Historic Markers Across Georgia

The Geography of Race

Marker ID:  
Location: Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta GA
County: Fulton
Coordinates: N 33° 44.908    W 084° 22.270
  33.74846666    -84.37116666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMWQF1


The Geography of Race

The African-American burial ground at Oakland Cemetery demonstrates racial segregation in America -- in life and in death. From 1866 until the end of legal segregation of public facilities in Atlanta in 1963, African-American burials were restricted to this section adjacent to land set aside for burials of the poor. The segregation of the cemetery reflects the segregation of everyday life -- in education, business, leisure, and worship. While many maintained that segregation provided "separate but equal" conditions for both races, the reality of life in the South was that African-Americans were often forced to accept inferior facilities and services. In a region dominated by racial prejudice, even the most successful and accomplished African-Americans in Atlanta could neither buy nor earn the right to be treated equally with whites, even in death.