Would-Be Cell Tower Site to Commemorate Slave Burial Ground Instead

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While prospecting for a potential cell tower site, a Fayetteville, Arkansas church discovered that the land was already occupied by unmarked graves. The gravesite was found to be the final resting place for a slave population, reports KHBS-TV. Members of the Christian Life Cathedral church were surprised, and emotional, when they learned about the hidden graveyard. 

An unnamed cell tower company had been engaged by the church to survey a hill as a potential tower site. When the results came back, a stunned Pastor Steve Dixon said, “They showed me a map that changed absolutely everything. They said they were not able to build the tower here because there were at least 90 graves all over this area.”

Instead of erecting a cell tower, the church will be celebrated by the National Park Service’s 400 Years of African-American History Commission. “It’s important. Our kids need to know. Our grandkids need to know about what happened in the past and how we can move forward from here,” said parishioner Renee Carr. 

Humbled by the cell tower company’s discovery, Pastor Dixon added, “We want to preserve this land so that nobody would ever come in and violate the memory of people who were forgotten in life. Some died nameless and there’s no register of the family, no register of their lineage, no register of the pain that they suffered.”  

November 19, 2019

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