One woman’s struggle to restore an old slave cemetery uncovers centuries-old racism
When China Galland visited her childhood hometown in east Texas, she learned of an unmarked cemetery for slaves-Love Cemetery. Her ensuing quest to restore and reclaim the cemetary unearths racial wounds that have never completely healed. Research becomes activism as she organizes a grassroots, interracial committee, made up of local religious leaders and lay people, to work on restoring community access to the cemetery. The author also presents material from the time of slavery and the Reconstruction Era, including stories of “landtakings” (the theft of land from African Americans), and forms of slavery that continued well into the twentieth century. Ultimately Keepers of Love delivers a message of tremendous hope as members of both black and white communities come together to right an historical wrong, and in so doing, discover each other’s common dignity.
“Galland captures the struggle to reclaim one small cemetery in Texas with such engrossing drama and personal detail that the story becomes something larger still-a universal struggle to reclaim the ground of Deep Compassion that lies untended in the human heart.”-Sue Monk Kidd