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Watch Jewish and African-American Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed

Why do Americans tend to separate their dead along communal lines rooted in faith, race, ethnicity, or social standing? Dr. Kami Fletcher and Dr. Allan Amanik, editors of the anthology Till Death do us Part: American Ethnic Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed (University Press of Mississippi/Jackson, 2020) discuss the physical and symbolic borders of America’s ethnic cemeteries and what these divisions reveal about American history. Drs. Amanik and Fletcher share the histories behind the development of New York’s Jewish cemeteries and the 1807 founding of Baltimore’s African Burying Ground, and what the physical and invisible borders of these cemeteries tell us about how Americans negotiated race, ethnicity, religion, class, and national origin in the 19th century.

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