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Project to restore neglected African-American cemetery launches with public forums

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RICHMOND — The first time Veronica Davis was invited to a wreath-laying ceremony at Maggie L. Walker’s grave, she dressed to the nines.

Davis bought a new outfit and had her hair done. She expected that Walker, the first African-American woman to start a bank and a prominent leader in Richmond’s history, would be laid to rest in a distinguished place, much like Hollywood Cemetery, where Confederate generals were remembered with grand monuments and pristine lawns.

But when she stepped out of the Bentley that a community member had loaned for the occasion, she could hardly hide her disgust. It was if they had driven out into the woods. Vines and overgrown brush strangled the pathways and all but hid Walker’s monument from view.

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This amazing find was dug up courtesy of the National Park Service. You’re look at a grainy image of Frederick Douglass standing in front of his home on Capitol Hill at 320 A St. NE. The home still stands today and you can walk by it, looking almost the same.

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