“These were private cemeteries, so the survivors were responsible for maintaining their family’s site,” Smith explained. “But over the years people move away and no one takes care of them.”

“In the cities, we find that especially in black cemeteries. But in rural areas, cemeteries with only white people suffered the same fate, ”he 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.

“And the rest of these people also had a story,” Hart said.

Hand-made headstones are found in Father Dickson Cemetery, one of the first African-American public cemeteries established in 1903, on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. Photo by Robert Cohen, [email protected]

Robert cohen

Like “Grandpa Charley”.

Officially, it is Charles A. St. James: great-grandfather of Mozee and Hart, who was buried with Father Dickson in 1960.


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