Oakland Cemetery offering free tours of African American Grounds in February

Oakland Cemetery is offering free guided walking tours of the African American Grounds throughout Black History Month in February.

Presented in partnership with the City of Atlanta, the hour-long tours will be offered at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, Feb. 13, Feb. 17, and Feb. 22. The tours are free and open to the public, but a reservation is required in advance as space is limited.

During the tours, the Historic Oakland Foundation (HOF) will show visitors the restoration work happening in the cemetery’s 3.5-acre African American Grounds section.

In 2017 HOF began a large-scale, phased hardscape and landscape restoration of the area, which had not undergone a massive restoration in more than 100 years. During the tour, attendees will learn about some of the people and families whose lots have recently been restored, as well as what projects remain in the African American Grounds.

Before the City of Atlanta ended segregation of public spaces in the 1960s, citizens were racially separated even in death; Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place for over 12,000 African Americans. Notable Atlantans buried in the African American Grounds section include: Thomas Askew, one of the city’s first black professional photographers; Marie Woolfork Taylor, a co-founder of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; real estate pioneer Antoine Graves, Sr.; and Selena Sloan Butler, who in 1911 founded Atlanta’s first parent-teacher association for black families.

For more information and to register for the February tours, visit oaklandcemetery.com.