Bethesda African-American Cemetery Calls for Michael Riley’s Resignation | WDVM25 and DCW50


BETHESDA, Md. (WDVM) – A group of people walked to the office of the Montgomery County Parks Superintendent to deliver an eviction notice. They say the area, once a famous African American cemetery, has been mismanaged and they want their loved ones back.

The Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition is calling on Montgomery County Parks Superintendent Michael Riley to step down.

The group says it comes after their concerns were dismissed that the location that was once the African cemetery of Moses is now a landfill, where toilet paper and mattresses were found.

“We are ancestors, and our ancestors are us, and how can you tell a community that they will never control the remains of their loved ones,” said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, president of BACC.

The organization, along with other community members, say it has also commissioned the construction of a recreational park in Westbard which will cover the area.

“I made it known at a town council meeting in Silver Spring that there was a cemetery there, but they kept saying it was alleged there was a cemetery. The cemetery was there. We played it,” said longtime Bethesda resident Harvey M. Matthews.

The organization is calling on county officials to make a change.

“Marc Ehrlich has a lot of power. He can invoke eminent domain today and solve this problem,” Coleman-Adebayo said.

WDVM reached out to Montgomery County executives, Marc Elrich and Michael Riley, for comment, and we did not hear back.


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