october, 2022

14oct5:10 pm- 7:00 pmBrittany Brown - African American Cemeteries as Critical Geographies


Event Details

Columbia Center for Archaeology Seminar

Brittany Brown

Assistant Professor, Bard College

African American Cemeteries as Critical Geographies

Friday October 14, 2022 5:10pm EST

951 Schermerhorn Extension

Virtual and in-person for CU affiliates



Africans and their descendants have maintained a presence in Northeast Florida for over five hundred years. Today, Florida holds the nation’s earliest burial grounds for Africans and their descendants in the United States. This study documents the significance of historic Black cemetery sites for Jacksonville Florida’s African American community and explores the role captivity, segregation, and state sanctioned violence played in shaping where, how, and under what circumstances African Americans buried their kin. As critical geographies, Jacksonville’s historic African American cemeteries are embedded in African indigenous knowledge systems, unwavering American perceptions of ‘race’, and the treatment of African descended peoples and their remains as non-human. Black cemeteries not only offer an archaeological record of African American trauma, in the 21st century they also offer opportunities for African Americans to reclaim their historic burial places. This process of reclamation by African American communities has in some cases translated into legal protection and government funded perpetual care. Archaeological projects that center on African American cemeteries and human remains stand to play a critical role in empowering African American communities, shifting federal and state policy, and connecting contemporary African American families to historic homeplaces and indigenous African origins.



Dr. Brittany Brown is from Jacksonville, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Florida with a major in Anthropology. While attending the University of Florida she completed her undergraduate field work at Kingsley plantation in Jacksonville, Florida. She received her Master of Arts and her Ph.D. in anthropology from The College of William and Mary. Brittany is an American historical archaeologist. Her regional areas of specialization include the African American Southeast and the British Caribbean. Her current research interests include post-emancipation era mortuary practices among African Americans in Jacksonville, Florida, and maritime archaeology.




(Friday) 5:10 pm - 7:00 pm EST


Columbia University, 951 Schermerhorn Ext.

  1200 Amsterdam Ave.
MC 5523
New York, NY 10027
  (212) 854-1390