AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: LIVING COMMUNITIES; DEAD ANCESTORS: SHARING INFORMATION ABOUT AFRICAN AMERICAN GRAVEYARDS IN VIRGINIA
Author: LYNN RAINVILLE (Sweet Briar College)   
Date/Time: Fri., 4:15 PM
Co-Author(s): LYNN RAINVILLE (Sweet Briar College) 
Abstract: America’s historic cemeteries are cultural treasures which illustrate kinship affiliations, social networks, religious ideology, and provide individuals with a lasting material monument. In this paper I present the methods that I used in a decade-long project to locate, document, research, and disseminate information about historic African American cemeteries in Virginia. From the beginning, this project has been conducted in collaboration with descendants and local community members. These efforts ranged from conducting oral histories and conversations with genealogy groups to writing brochures that honored the dead buried in church cemeteries. To reach a broader audience I gave presentations to diverse groups including historical societies, classrooms, genealogists, descendants, and a funeral association. In order to share my results with community members and garner their feedback I explored non-academic publishing options including historical society magazines, websites, podcasts, flicker pages, and a "gravestone of the week" blog. By reaching out to local audiences I have been able to include their voices and perspectives into my analysis of historic black burial grounds. The results teach us about civic history, kinship patterns, religious ideas, attitudes towards death, and insights into cultural beliefs.

Program Number: 3-0825
Session Title: NOT THE USUAL SUSPECTS: NEW DIRECTIONS IN COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): MORAG KERSEL (DePaul University), MEREDITH CHESSON (University of Notre Dame) 
Chair(s): MORAG KERSEL (DePaul University)  
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