Baltimore's oldest black cemetery finally gets facelift

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The Mount Auburn cemetery, known as “The City of Dead for Colored People”, was founded in 1872, back when blacks could not be interred next to whites. More than a century later, the grounds have been unkept and riddled with debris, weeds and garbage. Today inmates work to clear the grounds and restore the cemetery as part of a program to put those serving time to work on meaningful project. The Baltimore Sun has the story:

Five years after burying his father, Samuel W. Moore could no longer find the grave.

That was 1976, and Mount Auburn Cemetery, one of the oldest African-American burial grounds in the country, was overcome with stickerbushes, weeds and garbage — a fate unbecoming the scores of people buried there who were pioneers of Baltimore’s black community.

After decades of neglect, interrupted occasionally by well-meaning but ultimately fruitless cleanup efforts, the cemetery in South Baltimore was officially rededicated Monday, due in large part to the labors of an unlikely group: state prison inmates.

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