Original Author: Steven Halperson
Created: September 6, 2014
Medium: Digital photograph

Procession into the Cemetery Grounds

A procession wends its way through historic burial grounds in Alexandria on September 6, 2014—the day this site was dedicated as the Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery to honor the African Americans interred there. The burial grounds, originally set aside as a final resting place for Black refugees who fled enslavement during the Civil War, had subsequently fallen into disrepair and were developed commercially in the mid-twentieth century. Late in that century, the burial site was rediscovered, eventually purchased by the city, and officially opened as a memorial to the dead in 2014. Some of the participants at the front of the line wear nineteenth-century garb.