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 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 members of the Laurel Cemetery Memorial Project to learn more about the important history of the site and how we can preserve its memory.