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Group restoring African American cemetery adds another to their restoration list

Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 5:21 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) -For almost a year, a group of volunteers has been working to restore Universe Cemetery, a historic African-American cemetery near Tyler off Highway 64.

On Saturday, several individuals were working to continue the cleanup of the cemetery. According to Larry Wade, who is the president of the National African American Historical Society and one of the lead organizers of the project, they have made progress over the past 12 months.

“We would have liked to make more progress. but we have, I would say, put a good dent in it to the point that we have made an impact not only on the property itself on the gravesite on the cemetery, but we have also made the public more aware,” Wade said.

Wade said they have also been notified about another historically African-American cemetery they plan to restore. That cemetery is located behind the Kendrick Cemetery off Grande Ave. in South Tyler and is called the Garrett Cemetery.

“This is an old cemetery that has been abandoned, it is in much worse shape than this one it is smaller,” Wade said.

“We would have liked to make more progress. but we have, I would say, put a good dent in it to the point that we have made an impact not only on the property itself 2g on that one on the third Saturday of September and continue to rotate work between the two cemeteries each month. Despite more work to be done and more on the way progress has been made and goals are being met.

“Cemetery preservation has been one of our goals over the 15 years I have been involved in some cleanup in years past but not on as massive of a scale as we are on now, we hope that this will be the beginning,” Wade said.

The group is looking for volunteers, tools, or donations, to get in contact with them look at the list below.

Call: 903 452 3310

Email: larryjoy04@yahoo.com

Mail: NAAHS P.O. Box 8090 Tyler Texas 75711

Or drop off at Texas African American Museum: 200 S Glenwood Blvd, Tyler, TX 75702

A group that has been restoring an African American cemetery near Tyler for almost a year now plans to restore another one.

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