Historic Black cemeteries in Forsyth County to be featured in documentary inspired by FOX8 series

Piedmont Triad News

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — You have the opportunity to watch a documentary inspired by local history.

Preservation Forsyth will present special showings of “Unmarked,” a documentary African American cemeteries.  

You can catch the film on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at the William C. Sims Recreation Center or on Thursday, Sept. 30 at Senior Services of Winston-Salem. Both screenings will begin at 7 p.m.

You can also take tours of the cemeteries with members of each caretaker organization at 6:00 p.m. before the movie.

“We started this project after watching a recent series on FOX8 titled “Forgotten Souls of Black Cemeteries,” which highlighted the impediments to preserving Forsyth County’s African American cemeteries,” said Martha Canipe, board member of Preservation Forsyth.  “Our goal is to initiate a countywide community discussion as a way to bring public awareness to this issue, generate support for the individuals and organizations trying to repair, preserve, and restore these cemeteries, and recruit volunteers to help with individual sites”.

More episodes of Forgotten Souls of Black Cemeteries:
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6

People are invited to tour the historic Happy Hill Cemetery, much of which was destroyed by the construction of U.S. Highway 52 on Wednesday. Damage to the cemetery and plans for repairs will be discussed by Happy Hill Cemetery Friends. 

There will also be a display of artifacts near the William C. Sims Center. The film will be shown in the parking lot. Bring a lawn chair, and snacks will be available.

On Thursday, people are invited to take a tour of Oddfellows Cemetery, which is normally closed to the public. 

Friends of Oddfellows Cemetery will be on hand and artifacts will be on display. 

The screening will be in the parking lot of the senior center, so audiences are asked to bring their own chairs.

“Unmarked” documents the neglect and deterioration of historic African American grave sites and burial grounds for enslaved persons, and the ongoing efforts by volunteers to repair and preserve those sites.   For more information about the film, visit www.unmarkedfilm.com  

To learn more about Preservation Forsyth and how you can help protect historic buildings and sites, visit www.preservationforsyth.org. or call (336) 970-7491.

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