PHOTO BY BRIAN PALMER
The two cemeteries, which cover some 76 acres, were established at the end of the 19th century (Evergreen in 1891, East End in 1897), when white people barred black people from being interred in the same burial grounds.
Neither cemetery has a perpetual care fund to maintain the graves, because such funds weren’t required when they opened. Instead, families cleaned their own plots or paid others to. This worked out just fine until Jim Crow assaults on black wealth and agency battered the community, pulled it apart, and dispersed it. Most internments there ceased by the early 1980s.
Both cemeteries are now in desperate need of care. Veritable forests have grown where beautifully tended memorial parks once stood.