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Alabama Shakespeare Festival Enter for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
No Stone Unturned: Preserving Slave Cemeteries in Alabama

Alabama Public Radio spent nine months investigating the effort to find and preserve slave burial grounds in the state. We also heard from the families of these kidnapped Africans. Along with bondage of their ancestors, these African Americans are dealing with a system that reduced their great-great grandparents to nameless property. This leaves them with the near impossible job of tracing their family roots—a situation not shared by their white neighbors.

Latest Episodes
  • One issue with preserving these cemeteries may be getting people, both black and white, to talk about it.
  • Alabama voters head to the polls for the November midterm election next month. One issue on the ballot would do away with slavery. It’s still allowed in the state constitution. Alabama Public Radio news spent nine months looking into one lingering aspect of the slave trade. APR’s focus is on finding and preserving slave cemeteries in the state. By the time of the Civil War, an estimated four hundred thousand people were held as slaves in Alabama. Some accounts put the number throughout the South at closer to four million. That would appear to make the issue of slave cemetery preservation a southern issue. But, that doesn't appear to be the case. Here’s part four of our series we call “No Stone Unturned."
  • The thirteenth amendment did away with slavery in the United States 157 years ago. Alabama voters may take similar action next month. The state’s Constitution still allows involuntary servitude. An estimated 400,000 slaves were held in Alabama before they were finally freed in 1865. APR spoke with the descendants of some of these people. They talked about trying to find the burial sites of their ancestors, and facing roadblocks not shared by their white neighbors.
  • Alabama’s constitution still allows forced labor, 157 years after the thirteenth amendment abolished the practice. That’s not the only lasting impact of the slave trade in Alabama. APR spoke with the descendants of some of estimated four hundred thousand people enslaved here around the Civil War. Many say they can’t find the burial sites of their ancestors, due to unmarked graves or bad records kept by their white captors. Alabama Public Radio news spent nine months looking into efforts to find and preserve slave cemeteries in the state. Here's part one of our series we call “No Stone Unturned.”