Too many African American cemeteries are abandoned and forgotten. For over 50 years the Pleasant Garden Cemetery in Chattanooga has suffered that fate.
Established in 1890 as the city’s segregated cemetery for African Americans, the cemetery remains a powerful statement of how Jim Crow laws marginalized African American community institutes much as possible.
Yet the cemetery also shows African American pride and identity in important ways– the rural cemetery movement design of the place, the many evocative gravestones, and the many simply marked family plots. The time is now for this important place to be restored and its story told.
It is the least that should be done when here rests Ed Johnson, the victim of a 1906 lynching on the Walnut Street Bridge.