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Slave Cemetery Discovered in St. Helena Parish, Louisiana

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antoinette harrell

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Several years ago Myrtis Johnson set out to research her family genealogy in St. Helena, Louisiana. Her roots runs deep in the beautiful hilly country side. Behind all the beauty is a part of history that both black and white people of the parish chose not to talk about much at all. It wasn't until Joe Day who's ancestors served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War met with Myrtis Johnson an African American woman who ancestors were held as slaves in St. Helena, LA. They being to set out on a journey to located the grave sites of their ancestors. Samuel Hyde, a Southern historian known especially for this work in the Florida Parishes, says the finding of the numerous slave graves on one of the area's cotton plantation is significant and "long overdue." The finding of slave cemeteries adds to the documentation of slavery was integral part of the parish history, its economics and its demographics. " We need to recall the legacy of slavery" in finding solutions for today's problems in St. Helena, Hyde said. Please join host Antoinette Harrell and her special guest Genealogist and Family Historian Myrtis Johnson for this discussion.

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