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East End News

John Shuck is fighting the good fight at East End Cemetery

Grant Martin has posted a great profile of John Shuck’s work at Evergreen/East End Cemetery over on OVERLOOKED RVA:

Here, countless coffins sink deeper each day into the soft soil, causing the ground to undulate like ripples on calm water – but this landscape is anything but calm. Thick and thorny brambles push past a blanket of poison ivy to snag at shirtsleeves and scratch at skin. Kudzu-cloaked obelisks rise like green-gloved fingers, pointing in futile defiance against nature’s unchecked onslaught. Grapevine grips at weedy trees which grow as much as 15 feet each year, coiling like pythons around their tapering trunks toward a neon canopy so dense that it casts the tombstones below into permanent shadow.

No one knows the dark landscape of this abandoned cemetery better than John Shuck.

Shuck has posted on Twitter that he will be out working Friday and Saturday if you are interested in helping.

Grant also has a nice piece about the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Libby Park.

Related posts

Rep. McEachin Introduces ‘African American Burial Grounds Network Act’ with Community Leaders


Restoring Historic Evergreen Cemetery: A Community Conversation


‘Obligated to do what’s right:’ State money helping maintain more historic African-American cemeteries



Eric S. Huffstutler 08/14/2014 at 10:02 AM

John Shuck has been fighting an admirable crusade to try and keep the wilderness at bay but sometimes it is all for naught. By the time one section is finished and another started, the growth starts back in a never-ending cycle. So sad is the simple fact that he has to rely on only a few regular (and sometimes only one or two) volunteers while Church Hill, Union Hill, Chimborazo, and other surrounding neighborhoods who have friends and relatives buried at Evergreen and East End, show little to zero interest. How disrespectful can a collective community (or a city for that matter) be when it comes to its heritage and those who lived through the agony and strife concerning race and cultures towards equality, only to be thrown out like yesterday’s trash – long forgotten. Another side effect of the “Me” culture of today?

I would help with the cleanup efforts if I could but I am not physically able to. What I am working on is something else using the resources available to me to see if I can make some kind of a difference. Yes, many have tried and failed over the years only to be kicked to the curb by the city because of “original charter” or “private ownership” issues but the angles I am hoping to work on goes far beyond that and I have the benefit of leverage and influence through others so looking forward to having some positive reports soon. John M… I will be sending you a private email to get some background that you may know of through your own research and anyone else here who has fought battles in the past, please have John forward your concerns and experiences to me. Thanks!

In the meantime Church Hill… WAKE UP and remove the blinders. Get involved and contact John (804) 728-9475.

Eric Huffstutler


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