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Exploring African American Ancestral History at Forest Lawn

By Nancy Cardillo:

The Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier, Inc., in collaboration with Forest Lawn, is pleased to offer a very special African American Ancestral Tour at Forest Lawn this summer.  

Sit in air-conditioned comfort as your guides (Barbara Nevergold, president of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier, Inc., and Sharon Holley, retired Buffalo Public Library Systems administrator) take you to the graves of well-known African Americans interred at Forest Lawn.  You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about such notables as Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, and her fascinating rise in the world of politics, and Dr. J. Edward Nash, one of the Michigan Avenue pastors who was instrumental in founding the local NAACP and the Buffalo Urban League. Hear the musical stories of Charles Fuqua of the famed Ink Spots quartet and Grover Washington, Sr., soul-jazz saxophonist and father of Grover Washington Jr. 

See the plaque honoring Elmira Brockenborough, a two-year-old who was the first recorded interment of an African American by full name in Forest Lawn. Visit the Grand Army of the Republic lot to see the graves of the 14 African American Civil War soldiers buried there and read the plaque donated in their honor…and so much more!  At the end of the tour, you’ll experience a traditional and touching African libation ceremony.

The African American Ancestral trolley tour will be offered twice this season: on Saturday, August 20 and Saturday, October 15, beginning at 1:00 p.m.  Tickets are $15 per person. Reservations are required as seating is limited. Call the Forest Lawn office today at 885.1600 for more information and reservations. Special thanks to committee members Dr. Felix Armfield; Ms. Sonia Walker; Ms. Karen Davis; Mr. Charles Campbell and Dr. Lillian Williams for their assistance in putting together this tour.


Lead photo and bottom right photo credit Michael Mandolfo

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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