Knowing What We Don’t Know: Challenging the Conventional Narrative in Search of Virginia’s Colonial Plantation Landscapes
For all that archaeologists and historians have learned from studying plantations in southeastern Virginia, there…
“I Remember, I Believe” is a video documentary that tells the story of the Avondale Burial Place. This unmarked burial ground was discovered by the Georgia Department of Transportation during planning for the Sardis Church Road extension project and was recovered, analyzed, and relocated by New South Associates. The cemetery contained the remains of 101 African Americans, most of who were buried in the late 19th century during the era of tenant agriculture. Analysis of the skeletal remains and grave goods testify to the harsh conditions experienced by African American tenant farmers, conditions that led to the Great Migration and African Americans departure from the South for jobs in the industrialized cities of the Northeast, Midwest, and West. Through archival and genealogical research, the project team was able to identify descendants of the burial community, who were consulted during the project, interacted with the archaeological team, and commemorated the relocated cemetery. DNA testing has confirmed the connections between these families and the burial community. The video documentary chronicles this process, in addition to telling the story of those who were buried at the Avondale Burial Place.
Information on the project, as well as copies of the technical reports (found under the Reports tab on the News page) may be obtained from the project website – www.avondaleburialplace.org.