Activists struggle to save piece of African American history


All throughout the south, African American burial grounds have been bulldozed, plowed over and forgotten. However in Bethesda, a gaggle of activists is decided to save lots of only a small piece of black historical past. After a yr of frustration, they took their protests again to the Montgomery County Council to demand assist.

The Macedonia Baptist Church is all that is still of what was as soon as a thriving group of freed slaves and their descendants at River Street and Little Falls in Bethesda.

The cemetery the place generations of African People have been buried was apparently pushed right into a ditch and coated by a parking zone and a towering house constructing. However a small group of activists is decided to recollect the lifeless.

They’ve marched. They’ve argued. And now after a yr of wrestle, they’ve turned again to the Montgomery County Council for assist. A handful of protesters stood behind the county council assembly and urged council members to assist.

“I have been annoyed for nearly a yr and a half now,” stated organizer Harvey Matthews, seventy three. He remembers enjoying within the cemetery when he was younger.

Montgomery County’s Housing Alternatives Fee and a personal developer had plans for an enormous new complicated of workplaces, outlets and flats on the website. However these plans have been held up in a lawsuit by neighbors who say they’d be harm.

The activists needed the Housing Fee to put aside a plot of land for a memorial and a museum to the African People who as soon as lived there.

“A museum the place we will have individuals come from close to and much to study the historical past of the Black group that was as soon as on River Street,” stated Matthews.

The County Council continued its assembly, whereas the protesters stood silently.

Council members have already voted unanimously to guard and stock historic cemeteries. However negotiating a deal for a memorial and museum with the Housing Fee has stalled.

We have but to listen to again from the Housing Alternatives Fee on the difficulty.

© 2018 WUSA



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