Volunteers spend Juneteenth restoring cemetery

June 20, 2010 6:15:20 AM PDT
Several Houstonians celebrated Juneteenth yesterday by cleaning underbrush from graves at Olivewood Cemetery. Juneteenth refers to June 19th, 1865. That is the day a union general read the emancipation proclamation aloud in Galveston. Olivewood, which is located near White Oak Bayou, is Houston's oldest African American cemetery. It was in use from the 1870's until the 1960's.

The African American community buried its dead at Olivewood until the 1960s and many people living in Houston are still linked to Olivewood by family.

"I didn't find out until the early 90s after I got involved with this project, that I also had family that were buried here in 1938," said a descendant of Olivewood, Charles Cook.

It is just one more reason to dedicate this Juneteenth to remembering black history.


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