Laurel Cemetery, on Belair Road just opposite Clifton Park Golf Course, was once the final resting place for thousands of Baltimore’s African American citizens, including Civil War veterans. Many of these individuals were quite prominent, including lawyer and civil rights leader, Pauli Murray, Lillie Carroll Jackson, Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne, Cab Calloway, and many others. The history of its demise and the relocation of its remains (possibly only about several hundred) to other locations, one as far away as Carroll County, is the subject of a research project spearheaded by Elgin Klugh, Ph.D., Coppin State University, and Ronald Costanza, Ph.D., University of Baltimore.
A symposium was held this past June at Coppin to present the group’s findings and to prompt discussion and planning by community members and The Laurel Cemetery Memorial Task Force, and “to outline a strategy for respectfully memorializing the site.”
The views expressed here are those of the Carroll Park Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Laurel Cemetery Memorial Task Force or The Sacred Spaces Initiative.