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Grant number like: RZ-50420-05

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Sweet Briar College (Sweet Briar, VA 24595-5001)
Lynn Rainville (Project Director: November 2004 to June 2010)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2005 – 8/31/2009

Investigating Historic African-American Mortuary Traditions in Central Virginia

Archaeological and archival research into the mortuary traditions of African Americans living in the Virigina Piedmont from the 18th to the mid-20th centuries. (36 months)

This proposal requests three years of funding to research African-American mortuary variability in central Virginia, from the 1770s to the 1950s. An interdisciplinary team of scholars will contribute to our understanding of enslaved, Free Black, and twentieth-century African-American gravestones, cemetery landscapes, and mourning practices. The results will be disseminated via an on-line database. This project is particularly timely because many historic black cemeteries are not documented on county maps, resulting in unintentional destruction during new construction. This research will help raise awareness about African-American burial grounds and increase our understanding of a rarely studied aspect of African-American culture.