On DC Emancipation Day, Parks & People gathered with community residents to light over 2,000 candle luminaries in honor of thousands of African Americans who were buried in what is now Adams Morgan, after they gained their freedom during the Civil War.Each illuminated candle was a tribute to four of the people who were buried under Walter Pierce Park, making it the largest unmarked African American cemetery in the capital. At least 8,428 African American men, women, and children were buried in the Mount Pleasant Plains Cemetery between 1870 and 1890.
A community partnership has completed an archaeological study about the cemetery to help document the most sensitive areas of the site. This information will inform the development of a park master plan for the site, which will seek to permanently protect the remains, to tell the stories of those buried there, and to provide a way for future generations to honor them.
Parks & People is committed to standing up for all the ways parks bring deeper justice by helping to prevent violence, crime, and incarceration. Parks create a sense of unity and community by bringing people together to care for the environment. Join us on August 2nd at Marvin Gaye Park to celebrate National Night Out, a campaign promoting police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live for all.