Slave Cemetery Uncovered on Florida Island

Six grave sites were discovered last year in Jacksonville.

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The Associated Press is reporting that a 19th-century cemetery, believed to hold the remains of slaves, has been discovered at a former cotton plantation in Florida.

The discovery of six gravesites was made last year at the Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville, but the announcement was delayed to allow for further research and to alert possible descendants of those buried there. It brought a sense of accomplishment to those who spent years finding the site and a surge of emotions to those whose ancestors were enslaved there.

"The word emotional almost seems not powerful enough," said Johnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art and a descendant of the Kingsley family. "I wept. This is not ordinary; this is not an everyday experience."

A team led by James Davidson, a University of Florida anthropologist, worked with just two vague century-old leads to find the site, which was described as being adjacent to a giant oak tree. Once Davidson found the graves, a smattering of clues helped determine they were, in fact, apparently those of slaves.

The cemetery is indeed an important discovery, one we hope will be preserved and protected.

Read more at News One.

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