We are happy to help the Laurel Cemetery Memorial Task Force spread the news about their upcoming black history lecture. The task force is endeavoring to erect a permanent memorial in recognition of the thousands of African Americans interred at Historic Laurel Cemetery, to ensure the safety and stability of the site into the foreseeable future, and to educate the public about the rich history of the cemetery and the lives of those buried there.
Laurel Cemetery was incorporated in 1852 as Baltimore’s first nondenominational cemetery for African Americans. It quickly became a popular place of burial for people across Black Baltimore’s socioeconomic spectrum, including 230 Black Civil War veterans, members of the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.) and notables such as Civil Rights activist Reverend Harvey Johnson.
In 1958 and after a series of lawsuits failed to prevail in the courts, Laurel Cemetery was leveled. Today it is the site of the Belair-Edison Crossing Shopping Center, and home to several businesses. However, many current patrons and nearby residents have no knowledge of the site’s former purpose and significance. Join us to learn more about the important history of the site and how we can preserve its memory.