Since blog post #2, I have (you may notice a trend) read numerous more articles and several books that were recommended to me by a professor of archaeology at UVA. At this point, I restricted my articles to filling in gaps in my knowledge and making the project more specific to the present. I researched several articles on the controversial baseball stadium at Shockoe Bottom, a black community in Richmond whose historical district (including one of the most trafficked points in the United States for the slave trade and a massive slave cemetery) would have been obscured by the large stadium that was to be constructed alongside it. This event provides a compelling example of how common the sort of problems I’m studying are, although I’m probably not going to investigate particularly much further into its specifics given time restraints.
This will be a common burial-place where all shall meet on terms of common fellowship and brotherhood. Every dear relation in life, severed by death, shall be found restored again in these grounds— husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, shall be reunited here. Friend shall meet friend here; and enemies, too, shall meet, there enmities all forgotten. Yonder city, where, as every where in life, the harmonies of society are apt to be broken by petty feuds, by ungentle rivalries, by disturbing jealousies, by party animosities, by religious dissensions, shall, one after another, as death singles them out, send up her multitudinous population to these grounds, and here they shall take their respective places, in amiable proximity to each other, peaceful, harmonious, undisturbed and undisturbing, the same shadows deepening on them, the same sun-light over them, resting in the same hope…
It is presumably time that I make my first blog post. Here, I hope to detail three things:
- My renewed understanding of struggles for liberation and sovereignty thanks to the educational work of Sierra’s SPROG
- Notices through preliminary research of the history of disrupted human remains for marginalized communities
- Randall H. McGuire’s “Ideology of the Cemetery” as it relates to the previous two items
Our 8th grade history textbooks preach of the glorious reach of a nation “from sea to shining sea”. A manifest destiny for the United States, somehow ignoring the accompanying genocide of American Indians and the underlying purpose of expansion: slavery. The pattern continues. American Indian and slave burial grounds have been disrupted by our nation’s “progress” for years – as close as in Richmond, where the construction of a baseball stadium took place directly on top of an old African-American burial ground. It is the same manifest destiny, the same progress that drives the destruction of our natural splendor – from Alaskan oil extraction to fracking to the pollution of waterways. Supporting this effort to exsanguinate every last vein of these United States is the construction of pipelines — a drip that only extracts and fails to replenish.