In our continued efforts to educate the public about black history in South Carolina outside of Black History Month, we bring this segment of Beyond February to you with the purpose of sharing a piece of our history and to ask for your help.

The Palmetto Cemetery was established in 1920 and was one of the first cemeteries in the city where African Americans could be laid to rest. Throughout the decades it was a treasured jewel in the black community. Now, times have changed and it has been mostly forgotten except for a chosen few who are dedicated to making sure our loved ones are resting in a beautiful place that friends, family and lovers of heritage can enjoy when they come to visit.

The Palmetto Cemetery Association was created in the 1940’s to assist in the management and beautification of the cemetery. The association acquired the ownership of the cemetery through a deed when the cemetery changed ownership.

I recently visited the cemetery and spent some time with Harold White the Executive Directory of the association to find out more about this historical place and the challenges that they face in keeping the final resting place of many of our ancestors beautiful.

Michael Bailey
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