Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves

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9780060859558: Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves

By the eve of the Civil War, there were four million slaves in North America, and Harrison County was the largest slave-owning county in Texas. So when China Galland returned to research her family history there, it should not have surprised her to learn of unmarked cemeteries for slaves. "My daddy never let anybody plow this end of the field," a local matron told a startled Galland during a visit to her antebellum mansion. "The slaves are buried there." Galland's subsequent effort to help restore just one of these cemeteries—Love Cemetery—unearths a quintessential American story of prejudice, land theft, and environmental destruction, uncovering racial wounds that are slow to heal.

Galland gathers an interracial group of local religious leaders and laypeople to work on restoring Love Cemetery, securing community access to it, and rededicating it to the memories of those buried there. In her attempt to help reconsecrate Love Cemetery, Galland unearths the ghosts of slavery that still haunt us today. Research into county historical records and interviews with local residents uncover two versions of history—one black, one white. Galland unpacks these tangled narratives to reveal a history of shame—of slavery and lynching, Jim Crow laws and land takings (the theft of land from African-Americans), and ongoing exploitation of the land surrounding the cemetery by oil and gas drilling. With dread she even discovers how her own ancestors benefited from the racial imbalance.

She also encounters some remarkable, inspiring characters in local history. Surprisingly, the original deed for the cemetery's land was granted not by a white plantation owner, but by Della Love Walker, the niece of the famous African-American cowboy Deadwood Dick. Through another member of the Love Cemetery committee, Galland discovers a connection to Marshall's native son, James L. Farmer, a founder of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Riders. In researching local history, Galland also learns of the Colored Farmers' Alliance, a statewide group formed in the 19th century that took up issues ranging from low wages paid to cotton pickers to emigration to Liberia.

By telling this one story of ultimate interracial and intergenerational cooperation, Galland provides a model of the kind of communal remembering and reconciliation that can begin to heal the deep racial scars of an entire nation.

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About the Author:

Born and raised in Texas, China Galland is the award-winning author of Longing for Darkness and The Bond Between Women. She received a Hedgebrook Writers Invitational Residency and has won awards for her writing from the California Arts Council. Galland is a professor in residence at the Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, where she directs the Keepers of Love Project. She lectures, teaches, and leads retreats nationally and internationally on religion, race, and reconciliation.

From Publishers Weekly:

Galland chronicles the restoration and reconsecration of an African-American cemetery in her East Texas childhood hometown in this inspirational first-person account. The author, who is white, uncovers a fragment of local history in the process of her participation in an interracial group of people who from 2003 to 2006 convened a series of "work parties" at the cemetery—hacking at weeds, repairing gravestones and making offerings to the ancestors. Galland reports the meetings, church services and potluck suppers she joins in around the communal cleanup of Love Cemetery, which may date back to the 1830s. She portrays the Boy Scout troop, various clergy, parishioners and the community elders ("keepers of the group memory") involved in the effort, with especially nuanced portraits of two African-American women, Doris Vittatoe (a direct descendant of a man buried there) and Nuthel Britton (the unofficial cemetery caretaker). Galland (The Bond Between Women, 1998), who leads spiritual retreats, was acutely aware of "the dissonance between the black and white experience of life in America," but comes to her own "understanding that enormous change happens through tiny choices." Despite some slack passages, this fresh if not always coherent tale will appeal to women readers eager for an uplifting story. (June)
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. By the eve of the Civil War, there were four million slaves in North America, and Harrison County was the largest slave-owning county in Texas. So when China Galland returned to research her family history there, it should not have surprised her to learn of unmarked cemeteries for slaves. My daddy never let anybody plow this end of the field, a local matron told a startled Galland during a visit to her antebellum mansion. The slaves are buried there. Galland s subsequent effort to help restore just one of these cemeteries--Love Cemetery--unearths a quintessential American story of prejudice, land theft, and environmental destruction, uncovering racial wounds that are slow to heal. Galland gathers an interracial group of local religious leaders and laypeople to work on restoring Love Cemetery, securing community access to it, and rededicating it to the memories of those buried there. In her attempt to help reconsecrate Love Cemetery, Galland unearths the ghosts of slavery that still haunt us today. Research into county historical records and interviews with local residents uncover two versions of history--one black, one white. Galland unpacks these tangled narratives to reveal a history of shame--of slavery and lynching, Jim Crow laws and land takings (the theft of land from African-Americans), and ongoing exploitation of the land surrounding the cemetery by oil and gas drilling. With dread she even discovers how her own ancestors benefited from the racial imbalance. She also encounters some remarkable, inspiring characters in local history. Surprisingly, the original deed for the cemetery s land was granted not by a white plantation owner, but by Della Love Walker, the niece of the famous African-American cowboy Deadwood Dick. Through another member of the Love Cemetery committee, Galland discovers a connection to Marshall s native son, James L. Farmer, a founder of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Riders. In researching local history, Galland also learns of the Colored Farmers Alliance, a statewide group formed in the 19th century that took up issues ranging from low wages paid to cotton pickers to emigration to Liberia. By telling this one story of ultimate interracial and intergenerational cooperation, Galland provides a model of the kind of communal remembering and reconciliation that can begin to heal the deep racial scars of an entire nation. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060859558

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. By the eve of the Civil War, there were four million slaves in North America, and Harrison County was the largest slave-owning county in Texas. So when China Galland returned to research her family history there, it should not have surprised her to learn of unmarked cemeteries for slaves. My daddy never let anybody plow this end of the field, a local matron told a startled Galland during a visit to her antebellum mansion. The slaves are buried there. Galland s subsequent effort to help restore just one of these cemeteries--Love Cemetery--unearths a quintessential American story of prejudice, land theft, and environmental destruction, uncovering racial wounds that are slow to heal. Galland gathers an interracial group of local religious leaders and laypeople to work on restoring Love Cemetery, securing community access to it, and rededicating it to the memories of those buried there. In her attempt to help reconsecrate Love Cemetery, Galland unearths the ghosts of slavery that still haunt us today. Research into county historical records and interviews with local residents uncover two versions of history--one black, one white. Galland unpacks these tangled narratives to reveal a history of shame--of slavery and lynching, Jim Crow laws and land takings (the theft of land from African-Americans), and ongoing exploitation of the land surrounding the cemetery by oil and gas drilling. With dread she even discovers how her own ancestors benefited from the racial imbalance. She also encounters some remarkable, inspiring characters in local history. Surprisingly, the original deed for the cemetery s land was granted not by a white plantation owner, but by Della Love Walker, the niece of the famous African-American cowboy Deadwood Dick. Through another member of the Love Cemetery committee, Galland discovers a connection to Marshall s native son, James L. Farmer, a founder of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Riders. In researching local history, Galland also learns of the Colored Farmers Alliance, a statewide group formed in the 19th century that took up issues ranging from low wages paid to cotton pickers to emigration to Liberia. By telling this one story of ultimate interracial and intergenerational cooperation, Galland provides a model of the kind of communal remembering and reconciliation that can begin to heal the deep racial scars of an entire nation. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060859558

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Book Description HarperOne. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 288 pages. Dimensions: 7.9in. x 5.3in. x 0.8in.By the eve of the Civil War, there were four million slaves in North America, and Harrison County was the largest slave-owning county in Texas. So when China Galland returned to research her family history there, it should not have surprised her to learn of unmarked cemeteries for slaves. My daddy never let anybody plow this end of the field, a local matron told a startled Galland during a visit to her antebellum mansion. The slaves are buried there. Gallands subsequent effort to help restore just one of these cemeteriesLove Cemeteryunearths a quintessential American story of prejudice, land theft, and environmental destruction, uncovering racial wounds that are slow to heal. Galland gathers an interracial group of local religious leaders and laypeople to work on restoring Love Cemetery, securing community access to it, and rededicating it to the memories of those buried there. In her attempt to help reconsecrate Love Cemetery, Galland unearths the ghosts of slavery that still haunt us today. Research into county historical records and interviews with local residents uncover two versions of historyone black, one white. Galland unpacks these tangled narratives to reveal a history of shameof slavery and lynching, Jim Crow laws and land takings (the theft of land from African-Americans), and ongoing exploitation of the land surrounding the cemetery by oil and gas drilling. With dread she even discovers how her own ancestors benefited from the racial imbalance. She also encounters some remarkable, inspiring characters in local history. Surprisingly, the original deed for the cemeterys land was granted not by a white plantation owner, but by Della Love Walker, the niece of the famous African-American cowboy Deadwood Dick. Through another member of the Love Cemetery committee, Galland discovers a connection to Marshalls native son, James L. Farmer, a founder of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Riders. In researching local history, Galland also learns of the Colored Farmers Alliance, a statewide group formed in the 19th century that took up issues ranging from low wages paid to cotton pickers to emigration to Liberia. By telling this one story of ultimate interracial and intergenerational cooperation, Galland provides a model of the kind of communal remembering and reconciliation that can begin to heal the deep racial scars of an entire nation. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780060859558

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