People

"If we have the courage and tenacity of our forebears, who stood firmly like a rock against the lash of slavery, we shall find a way to do for our day what they did for theirs." —Mary McLeod Bethune

The Richmond Planet, 8 February 1902
African American Richmonders from all walks of life are interred at East End. There are lawyers and letter carriers, ministers and midwives, bankers and barbers, teachers and tobacco stemmers. There are cooks, laundresses, waiters, and porters. Farmers, drivers, grocers, and tailors. Fannie B. Scott taught at the Baker School. William I. Johnson, born into slavery in Albemarle County, became a successful contractor. John W. West worked for many years at Central State Hospital in Petersburg; when he died in 1902, his colleagues paid tribute to him in the Richmond Planet. But people's professions tell only part of the story. Within the confines of Jim Crow, East Enders founded churches, created mutual aid societies, and joined fraternal organizations. They were deacons and trustees, officers and presidents, secretaries and sextons. And soldiers too — at least one hundred veterans are buried at East End. Their stories, and thousands more still waiting to be discovered, shed new light on our collective past and allow us to write a truer, more inclusive history of our city and our country.
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