Harris County woman continues journey to preserve enslaved African American cemetery

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 5:08 PM EDT
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HARRIS COUNTY, Ga. (WTVM) - In March, we reported how one woman’s search into her genealogy led her to a forgotten enslaved African American cemetery in Harris County.

Two months later, with help, Yamoa Pierce is one step closer to preserving the sacred burial of her ancestors and the ancestors of hundreds of other descendants of enslaved people buried on the land.

According to Pierce, on the morning of May 16, Cadaver dogs searched the cemetery’s grounds.

She tells us the dogs were able to sniff out areas on the grounds where a person may have been buried more than 200 years ago.

She adds that the next steps will be to use ground-penetrating radar to pinpoint where any unseen burials may be exactly.

“The persons that have been laid to rest here. Once they were laid to rest, their stories didn’t end. They have families. They have descendants. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps. People who are in this community and have been moved beyond this community who have no idea they have a connection.”

Pierce says she expects the radar to be out within the next month or two.

So far, they have identified more than 500 burials in the area.

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