The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and the Maryland Historical Trust, with the help of several partner organizations, including Preservation Maryland and descendant communities, have recently released a draft study report on Maryland’s Historic African American Cemeteries. The public is being asked to comment on the draft which will inform the final report submitted to the Maryland General Assembly later this summer.

At the request of the Maryland General Assembly in 2021, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) and the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), along with stakeholders including Preservation Maryland and descentdant communities, are working together on a study that will document the needs of historic African American cemeteries in Maryland.

Despite holding important stories, landscapes, artwork, and genealogical clues, in addition to the remains of those who have gone before us, cemeteries and graveyards face many preservation challenges, including threats from development, abandonment, vandalism, damage and decay, and inadequate legal protections. Historic African American cemeteries are particularly at risk.  The study report will look at the needs of these important historic resources, including:

  • Issues facing historic African American cemeteries, including identification, restoration,
    protection, preservation, maintenance or commemoration activities
  • An analysis of approaches in other states regarding cemetery identification, restoration,
    protection, preservation, maintenance, or commemoration activities
  • The design of a grant fund for the purpose of identifying, preserving, or maintaining
    historic African American cemeteries
  • Ways in which MCAAHC can work with the descendants of those interred in African
    American cemeteries and burial grounds, in this and future efforts.

Get involved

MCAAHC and MHT are seeking public comments on the draft study report and will host a public hearing on the report on Monday May, 23rd at 5PM. The public’s input will help inform the final report, which is set to be released later this summer.

Read the Draft Report

Comment on the Draft Report

Attend the Public Hearing