The cemetery, dating to
the days of segregation, was reserved for African-Americans and is the burial
place for many veterans.
Neal Robertson, an
organizer of the cleanup, said his frustration with the state of the cemetery is
personal because his great-grandmother is buried there. "They didn't ask for
this," he said. "They wanted to be able to rest in peace."
On Saturday, the
volunteers – including groups from Okolona Christian Church and New Breed, a
congregation that meets at Shawnee High – helped clear away brush and restore
Robertson said that
keeping the cemetery in good condition will be ongoing project. "There's always
going to be so much more to do."