LifestyleUNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte Grad Student Restores Historic Black Cemetery

Kevin Donaldson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history and is now completing a master’s in that subject at UNC Charlotte, learned about the cemetery in a museum studies class. Since then, he has felt driven to research — and permanently restore — the neglected 1.8-acre burial ground off Hildebrand Street near Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte.

“As a graduate student of history, I view a cemetery as a museum,” he said, explaining his motivations to undertake the project. “Quite a few military veterans are buried here as well as leaders from the historic Brooklyn community. They are a big part of the city’s history, and it’s a shame to see the place fall into disrepair. The South, unfortunately, is fraught with racial strife and always has been. Having seen this abandoned cemetery, I feel responsible to help in some way.”

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