An Evaluation of Black Church Rosters as a Predictor for Discriminatory Burial Location Practices in a Pioneer Cemetery
Were historically Black churches homogenous in race over the history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Omaha? What was the percentage of Black citizens who regularly attended a given church, and might therefore be listed in its roster? This paper examines the rosters of historically Black churches to determine if several of the names of buried deceased persons that are already identified as “Black burials” are also among those in the church rosters, thus verifying the likelihood that the person buried was Black. It is also a possibility that currently unidentified Black burials could be newly identified by finding names among the rosters. This paper also examines the rosters of Black churches to determine if they are good predictors for Black burials in Omaha’s Prospect Hill Cemetery, and therefore could be used as identifiers of deceased persons and their families who were subjected to the discriminatory burial location practices employed in local cemeteries during the redlining era.
Rabbi Myer and Dorothy Kripke Center, Creighton University
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