Slave Burial Ground, University of Alabama

Slave Burial Ground, c. 1840s, University of Alabama. A conversation with Dr. Hilary Green, Associate Professor of History and Dr. Beth Harris.

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Slave burial ground, University of Alabama

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Key points

  • Enslaved people built and worked at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa from its founding until the end of the United States Civil War. These enslaved laborers were rented or owned by faculty and members of the university’s leadership. When they died, many of them were buried in a campus cemetery in unmarked graves. 
  • Today, modern buildings and parking lots have been built on the site of this cemetery. A 2004 marker at the edge of the former cemetery identifies two enslaved people, Jack and William Boysey, who worked on the campus and were owned by the university president. The plaque offers an apology from the university for its role in the institution of slavery.

Go deeper

The Hallowed Grounds Project: Race, Slavery and Memory at the University of Alabama (Dr. Hilary N. Green)

Slavery at the West Point of the Confederacy: the Little Round House

More to think about

What else would you like to see the Slave Burial Ground marker include or address? If you could edit the text or change the shape, design, or location, what would you do?

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